Special Hikes, Polar Plunges Ring in New Years Day in Oregon, on Coast
(Oregon Coast) – From polar plunges into the icy ocean to sprawling hikes all around the state, Oregonians will be doing some invigorating things to celebrate the first day of 2013.
There are numerous Polar Plunges along the Oregon coast on New Year's Day, including lesser known ones like that at Arch Cape, just south of Cannon Beach. One of the more famous ones now happens in Manzanita – and this year organizers are hoping to reach 200 participants.
As always, it happens at 11 a.m., as a lemmings-like horde takes a frosty dip in the ocean. This year, it happens at the north end of Manzanita beach, about a quarter mile north of the intersection of Ocean Road and Nehalem Road. Look for the last big parking lot along that northern stretch of the beach.
“It is not a fund raiser but a fun raiser,” said Janice Gaines, one of the organizers.
For any questions call Spa Manzanita at 503-368-4777.
The first day of the year is also a special one for hikes at 22 of Oregon's State Parks. New Year's Day is First Day Hikes in Oregon, where day-use parking fees are waived at the parks, and rangers or volunteers lead hikes that help you get to know some of Oregon's scenic treasures.
Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD) joins together with America's State Parks in sponsoring First Day Hikes. The program is designed to 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.
These special hikes and waived fees are on January 1 only. There are featured parks all over the state, but on the Oregon coast, these are:
Cape Lookout State Park, Noon in the Cape Lookout Trail parking lot. Between Oceanside and Pacific City, on the Three Capes Loop.
Fort Stevens State Park, 10 a.m. in the Battery Russell parking lot. Close to Astoria.
Jessie M. Honeyman Memorial State Park, 9 a.m. at the East Woahink launch parking lot. Near Florence.
Oswald West State Park, 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. in the north parking lot. Between Cannon Beach and Manzanita.
South Beach State Park
South Beach State Park, 9 a.m. at the South Jetty Trailhead. Just south of Newport.
Sunset Bay State Park, 8 a.m. at the Sunset Bay gazebo (southern coast).
Tugman State Park, 9 a.m. in the main parking lot (southern coast).
Cape Ferrelo (Sam Boardman State Scenic Corridor), 10 a.m. in the parking lot. On the southern coast as well.
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.
On January 1, in Yachats. You'll find the Peace Hike. Join the Yachats Trails Committee for an invigorating walk from the Commons to the Amanda Statue, a few miles down the road and up the Amanda Trail. The walk is six miles round trip.
The statue is dedicated to the memory of a blind Native American woman who suffered during a kind of genocide of local tribes in the 1860's. There, the group will take a few moments to pause and offer blessings of peace. Hikers will then be invited to walk or shuttle back to the Commons for refreshments and to collect their commemorative Peace Hike button. In the event of heavy rain or wind, a shorter hike on an alternate route will take place. Dress for changeable weather. Wear sturdy shoes and bring your walking sticks. The hike will be on both paved and narrow dirt trail surfaces with some stairs and slight inclines. 10 a.m.-1 p.m. 441 Hwy 101 N. Yachats, Oregon. 541-547-3640.
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