New Years Day at Smith Rock

For the third year in a row, the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department is partnering with America's State Parks to offer free guided First Day Hikes in state parks across Oregon on New Year's Day.

Locally, a special hike will take place at Smith Rock State Park on Jan. 1, when the usual $5 day-use parking fee will be waived. Two hikes are planned: from 10 a.m.-noon, and 1-3 p.m. The hike will start at the welcome center.

Directions to the park are available on the Oregon State Parks website at

The hike will be one mile long, over compacted gravel or packed snow with little elevation change, with time estimated at about 90 minutes. Call 541-548-7501 for more information.

Hikers will tour the park's interior on the Rim Rock Trail and see a bald eagle's nest. Hot cider and hot chocolate will be available in the welcome center.

Participants should dress in layers, wear sturdy shoes, and bring water as well as a camera or binoculars for wildlife viewing. In case of inclement weather, the park should be contacted directly to find out about cancellation.

A list of helpful cold-weather hiking tips is available from the American Hiking Society online at For the latest on road conditions, consult the Oregon Department of Transportation's TripCheck website at

This year, OPRD is asking participants to share photos of their First Day Hike via social media by using the Twitter hashtag #ORfirstdayhikes or tagging "Oregon State Parks" on Facebook. Images can also be emailed to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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