Among the Jan. 1 activities will be a guided geology hike at Silver Falls. (Photo by Jakob S. Waters/Getty Images via Canva)

Guided First Day Hikes, led by rangers and volunteers, are set for 20 Oregon state parks on New Year’s Day.

Participants can join hikes to learn about park history, geology, wildlife and plants at parks around the state. Hikes are free and the $5 day-use parking fee is waived for all state parks that require a parking permit and are open.

“A guided hike is a great way to kick off 2023 in the outdoors and begin a new tradition or continue a longstanding family tradition,” Lisa Sumption, director of the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department, said in a press release. “As our centennial year comes to a close, we’re excited to begin the next 100 years of Oregon State Parks and continue to offer year-round recreation.”

Visit the Oregon First Day Hikes webpage to see the list of parks hosting hikes as well as the start times and meetup locations. Additional hike information is also available including terrain and hike distance via the park links on the webpage. A few hikes require registration.

Officials remind participants to plan for winter weather, dress in layers, wear sturdy shoes, bring water and carry binoculars for viewing wildlife. They also encourage the sharing of photos via Twitter and Instagram by using the hashtag #ORfirstdayhikes or tagging “Oregon State Parks” on Facebook. 

First Day Hikes is a national initiative to welcome the coming year in the outdoors, promote exercise and encourage connecting with nature. The Oregon Parks and Recreation Department has participated since 2012.