“First Day Hikes” planned across Oregon to help ring in the New Year

The Oregon Parks and Recreation Department is inviting Oregonians to get outside on New Year’s Day for the annual “First Day Hikes” event.

Visitors can choose from 37 hikes in 31 parks across the state. All hikes will be guided by a park ranger or volunteer who will share stories about the park’s history, geology, wildlife and plants.

All hikes are free and day-use parking fees will be waived at all participating parks Jan. 1 only.

Locally, hikes are planned at La Pine State Park and Smith Rock State Park.

  • LaPine State Park: 11 a.m., meet at the meeting hall in the south loop.
  • Smith Rock State Park: 10 a.m., meet at the welcome center.

Hikers can register for specific hikes online at the Oregon State Parks Store: bit.ly/ParkStoreEvents. While online registration isn’t required for participation, visitors are encouraged to register. It helps park staff plan the hike and provides them with participant contact information should hike details change.

OPRD advises visitors to plan for inclement weather, dress in layers, wear sturdy shoes, bring water and remember to carry binoculars for viewing wildlife.

OPRD has sponsored First Day Hikes annually since 2012, part of a larger national event organized by America’s State Parks.

Participating parks and meeting areas are below. Full details for each hike are also on bit.ly/ParkStoreEvents.

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