As of Wednesday, December 27, 2017
Washington State Parks invites the public to start the new year off with a First Day Hike on Monday, Jan. 1, at more than three dozen state parks across Washington.
“First Day Hikes are a fitting way to cap off the holidays and discover the off-season appeal of Washington’s state parks,” said Don Hoch, Washington State Parks director. “This year parks are offering something for every fitness level and interest, including guided hikes with rangers, snowshoe treks and fat bike rides.”
First Day Hikes will take place in a diverse and dramatic range of landscapes and historic features, including coastal beaches, islands, waterfalls, lowland forests, lighthouses, geological points of interest and more.
Washington was among the first states in the nation to participate in First Day Hikes, a nationwide initiative organized by the National Association of State Parks Directors.
Currently, all 50 state park systems participate in the effort. More information about the program and hikes being offered all over the country is here: www.naspd.org/initiatives-special-programs/first-day-hikes/.
Jan. 1 also is the first of 12 Washington State Parks “free days” taking place in 2018. Park visitors will not need to display the Discover Pass on vehicles to access state parks for the New Year’s Day activities or for other state park visits on that day.
The only First Day Hikes at a Washington state parks scheduled in the Gorge is in Skamania County:
Beacon Rock State Park: Take a nearly 2-mile round trip hike up the big rock, and marvel at the nearly 100-year-old engineering feat of manpower that created the trail.
Meet at 10 a.m. at the small picnic shelter across from the office, just west of the trailhead. (Park map: http://parks.state.wa.us/DocumentCenter/Home/View/1840)