PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Set the tone for 2023 by taking a scenic walk through some of the Pacific Northwest’s best outdoor sights. Oregon State Parks is once again organizing First Day Hikes for Oregon residents who want to hit the trails on Sunday, Jan. 1.
Twenty-one parks throughout the state will be hosting 24 hikes for anyone who is interested. Each of them will be led by a park ranger or volunteer who will educate participants on the respective park’s history, wildlife, plants and more.
Of the 24 hikes, three of them are in the Portland area.
- L.L. Stub Stewart State Park at 10 a.m. Start at the Dairy Creek West meeting hall.
- Milo McIver State Park at 10 a.m. Start at the Dog Creek Trailhead in the Riverside Day-Use Area.
- Milo McIver State Park at 1 p.m. Start at the Dog Creek Trailhead in the Riverside Day-use Area.
All of the hikes range in distance and time, but Regional Program Coordinator Jill Nishball told Southern Oregon University’s Jefferson Public Radio that they should be suited for all skill levels, like the one-mile hike at Milo McIver State Park that has little elevation change.
However, other hikes require a bit more planning. For example, people who hike at the Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail are encouraged to bring snowshoes or x-country skis if there’s snow, while Elijah Bristow State Park is hosting an equestrian ride that requires participants to bring their own horses.
First Day Hikes are completely free. There is typically a $5 daily parking fee at the state parks, but the fee will be waived in honor of New Year’s Day.
OSP encourages all First Day Hikes participants to monitor the weather before starting their day. It advises people to wear layers and appropriate shoes, as well as bringing water and binoculars to get a closer view of nature.