Free 'first day' hikes event returns to Oregon on Jan. 1
State park rangers have a message for everyday Oregonians: Go take a hike — literally.
The Oregon Parks & Recreation Department has announced it will once again offer free guided hikes in 31 parks across the state on the first day of the year.
All hikes are free, and day-use parking fees will be waved as well at participating parks on Tuesday, Jan. 1.
The New Year's Day hikes will be hosted by park rangers and volunteers, who will share stories about each local park's "history, geology, wildlife and plants." You can register for specific parks online here.
Registration is not required, but officials say signing up allows them to plan better and inform participants if anything changes at the last minute.
All visitors are advised to dress warmly and bring water, study shoes and binoculars for viewing wildlife.
Here's the complete list of all First Day Hikes to be offered on New Year's Day 2019:
• L.L. Stub Stewart State Park: 10 a.m., meet at Hilltop Day-use area.
• Tryon Creek State Park: 9 a.m., meet at the nature center.
COLUMBIA RIVER GORGE
• Deschutes River State Recreation Area: 9 a.m., meet at Oregon Trail kiosk.
• Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail: 1 p.m., meet at Mark O. Hatfield Visitors Center West trailhead.
• Latourell Falls (Guy W. Talbot State Park): 10 a.m., meet at Latourell Falls parking lot.
• Starvation Creek State Park: 10 a.m., meet at Starvation Creek Falls trailhead.
• Champoeg State Heritage Area: 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., meet at the visitor center.
• Dexter State Recreation Site: 11:00 a.m., meet at the information kiosk for disc golf.
• Elijah Bristow State Park: noon, meet at the equestrian parking area for horse riding (bring your own horse.)
• Fort Yamhill State Heritage Area: 11 a.m., meet at the main parking lot.
• Silver Falls State Park: 10 a.m., meet at South Falls Lodge porch.
• Bullards Beach State Park: 1 p.m., meet at the meeting hall.
• Cape Lookout State Park: noon, meet in the Lookout Trailhead parking lot.
• Fort Stevens State Park: 10 a.m., meet at parking lot A.
• Jessie M. Honeyman Memorial State Park: 10 a.m., meet at Cleawox Lodge.
• Oswald West State Park: 8 a.m., meet at Elk Flats Trail parking lot. Parking is limited; please arrive early, carpool, or use another nearby lot.
• Port Orford Heads State Park: 1 p.m., meet at Port Orford Heads lifeboat.
• South Beach State Park: 10 a.m., meet at the park day-use area.
• Umpqua Lighthouse State Park: 10 a.m., meet at Lake Marie swim area.
• Whale Watch Center at Depoe Bay: 10 a.m., meet at the Whale Watch Center.
• Collier Memorial State Park: 9 a.m., meet at Logging Museum parking lot.
• Joseph H. Stewart State Recreation Area: 11 a.m., meet at the group camp.
• OC & E Woods State Line Trail: 9 a.m., meet at Switchbacks trailhead.
• TouVelle State Park: 1 p.m., meet at TouVelle area F parking lot.
• Valley of the Rogue State Park: 1 p.m., meet at Valley of the Rogue program area.
• Cottonwood Canyon State Park: 10 a.m., meet at the experience center.
• Emigrant Springs State Heritage Area: 11 a.m., meet at the day-use parking lot (right of park entrance.)
• LaPine State Park: 11 a.m., meet at south loop.
Smith Rock State Park: 10 a.m., meet at the welcome center.
• Tumalo State Park: 11 a.m., meet at Deschutes River Trail trailhead, near the day-use parking lot.
• Wallowa Lake State Park: 10:30 a.m., meet at the parking area across from the south entrance of Iwetemlaykin State Heritage Site.