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First Day Hike launches the beginning of Oregon's State Park Centennial celebration

COURTESY PHOTO: TOD HONEYWELL - The First Day hikers make their way up a canyonside at Cove Palisades 
State Park Saturday. The two-mile hike brought participants to the 
overlook viewpoints, where they viewed eagles and took in that 
fantastic view of Lake Billy Chinook.As the new year began, Cove Palisades state park set out with 16 hikers and two dogs to enjoy the wetlands and rim trail on the bright and brisk first afternoon of 2022.

The hike was part of a statewide "First Day Hikes" initiative, with guided hikes throughout the state and free entrance and parking at all state parks in Oregon. This is part of the larger centennial celebration of Oregon's state park system in 2022.

The hike, about 2 miles long, went through the wetlands and up the rim trail to overlook Lake Billy Chinook. "We ended up having a great turn out," said Tod Honeywell, a manager at the park. "The weather really gave us a break…I'm hoping we can do more small events like this during the year."

The hikers that braved the cold were rewarded. As temperatures peaking just above freezing with the sun out in the afternoon, the group spotted a few deer as they hiked up the rim grade and watched a soaring bald eagle from the rim overlook.

Cove Palisades State Park is not open for camping again until March, but the many trails and overlooks are open to explore throughout the year.

COURTESY PHOTO: TOD HONEYWELL - On New Year's Day, 16 hikers went from the Crooked River campground boat trailer parking lot through the wetlands and up onto the rim trail 
overlooking Lake Billy Chinook. The high temperature that day was 29 degrees.


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