First Day Hikes 2017

Fatbiking-Pearrygin
December 15, 2016

Rise up.
Take stock.
Get outside.
Let’s go for a walk!


 
Or a bike ride, a snow-shoe, a cross-country ski excursion…whatever gets your blood pumping this January 1!

The season of resolution and renewal is nearly upon us. Are you thinking about stepping up to the challenge of getting in those recommended three to five miles per day but don’t want to face the (eek) treadmill? Your Washington State Parks are here to help you get a start on meeting your goals with more First Day Hikes in more parks than ever before! Ring in 2017 with one (or even two) of the more than three dozen First Day Hikes happening at 32 parks statewide!

First Day Hikes are happening all across the nation on Jan. 1 and are organized in conjunction with America’s State Parks. Welcome 2017 with healthy, active outdoor fun! New Year’s Day is also a Washington State Parks ’Free Day.’ You won’t need a Discover Pass to visit a state park. Some parks are offering multiple hikes, bike rides or snow adventures sure to please a variety of abilities and interests! And don’t forget to get your First Day Hikes pin as a memento of your outing!

Ready to pick your First Day Hike? Read on to start planning your trip. And please share your photos and First Day Hike story with us after the event!

Please note: Phone numbers are provided in case you are concerned about a possible cancellation. Otherwise, just show up (unless registration is required). For more information about First Day Hikes in general, contact Becki Ellison, 360-902-8502. For directions to a park, follow the link to the state park web page.
trip planner

ISLAND STATE PARKS

DSC
Picture perfect! Photogenic Admiralty Head Lighthouse is just one of the many great sights you’ll find at Fort Casey on a First Day Hike!

Cama Beach State Park


Camano Island
Take a hike—or two! At noon, travel through the island’s forest with stops to explore flora, fauna with a visit to a small lake—the site of good bird habitat. Watch for signs of busy beaver activity along the trail which ends at the top of an old beaver dam.

The second hike will be at a leisurely pace with frequent stops to allow for photography and conversation. Take a step back in time, learn about the area and Cama Beach Resort history. The hike will travel down the Old Entrance Road and along the 1930s cabin area and return to the Cama Center.

When: First hike at noon; second hike at 2 p.m.
Where: Meet at the Cama Center
Name of trail: Noon hike will travel the Old Exit Trail to Cranberry Lake and return by Ivy Lane Trail connecting to Bluff Trail. 2 p.m.  hike is along Bluff Trail to Old Entrance Trail connecting to the Beach Trail.
Length of Hike: Noon hike—2.6 miles round trip. Second hike— 1.2 mile loop.
Difficulty: Noon hike, moderate. 2 p.m. hike easy.
Things to know:  None
Minimum Age: Walking age or in a backpack. An outdoor stroller would be able to navigate both trails.
Gear: Water. Clothing appropriate for the weather, hat, gloves, and warm clothes in layers.  Footwear that is good on dirt trails and possibly slippery ground.
Pets: Dogs, on leash
Cancellation info: (425) 312-4173

Camano Island State Park


Camano Island
Looking to break a sweat? The noon hike will be primarily for exercise with minimal stops.  Enjoy water views to the Olympic Mountains as you work out.  Travel from the beach is uphill and includes stairs; elevation change is less than 200 feet.  Careful! The Beach Trail has cobble and driftwood, footing can be slippery. See old growth trees and yew trees in the forested Al Emerson Nature Trail section.  Descend to the bluff trail, walk down stairs in a fern grotto and by a small freshwater marsh area to complete the loop.

Or take the 2 p.m. hike for a more leisurely pace. Enjoy frequent stops to allow for photography, description of the area, the history, animals and plants. This hike has little elevation gain, but does include a couple of steps. Birds are often in the marsh. It is surrounded by forest with Madrone, Douglas and Grand Fir trees.

Light snacks will be served at the end of the hikes at the Kitchen Shelter.

