SALEM, Ore. - The Oregon Parks and Recreation Department joins America's State Parks in sponsoring First Day Hikes in 22 Oregon State Parks on New Year's Day. Park rangers or volunteers will lead most of the hikes. Day-use parking fees are waived for all visitors at participating parks Jan. 1 only.
First Day Hikes help families enjoy state parks close to their homes and encourage a healthy lifestyle. The purpose of America's State Parks is to promote and advance the state park systems of America, for the contribution they make to the nation's environment, heritage, health and economy.
Details about hike locations, difficulty and length, terrain and tips are available on the America's State Parks website: www.americasstateparks.org. Visit the Oregon State Parks website for directions to each park: www.oregonstateparks.org. OPRD advises visitors to plan for inclement weather, and to remember the binoculars for wildlife viewing.
++ PORTLAND ++
- L.L. "Stub" Stewart Memorial State Park, 9 a.m. at the Hilltop Day-use Area.
- Tryon Creek State Natural Area, 9 a.m. at the Nature Center.
++ COLUMBIA GORGE
- Deschutes River State Recreation Area, Noon in the main parking lot.
++ WILLAMETTE VALLEY/CASCADES
- Champoeg State Heritage Area, 9:30 a.m. at the Visitor Center.
- Elijah Bristow State Park, 9 a.m. at the Lost Creek Trailhead.
- Luckiamute Landing State Natural Area, 9:30 a.m. in the north parking lot.
- North Santiam State Park, 10 a.m. at the group picnic shelter.
- Silver Falls State Park. 10 a.m. at the South Falls Lodge.
- Willamette Mission State, 9:30 a.m. at the entrance booth.
++ SOUTHERN OREGON
- Valley of the Rogue State Park, Noon in the main rest area parking lot.
- Cape Ferrelo (Sam Boardman State Scenic Corridor), 10 a.m. in the parking lot.
- Cape Lookout State Park, Noon in the Cape Lookout Trail parking lot.
- Fort Stevens State Park, 10 a.m. in the Battery Russell parking lot.
- Jessie M. Honeyman Memorial State Park, 9 a.m. at the East Woahink launch parking lot.
- Oswald West State Park, 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. in the north parking lot.
- South Beach State Park, 9 a.m. at the South Jetty Trailhead.
- Sunset Bay State Park, 8 a.m. at the Sunset Bay gazebo.
- Tugman State Park, 9 a.m. in the main parking lot.
++ EASTERN/CENTRAL OREGON
- Clyde Holliday State Recreation Site, 9 a.m. in the main parking lot.
- Emigrant Springs State Heritage Area, 11 a.m. at the campground booth.
- Iwetemlaykin State Heritage Site, 11 a.m. in the parking lot.
- Smith Rock State Park, 10 a.m. at the Welcome Center.
Details about the special hike at Smith Rock are below. The usual $5 day-use parking fee is waived on January 1 only.
These same details are available on the America's State Parks website at www.americasstateparks.org. Visit the Oregon State Parks website at oregonstateparks.org for directions to the park. Visitors should plan for inclement weather, and remember binoculars for wildlife viewing.
Time of event: 10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.
Starting location: Welcome center
Degree of difficulty: Moderate
Minimum age for kids: 7
Restrictions: No dogs are permitted inside the welcome center
Length of trail: One mile
Things to bring: Water bottle, binoculars
Phone: Park office, (541) 548-7501
Additional info: The welcome center will be open to provide information about the park. 20-minute Rim Rock Trail walking tours will also be offered at 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m.