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Local parks and more than 40 statewide will offer First Day Hikes

A number of local parks will be starting off the new year by offering First Day Hikes.

Washington State Parks is inviting the public to take a First Day Hike on Jan. 1, 2022.

At least 42 state parks have scheduled staff-led hikes, self-guided hikes, dog strolls, cross-country ski trips and more for New Year’s Day.

This includes local hikes at Bottle Beach, Cape Disappointment, Lake Sylvia, Ocean City, and Schafer State Parks.

State parks in every part of Washington will host free, family-friendly activities.

Jan. 1 marks the first free day of 2022 and 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. A few parks will host more than one hike with options tailored to various interests and abilities. Additionally, some hikes may include an educational component as rangers will speak on the history or natural features of the area.

First Day Hikes is a national initiative led by America’s State Parks, encouraging people to get outdoors on New Year’s Day. Last year, nearly 85,000 people hiked over 176,366 miles during these free events throughout the nation.

First Day Hike activities include:

  • A 5.5-mile, ranger-led hike on the Columbia Plateau Trail in southeastern Washington
  • A .25-mile staff-led trip on a paved walkway to views of Palouse Falls with geological information.
  • A dog-friendly stroll at Sacajawea State Park.
  • A guided snowshoe at Lake Wenatchee with snowshoe rentals available.
  • A stroller-accessible hike in an old-growth forest at Millersylvania

Most First Day Hikes require advanced registration and group sizes may be limited.

Visit the State parks website to view all activities and registration information.

Local First Day Hikes:

BOTTLE BEACH STATE PARK

  • Name of Hike: Ranger-Led Interpretive Hike
  • Name of Trail: Bottle Beach Trail
  • Time: 9 a.m.
  • Length of hike: 1.5 miles
  • Where to meet: Bottle Beach State Park Parking lot
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • ADA accessible: No
  • Stroller accessible: No
  • Minimum age: 5
  • Leashed dogs allowed? No
  • Restrictions: No restrictions
  • Things to bring: Binoculars will enhance the experience but aren’t required.
  • Contact/Organizer: Lisa Whalen Call (360) 584-2023 or email [email protected]
  • Additional Information: Come take an easy guided hike with Ranger Lisa at Bottle Beach State Park. Learn about the park history and wildlife while exploring several different habitats. Bottle Beach State Park is one of the premier birding locations in the state so bring your binoculars! Jr. Ranger books will be available for kids who want to earn their badge.
  • Contact Number: 360-268-9717

CAPE DISAPPOINTMENT STATE PARK

  • Name of hike: Cape Disappointment Lighthouse Hike
  • Name of trail: Cape Disappointment Trail
  • Time: 10 a.m.
  • Length of hike: 3 miles round trip
  • Where to meet: Cape Disappointment Trailhead near Park Office. Park at Waikiki Beach near the restrooms, not the jetty.
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Minimum age of participant: All are welcome to attend.
  • ADA accessible? No
  • Stroller accessible? No
  • Dogs allowed on leash? Yes
  • Restrictions: U.S. Coast Guard, Station Cape Disappointment permits park visitors access to the Cape Disappointment Lighthouse trail during daylight hours, and when conditions are deemed safe. If 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. However, no access to the Cape Disappointment Lighthouse will be available.
  • What to bring: Prepare for muddy, windy and wet conditions. Sturdy footwear is recommended. Hiking poles, snacks, water or other comforts may be desired.
  • Contact/Organizer: Stephen Wood. Call (360) 642-3029 or email [email protected]
  • Additional Information: Recently, the Coast Guard reopened access to the Cape Disappointment Lighthouse, and the hike culminates at the 165 year-old beacon. Views of the North Jetty, Mouth of the Columbia River and Dead Man‘s Cove afford hikers with a stunning visual guide. Come for a hike, stretch your legs and learn more about this area, known to mariners as the Graveyard of the Pacific.

LAKE SYLVIA STATE PARK

  • Name of Hike: Lake Sylvia Forest
  • Name of Trail: Lake Sylvia Forestry Creek Trail
  • Time: 1 p.m.
  • Length of hike: 1.5 miles
  • Where to meet: Lake Sylvia State Park day-use area
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • ADA accessible: No
  • Stroller accessible: No
  • Minimum age: 10
  • Leashed dogs allowed? Yes
  • Restrictions: N/A
  • Things to bring: Rain gear
  • Contact/Organizer: Ranger Bair. Call (360) 289-3553 or email [email protected]
  • Additional Information: Hike led by Ranger Bair.
  • Contact Number: 360-289-3553

OCEAN CITY STATE PARK

  • Name of Hike: Forest to Coast: The Unique Ecology of the Northern Shores
  • Time: 11 a.m.
  • Length of hike: 0.3 miles
  • Where to meet: Ocean City State Park day-use aea
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • ADA accessible: No
  • Stroller accessible: Yes
  • Minimum age: All ages
  • Leashed dogs allowed? Yes
  • Restrictions: N/A
  • Things to bring: Rain gear
  • Contact/Organizer: Ranger Noble Call (360) 589-9003 or email [email protected]
  • Additional Information: Hike led by Ranger Noble. Special presentation on forest and coastal ecology by Ranger Noble. Junior Ranger activities available. Kids will have an opportunity to meet Bagley Beaver.
  • Contact Number: Office: 360-289-3553 / Cell: 360-589-9003

SCHAFER STATE PARK

  • Name of Hike: Schafer Forest Trail
  • Name of Trail: Schafer Forest Trail
  • Time: 10 a.m.
  • Length of hike: 2 miles
  • Where to meet: Historical Marker at entrance of park
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • ADA accessible: No
  • Stroller accessible: No
  • Leashed dogs allowed? Yes
  • Contact/Organizer: Ranger Galli Call (360) 482-3852 or email [email protected]
  • Additional Information: This will be a hike through Schafer forest. We will talk about the Satsop River, its history, and the local wildlife.
  • Contact Number: 360-482-3852


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