When:  First hike at noon, second hike at 2 p.m.
Where:  Meet at the Camano Island Kitchen Shelter
Name of trail: Noon hike will travel the Beach Trail to North Beach, continuing to Powerline Trail and Al Emerson Nature Trail, then connecting to Loop Trail and Canyon Trail. 2 p.m. hike is along Marsh Trail.
Length of Hike: Noon hike—2.75 mile loop. Second hike— .3 mile loop.
Difficulty: Noon hike, moderate. 2 p.m. hike easy.
Things to know: The noon hike may be too strenuous for very young hikers.
Minimum Age: Walking age or in a backpack.
Gear: Water. Clothing appropriate for the weather, hat, gloves, and warm clothes in layers.  Footwear that is good on dirt trails and possibly slippery ground.
Pets: Dogs, on leash
Cancellation info: (425) 312-4173

Deception Pass State Park


Oak Harbor
Get our First Day Hike will take place on part of the Pacific Northwest Trail; a 1,200 mile National Scenic Trail that runs right through Deception Pass State Park! It will be a two-part event for you to enjoy – a hike along Goose Rock and then a fun presentation by the Pacific Northwest Trail Association (PNTA).

Starting at the Cornet Bay Retreat Center, Park staff will guide hikers around Goose Rock and then up and over the top. Along the way find great views of Cornet Bay, go through thickly wooded forests, and climb to one of the highest points on Whidbey Island. From the summit you can look out west to Deception Island, south over Cranberry Lake to much of Whidbey, and east over to Cornet Bay to the Cascades.

Back at the Retreat Center, enjoy warm drinks and snacks courtesy of the Deception Pass Park Foundation while the PNTA Executive Director Jeff Kish presents, “Experience the Pacific Northwest Trail”

When: 10 a.m.
Where: Meet at the Cornet Bay Retreat Center
Name of trail: Goose Rock Perimeter and peak
Length of Hike: 2.5 miles
Difficulty: Moderate
Things to know: None
Minimum Age: Walking age or in a backpack.
Gear: Water, clothing appropriate for the weather, hat, gloves, and warm clothes in layers.  Footwear that is good on dirt trails and possibly slippery ground. Sunshine.
Pets: Dogs, on leash
Cancellation info: Posted on www.deceptionpassfoundation.org

South Whidbey State Park


Freeland
Take an hour or two out for these two short hikes and you’ll go home with food for thought enough to last the year! Meet in front of the Ranger House and head out along Wilbert Interpretive Trail with Interpretive Specialist Janet Hall. Dive into the old-growth forest and learn about how these incredible trees were saved for future generations. Or take a walk with the students of the Calyx Community Arts School to learn about the old growth forest along the Forest Discovery Trail.

When: Both hikes will begin at 10 a.m.
Where: Meet in front of the Ranger House
Name of trail: Wilbert Interpretive and Forest Discovery Trails
Length of Hike: 0.9 miles for Wilbert hike and  0.7 for the Forest Discovery hike
Difficulty: Moderate (due to coastal winter conditions)
Things to know: Trails are not ADA accessible
Minimum Age: Walking age or in a backpack.
Gear: Water bottle, warm clothes, walking shoes and a walking stick if needed.
Pets: Dogs, on leash
Cancellation info: Call (360) 678-4915. Cancellations will be decided by 9 a.m.

Fort Ebey State Park


Coupeville
History! Geology! Flora and fauna! There’s lots to learn and calories to burn at Fort Ebey State Park this Jan. 1! Take a trek with Parks Interpretive Specialist Janet Hall along several trails and learn about the forest and the exciting history of Fort Ebey. Explore the gun battery maze of rooms and find out how they were used. Discover more historical facts as you hike up the Water Tower Trail and find out how  Ice-Age glaciers helped shape this park’s unique landscape.

