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First Day Hikes on Washington Coast Stretch Your Legs and Your Brain

Published 12/28/21 at 5:52 PM PST
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

First Day Hikes on Washington Coast Stretch Your Legs and Your Brain

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(Westport, Washington) – Just as on the Oregon coast, the Washington coast will see a few guided walks with the First Day Hikes on New Year's Day. Some 42 parks across Washington State will host these, with three along the coastal region. (Photos courtesy Washington State Parks)

It's put on by Washington State Parks (WSP).

“State parks in every part of Washington will host free, family-friendly activities,” said WSP. “Jan. 1 marks the first free day of 2022. Visitors won't need a Discover Pass to park on state recreation lands. First Day Hikes will range in difficulty from paved, flat ADA-accessible trails to moderate hill climbs.”

In each case on the Washington coast, these are hikes led by rangers who will speak on the history or other natural features of the area.

Most First Day Hikes require advanced registration and group sizes may be limited. See the WSP website for further information.

Bottle Beach State Park, Near Westport

It's a ranger-led interpretive hike along the Bottle Beach Trail, which goes along for 1.5 miles. The hike starts at 9 a.m.; meet at the Bottle Beach State Park parking lot. The minimum age for participating is five years old, but WSP says it is an easy hike.

Dogs are not allowed, and the hike will not be ADA accessible or accessible for strollers.

Ranger Lisa will lead you along the trail as you learn about park history and wildlife, while checking out various habitats. Bottle Beach State Park is one of the premier birding locations in the state, so WSP strongly suggests you bring your binoculars. Jr. Ranger books will be available for kids who want to earn their badge.

Call: 360-268-9717.

Cape Disappointment Lighthouse Hike

Visit the south Washington coast's most dramatic shoreline, where gargantuan waves sometimes pummel these sheer cliffs. It all begins at 10 a.m. and takes you on a moderate but 3-mile round trip, where you eventually end up at the Cape Disappointment Lighthouse. You won't be able to get inside the 165-year-old beacon, but you'll be able to catch a large variety of striking sights.

“Views of the North Jetty, Mouth of the Columbia River and Dead Man‘s Cove afford hikers with a stunning visual guide,” WSP said. “Come for a hike, stretch your legs and learn more about this area, known to mariners as the Graveyard of the Pacific.”

If for some reason the Coast Guard trail is closed and weather conditions are safe, a shortened 1.5 mile round-trip hike will be offered from the same starting point. You'll meet at the Cape Disappointment Trailhead near the park's office; park at Waikiki Beach near the restrooms, not the jetty.

Dogs will be allowed on leashes, but the hike does not allow for strollers or wheelchair access. Call (360) 642-3029.

Ocean City State Park


Here, just north of Ocean Shores, you'll get to witness the “Unique Ecology of the Northern Shores” of the Washington coast. It's a quick and easy hike, about a third of a mile, starting at 11 a.m. You meet at the Ocean City State Park day-use area.

A special hike and presentation led by Ranger Noble, he takes you through the forest and coastal ecology of this beautiful section of coastline. Kids will have the opportunity to meet Bagley Beaver.

Dogs on leashes will be allowed, but the hike is not accessible to strollers and wheelchairs. Call: 360-289-3553.

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Courtesy Explore Westport

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