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Guided hike at Smith Rock State Park on New Year's Day starts off year with exercise.

The First Day Hikes tradition continues New Year's Day 2018, when the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department joins America's State Parks in sponsoring the seventh annual event.

All 24 hikes in 22 Oregon state parks will be guided by park rangers or volunteers who will share stories about a park's geology, history, wildlife and plants. Day-use parking fees are waived for all visitors at participating parks on Jan. 1 only. Hikers can register for a hike at the Oregon State Parks Store, http://bit.ly/ParkStoreEvents. Online registration is new this year, although not required, and will help park staff plan for the hike and provide them with participant contact information should hike details change. "Bundle up and enjoy your first walk of the year with us," said Lisa Sumption, OPRD director. "First Day Hikes are a fun, healthy way to start 2018 and a great way to see that Oregon state parks are great any time of year." OPRD advises visitors to plan for inclement weather, dress in layers, wear sturdy shoes, bring water and remember to carry binoculars for viewing wildlife.

Check the hike listings on the website for details about recommended ages for children hiking and whether pets are allowed. Participating parks and meeting areas include Smith Rock State Park, at 10 a.m. Meet at the Welcome Center. The hike is limited to 35 participants. Reserve your spot at http://bit.ly/SmithRock2018FDH.

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