When: 1:30 p.m.
Where: Meet by the Battery. Park in the Gun Battery parking Area
Name of trail: Gun Battery Trail to Water Tower Trail to the Hootin Trail to the Campground Trail looping back to the battery.
Length of Hike: 1 or 2 miles, depending on participant’s preference
Difficulty: Moderate
Things to know: Trails are not ADA accessible
Minimum Age: Walking age or in a backpack.
Gear: Water bottle, warm clothes, walking shoes and a walking stick if needed. Be prepared for wet and/or windy weather
Pets: Dogs, on leash
Cancellation info: (360) 678-4519

Fort Casey Historical State Park


Coupeville
Take a stroll around the grounds. This gentle hike takes you to the upper hill of the fort for commanding views of the park and a discussion on the fort’s history. Then wend your way through the picnic area and forest and up to the lighthouse for even more awesome interpretive talks on the history of Admiralty Head Lighthouse! Easy. Breezy. Sure to please-y!

When: 1:30 p.m.
Where: Meet at the kiosk display board between the main parking lot and Battery Worth (the two big guns)
Name of trail: Walking tour of the historical fort and lighthouse
Length of Hike: 0.75 miles
Difficulty: Easy
Things to know: Trails are not entirely ADA accessible
Minimum Age: Walking age or in a backpack.
Gear: Water bottle, warm clothes, walking shoes and a walking stick if needed. Be prepared for wet and/or windy weather
Pets: Dogs, on leash
Cancellation info: (360) 678-4519

Lime Kiln Point State Park


Friday Harbor
Explore the natural and ancient and recent histories of this unique and beautiful place in the San Juan archipelago. Enjoy dramatic views of Haro Strait and Vancouver Island from the rocky, tide-carved shores.  Journey from the lighthouse to the park’s namesake lime kiln and quarries. Then on to Dead Man’s Bay for some stunning views and back to the Interpretive Center where you can enjoy even more history and learning as you warm up.

When: Noon to 2 p.m.
Where: Interpretive center, lower parking lot
Name of trail: Walking tour of the historical fort and lighthouse
Length of Hike: A little more than 2 miles
Difficulty: Moderate
Things to know: Trails are not entirely ADA accessible
Minimum Age: None, but strollers will not be able to access trails. Walking age or in a backpack
Gear: Water bottle, clothes appropriate for weather and sturdy shoes
Pets: No
Cancellation info: (360) 378-2044

Moran State Park


Olga
Follow Friends of Moran State Park on a guided stroll around the serene Cascade Lake Loop, a 2.7 mile trail in the heart of Moran State Park. Wander through the sacred grove to picturesque bluffs and over a historic bridge spanning the Cascade Lagoon. The trail passes by quiet coves and completes the loop at the Cascade Lake Picnic Area where warm beverages and a crackling fire await. The hike ends just in time for the Annual Polar Bear Plunge beginning at 11 a.m. sharp! The Polar Bear Plunge is an Orcas Island tradition, bringing in the New Year with a quick dip into Cascade Lake and a quicker run back to the fire.

When: 9:30 a.m.
Where: Meet at the Cascade Lake Picnic Shelter 
Name of trail: Cascades Lake Loop
Length of Hike: 2.7 miles
Difficulty: Moderate
Things to know: None
Minimum Age: 5
Gear: Water and warm clothing, sturdy shoes for weather and trail conditions. Binoculars for birders!
Pets: Dogs, on leash
Cancellation info: (360) 376-2326

PUGET SOUND AND HOOD CANAL


Dosewallips-in-Winter-CCFKR-Sarah-Sammis
Explore the unique beauty of winter in the Hood Canal region at Dosewallips State Park. Photo by Sarah Sammis

Dosewallips State Park


Brinnon
Enjoy an easy half-mile guided hike through forest, to the beach and uplands along Hood Canal. The program will focus on saltwater and freshwater ecosystems in the park and will include a look at some shellfish specimens. Bring your camera and enjoy views from a unique viewing platform. Snacks are provided.

