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First Day Hikes on Oregon Coast a Special Event for New Year's Day

Published 12/20/2019 at 5:35 AM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

First Day Hikes on Oregon Coast a Special Event for New Year's Day

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(Oregon Coast) – A broad range of getting-back-to-nature events are held on the Oregon coast on New Year’s Day, including those infamous polar bear plunges that happen in little towns like Arch Cape, Manzanita, Newport and others. But among the more high profile (and not so chilly) are the First Day Hikes held by Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD) throughout the state. (Above: Seal Rock)

37 hikes in 31 parks are part of this year’s First Day Hikes. 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 January 1 only.

This is the eighth year in a row that OPRD has partnered with America’s State Parks to offer the free hikes.

OPRD strongly suggest dressing for inclement weather.

Hikes are held in all corners of the state, including Portland, eastern Oregon, central Oregon, the Columbia Gorge, the Willamette Valley, the Cascades and of course the Oregon coast. See OregonTravelDaily.com soon for full story.

On the coastline, the hikes found are:

Bullards Beach State Park (Bandon): 1 p.m., meet at the meeting hall.
Cape Meares State Scenic Viewpoint (near Oceanside): noon, meet in the Cape Meares parking lot.
Crissey Field State Recreation Site (by Brookings): 11 a.m., meet at the welcome center.
Fort Stevens State Park (at Warrenton): 10 a.m., meet in the Battery Russell parking lot.
Humbug Mountain State Park (Port Orford): 10 a.m., meet at the Humbug Mountain trailhead.
Jessie M. Honeyman Memorial State Park (by Florence): 10 a.m., meet in the group camp parking lot.
Oswald West State Park (near Manzanita): 8 a.m., meet at the Cape Falcon trailhead.
Seal Rock State Recreation Site: 9:30 a.m., meet in the Seal Rock parking lot.
Umpqua Lighthouse State Park (Reedsport): 1 p.m., meet at Lake Marie Day-use area.
William M. Tugman State Park (Lakeside): 10 a.m., meet at the Eel Lake boat ramp.

Up on the north Oregon coast, the hike hosted by Fort Stevens is a special one.

The hike begins at 10 a.m. and starts in the Battery Russell Parking Lot. It’s a moderate, two-mile hike on the Fire Control Hill Trail. They recommend the hike for children at least 4 years old.

Contact information 503-861-3170.

OPRD said you’ll be hiking along the top of the same forested dune that Battery Russell was constructed atop. Encounter the massive concrete Battery Russell and other remnants of the fort's historic past. Learn why two pontoon boats sit in the middle of the forest. Dogs permitted on a six-foot leash. Trail not suitable for strollers.

Participants should dress in layers, wear sturdy shoes, and bring water as well as a camera or binoculars for wildlife viewing.

Share photos of First Day Hikes via Twitter and Instagram by using the hashtag #ORfirstdayhikes or tagging “Oregon State Parks” on Facebook.

Hikers can register for specific hikes online at the Oregon State Parks Stores. While online registration isn’t required for participation, visitors are encouraged to register.

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