Oregon Coast New Years Day Hikes Include a Zombie Survival Walk
(Oregon Coast) – New Year's Day features another fun and slightly unusual way to ring in all things new on the Oregon coast and around the state with the First Day Hikes in 25 state parks. Take in breathtaking beaches, unforgettable forests and ocean views – and at one there's even a zombie walk.
As part of a nationwide initiative, Oregon State Parks and Recreation Department is hosting this outdoors excursion – the third year in a row. The agency says to wear appropriate clothes for whatever weather may be happening, sturdy walking shoes and bring drinking water. These hikes are free and even the day-use fees are waived on January 1 at those parks holding the hikes.
OPRD said more than 420 people hiked around the state last year, and this year they are asking the public to share their hike photos via Twitter using hashtag #Orfirstdayhikes or via Facebook. See more at State Parks.
On the southern Oregon coast, participating parks include Bullard Beach, Sunset Bay, Crissey Field and William M. Tugman.
On the north and central Oregon coast, all the hikes begin at 10 a.m. and go until noon or 1 p.m. The contact numbers are different for each park's hike.
Near Manzanita, the Oswald West State Park hike takes you to the top of Neahkahnie Mountain via the south trail head. On Hwy 101 between mileposts 41 and 42 look for hiker signs on highway that point to a gravel road on east side of highway. Follow the road approximately one quarter mile to the trailhead parking area. This is a ruddy, muddy trail at times with an 850-foot elevation gain. It ends at 12:30 p.m. Call (503) 368-5943.
At Beverly Beach between Newport and Depoe Bay, the hike is two miles on a flat terrain along Spencer Creek. You will get to take a closer look at the wildlife and flora and fauna living in the park. Feel free to stay after the hike for a nice, warm cup of coffee or tea.
Also near Newport, the South Beach State Park hike goes for an hour and a half on a two-mile walk through the foredunes and forested wetlands. Meet at the day-use jetty. Call (541) 272-0728.
At Cape Lookout between Pacific City and Oceanside, it's a five-mile hike on the Cape Trail. Great views of the coastline for grey whale and bird watching. The trail is dirt/gravel and elevation rolls about 400 feet up and down. Plan for a three-hour hike. Call (503) 842-3182 ext 226.
Devil's Lake State Recreation Area in Lincoln City is led by a ranger, touring the campground and highlighting camping opportunities. Tour a yurt, walk the trail to Devil's Lake and take a stroll along the boardwalk that winds through wetlands. Call (541) 994-2002.
Fort Stevens near Seaside and Astoria is a guided history hike that lasts one mile, and this one starts at 9 a.m. and goes until 10 a.m. It's a flat, grassy surface with no elevation gain. (503) 861-3170.
The most interesting of the bunch is the Jessie Honeyman First Day Zombie Apocalypse Survival Hike near Florence. You first meet at Group Camp off Canary Road at 10 a.m. to take part in a Wilderness Survival Program. Get the scoop on 24-hour survival kits, Search & Rescue (SAR) Kits, survival gear, tools and other products. The public is welcome to bring their own survival gear.
At 11 a.m., hike through the forested trails of Honeyman State Park, and envision the first day after a Zombie Apocalypse. Discover how to find food and water and how your physical fitness could be a life-saver. There are even free snacks along this two-mile hike.
Afterwards, you build an outdoor shelter. Zombie attire is encouraged. Call (541) 997-3641.
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