When: Noon
Where: Meet at the Meadows Trailhead located on the opposite end of the highway bridge from the park entrance
Name of trail: Beach Trail
Length of Hike: .5 miles
Difficulty: Easy
Things to know: None
Minimum Age: None
Gear: Dress warm and be prepared for blustery conditions
Pets: Dogs, on leash
Cancellation info: (360)796-4415

Saltwater State Park


Des Moines
Join park staff and the Friends of Saltwater State Park for a full-morning tour of the park’s flora, fauna and rich history!  Take a light stroll on the interpretive trail or a longer trek along the loop trail. Then enjoy light refreshments as you visit the historic Civilian Conservation Corps cabin. Learn about the history of Saltwater State Park which is 90 years old and view the displays in the Forest and Marine room within the cabin.  Local scuba divers also will be available to answer questions about the marine life and the park’s underwater reef.  The cabin will remain open until noon.

When: Open house begins at the CCC cabin at 9:30 a.m. and hikes begin at 10 a.m.
Where: Meet at the CCC cabin
Name of trail: Participants may choose from the Interpretive Trail or continue along the Loop Trail
Length of Hike: .3 miles for Interpretive trail, 1.8 miles for Loop Trail which includes Interpretive trail
Difficulty: Easy to moderate
Things to know: None
Minimum Age: None
Gear: Dress warm and be prepared for blustery conditions
Pets: No
Cancellation info: (253) 661-4955

Tolmie State Park


Olympia
Cruise around the outer edges of the park via the Four Cedar Trail for a new perspective on this popular Puget Sound park. The forested trails are used year round by some but this will be a chance for others to find out what Tolmie has to offer besides the dynamic South Puget Sound shoreline. On this walk you will see a variety of land classifications and the vegetation that grows in each of them. Guides will give you a new perspective on your hike pointing out things you may not always notice while on a forest hike.

When: 9 a.m.
Where: Lower parking lot/Shelter Area
Name of trail: Nature Trail
Length of Hike: 2.5 miles
Difficulty: Moderate
Things to know: None
Minimum Age: None
Gear: Hiking boots as the trail can be muddy during the winter. Water, wet weather gear, camera
Pets: No
Cancellation info: (360) 753-1519

SOUTHWEST AND COASTAL STATE PARKS


Cape-Disappointment-Lighthouse-
Skadoosh! Looking for epic in a First Day Hike? There’s no guarantees on the weather, but any tour of Cape Disappointment is sure to be a spectacular! Photo by Ben Amstutz

Battle Ground Lake State Park


Battle Ground
Enjoy a walk in the woods as you circle the rim of an old volcano and the edge of Battle Ground Lake.  This will be two hikes in one, with some options for hikers to take shorter or longer routes.  The hike begins at an easy pace on the Upper Lake Trail, with a short-cut back to the shelter around the half way point—about 1 mile. Want more? Follow your guide for another mile down to the Lower Lake Trail for a  hike along the shoreline.  There is little elevation gain/loss over the whole hike, but the volcanic nature of the terrain makes the trails rough and rocky in places

When: 1 p.m.
Where: Picnic shelter in day-use area
Name of trail: Upper and Lower Lake Trails
Length of Hike: 1-2 miles, depending on hiker’s choice of route
Difficulty: Easy to moderate
Things to know: No strollers due to the rocky terrain
Minimum Age: None
Gear: Hiking boots as the trail can be muddy during the winter.
Pets: Dogs, on a leash
Cancellation info: (360) 687-4621

Cape Disappointment State Park


Ilwaco
Enjoy a little new year’s drama—the beautiful scenic  Pacific Ocean kind! Led by Interpretive Specialist Aaron Webster, this hike will explore the wild coastline overlooking the Columbia River Bar, and participants will learn how waves, currents and tides interact in this dynamic environment. Get a taste of this stirring Pacific environment where the Columbia River meets the ocean to create some of the wildest waters in the world!

When: 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Where: Meet at the Benson Beach Amphitheater parking lot.
Name of trail: Benson Beach
Length of Hike: 3 miles
Difficulty: Moderate
Things to know: None
Minimum Age: None
Gear: Water bottle, foul weather gear
Pets: Dogs, on a leash
Cancellation info: (360) 642-3029

Lake Sylvia State Park


Montesano
What could be better than a hike around an idyllic lake through old-growth forest? How about having a ranger to lead the way and answer questions about this jewel of a park! Get a good afternoon march in with the ranger or take the shorter stroll with a volunteer from Friends of Schafer and Lake Sylvia State Parks (FOSLS). Learn about the colorful history of the Lake Sylvia area and discus native flora and fauna. Then enjoy some cocoa and cookies courtesy of FOSLS.

When: 1 p.m.
Where: Kitchen area
Name of trail: Lake Trail
Length of Hike: 2 miles or shorter depending on hiker’s choice of route
Difficulty: Easy 
Things to know: No strollers due to the rocky terrain
Minimum Age: None
Gear: Water bottle, warm clothing, good hiking shoes or boots and umbrella (if needed).
Pets: Dogs, on a leash
Cancellation info: (360) 249-3621

Lewis & Clark State Park


Winlock
Explore the beautiful old growth forest that Lewis and Clark State Park has to offer. This moderate uphill stroll takes visitors under towering cedar and fir trees strung with lichen and moss, and through a lush, fairytale-like understory teeming with ferns. This trail is often wet during the winter months, so come prepared for a potentially damp experience as you learn about the local flora and fauna. Shorter paths are available for those interested.

When: 10 a.m.
Where: Meet at the main entrance gate
Name of trail: Trail of the Deer Path
Length of Hike: 1.5 miles or shorter depending on hiker’s choice of route
Difficulty: Moderate
Things to know: Be prepared for some minor uphill travel
Minimum Age: None
Gear: Don’t forget to bring plenty of water, warm clothing and rain gear (just in case). Sturdy hiking shoes or muck-boots are strongly encouraged
Pets: Dogs, on a leash
Cancellation info: (360) 274-0962

CASCADE FOOTHILLS STATE PARKS


First-Day-16-5-Wallace-Falls
Fall-ow that Ranger!  Wallace Falls State Park never fails to impress. Bring the whole family for a heckuva hike this Jan. 1!

Nolte State Park


Enumclaw
We just love forested, lakeside hikes. And Nolte State Park’s Lake Trail around Deep Lake is a lovely, easy 1.25-mile-loop. It’s a great pick for families! Start out from the main bulletin board along the trail. The hike will continue around the lake through the forested Green River Gorge. You’ll likely spot woodland animals along the way.  Topics of discussion will include forest and lake ecology.

When: 10:30 a.m.
Where: Meet at the main bulletin board
Name of trail: Lake Trail Loop
Length of Hike: 1.25 miles
Difficulty: Easy
Things to know: None
Minimum Age: None
Gear: Sturdy footwear and layered clothing
Pets: Dogs, on a leash
Cancellation info: (360) 886-0148

Rockport State Park


Rockport
Bring extra socks—a First Day Hike experience at Rockport may just knock yours off (or maybe just get them wet)! There are four hikes to choose from starting at 11 a.m. Hike through a rare, old growth forest of ancient cedar, fir, hemlock and maple teeming with lichen and hung with moss. Some of the Douglas-fir trees are 250 feet tall and more than 300 years old. Visitors can warm up with refreshments by a crackling fire in the park’s Discovery Center, which has crafts, interactive wildlife displays, videos, and books – something for the whole family!

When: 11, noon, 1 and 2 p.m.
Where: Meet at the Discovery Center by the park office
Name of trail: Sauk Springs Trail at 11, noon and 1 p.m.  Evergreen Trail at 2 p.m.
Length of Hike: Sauk Springs, .4 miles, Evergreen Trail, 3 miles
Difficulty: Sauk Springs Trail, easy. Evergreen Trail, moderate
Things to know: None
Minimum Age: None
Gear: Dress for the weather (layers and rain gear) and wear boots for very wet, muddy trails
Pets: Dogs, on a leash
Cancellation info: (360) 853-8461


Wallace Falls State Park


Gold Bar
Did you know that Wallace Falls State Park actually comprises nine waterfalls? Kick off the new year with a 2-mile hike by way of Woody Trail to Middle Falls, by far the most impressive of the falls with a 265-foot drop. The hike to the Middle Falls will take approximately three to four hours round-trip. After this time, you are welcome to continue the hike past Middle Falls. The tour will stop at a few points along the trail for a break, and the ranger will talk about the park and answer questions.

When: 9:30 a.m.
Where: Meet at the Parking Area Trailhead
Name of trail: Woody Trail
Length of Hike: 2.1 miles – one way
Difficulty: Moderate
Things to know: Trail is not ADA accessible
Minimum Age: None
Gear: Winter clothing in layers, sturdy hiking boots, food and water
Pets: Dogs, on a leash
Cancellation info: (360) 793-0420

CENTRAL WASHINGTON STATE PARKS


Ginko-Petrified-Forest
Everybody must get…out to Gingko Petrified Forest State Park for one of the niftiest First Day Hikes ever!

Alta Lake State Park


Pateros
Explore the flora, fauna, and geology of Alta Lake and the Goat Mountain location with a park ranger. Discuss local history and the recent fire seasons, all while leaving no trace! The park rests at the bottom of a glacially carved valley and is included in a transition zone of mountain forest to desert. In addition, this location is at the gateway to the gorgeous Methow Valley and near the confluence of the Columbia and Methow rivers.

When: 1 p.m.
Where: Day-use parking lot near the swim beach
Length of Hike: 2- to 4-mile round trip
Difficulty: Moderate.  Snow and ice levels the day of the event will determine difficulty.
Things to know: Trail is not ADA accessible
Minimum Age: 5 years ; strollers are not recommended
Gear: Water, snacks, warm layers, sturdy footwear, and possibly ice-traction for shoes  and/or snowshoes, depending upon conditions.
Pets: Dogs, on leash
Cancellation Info: (509)923-2473

Bridgeport State Park


Bridgeport
Explore the flora, fauna, and geology of this section of the Columbia River with a park ranger, all while leaving no trace! Witness evidence of the very powerful natural forces that shaped the area and learn what a “haystack” is.  In addition, this location is two miles from Chief Joseph Dam and some impressive tree art in the town of Bridgeport.

When: 9 a.m.
Where: Boat Launch Parking Lot (there’s only one)
Length of Hike: 2- to 4-mile round trip
Difficulty: Easy/ moderate. Snow and ice levels the day of the event will determine difficulty.
Things to know: None
Minimum Age: Any.  All-terrain strollers recommended for the very young
Gear: Water, snacks, warm layers, sturdy footwear and possibly traction shoes (such as Yaktrax) and/or snow shoes, depending upon conditions
Cancellation Info: 509-686-7231

Gingko  Petrified Forest State Park


Vantage
Explore the ancient world permanently cast in stone. Hike the Ginkgo Petrified Forest Trail through an ancient fossil bed with nearly two-dozen exposed petrified logs. Along the trail, you also will find ice-rafted erratics remaining from Ice Age floodwaters thousands of years ago.

When: 1 p.m.
Where: Take I90 Exit 136 for Huntzinger Road. Turn left and go 2.5 miles to the Ginkgo Petrified Forest Interpretive Trails parking lot. This trail is NOT at the Interpretive Center.
Name of trail: Gingko Petrified Forest Trail
Length of Hike: 3 miles
Difficulty: Moderate
Things to know: None
Minimum Age: None
Gear: Dress for potentially windy weather and wear appropriate footwear.
Pets: Dogs, on leash
Cancellation Info:  509-925-1943

Lake Wenatchee State Park


Leavenworth
Take a snowshoe trek or a hike—depending on conditions—through gorgeous scenery along the Wenatchee River, the shore of Lake Wenatchee and forest.  Enjoy light snacks and hot chocolate in the North Reservation Booth following the hike. Feeling brave? Bring your swim gear and stick around until 2 p.m. for the Annual Polar Bear Dip at the South Park. Brrr!

When: 11 a.m.
Where: North Entrance by the reservation booth, which is located 4-1/2 miles from HWY 2 on HWY 207/ Lake Wenatchee Highway. Meet just beyond the reservation station.
Name of trail: Lake Loop Snowshoe Trail
Length of Hike: 1.8 mile loop. Shortcut option available
Difficulty: Moderate
Things to know: Hike is subject to change dependent upon snow/weather conditions
Minimum Age: None
Gear: Snacks, water and warm winter layers. Bring snowshoes if there is snow or appropriate foot wear for hiking if there is now snow.
Pets: Dogs, on leash
Cancellation Info: (509) 763-3101

Lake Chelan State Park


Chelan
Take a turn along the interpretive Little Bear Loop Trail through ponderosa pine forest and learn about the park’s unique position on the convergence of four ecological zones ranging from mountains to desert plateau. Or ask the ranger anything you want—he’s a pretty knowledgeable guy! Be prepared to spend several hours in a freezing environment as this park is already getting snow!

When: 10 a.m.
Where: Lake Chelan State Park office
Name of trail: Little Bear Hiking Trail
Length of Hike: 2.5 miles
Difficulty: Easy
Things to know: None
Minimum Age: 5
Gear: Snacks, water and warm winter layers. Bring snowshoes if there is snow or appropriate foot wear for hiking if there is no snow.
Cancellation Info: (509) 687-3710

Lincoln Rock State Park


East Wenatchee
Take a walk or a ride through the heart of Washington’s apple country! The Rocky Reach Trail is a part of the same trail system as the Apple Capital Loop Trail connecting Lincoln Rock with Wenatchee Confluence State Park. Or bring your bike (and helmet) and take a spin along the Columbia River and through the woods for a fun and invigorating First Day Hike!

When: 11 a.m.
Where: Meet at Lincoln Rock day use shelter
Name of trail: Rocky Reach Trail
Length of Hike: 2 miles
Difficulty: Easy
Things to know: None
Minimum Age: None
Gear: Water and cold weather clothing in layers. Plan to hike or ride a bike. Check the forecast before you go as the trail may be covered in ice or snow. Make sure your equipment is appropriate for conditions.
Pets: Dogs, on leash
Cancellation Info: (509) 884-8702

Olmstead Place Historical State Park


Ellensburg
This flat and easy trail wanders along Altapes (AKA Coleman) Creek. Once a salmon habitat, this creek was crucial to the survival of the Olmstead family and other pioneers in the region. Discover it’s importance to humans then and now, and it’s role in keeping this desert environment flourishing for people, plants and wild life. Keep your eyes open for beavers, birds of prey and other residents of the prairie!

When: 10 a.m.
Where: Meet at the north park entrance at 921 N. Ferguson Rd., Ellensburg
Name of trail: Altapes Interpretive Trail
Length of Hike: 1 mile round trip
Difficulty: Easy
Things to know: None
Minimum Age: None
Gear: Dress for cold, windy weather and wear appropriate footwear for wet grass and mud.
Pets: Dogs, on leash
Cancellation Info: (509) 925-1943

Pearrygin Lake State Park


Winthrop
The fat bike phenomenon has hit Methow Valley, and Pearrygin Lake State Park is a great place to give it a try! Take a First Day “Bike” ride in the park with local fat tire bike enthusiasts. Ride through the shrub steppe on the Rex Derr Trail with views overlooking Pearrygin Lake. Drop down to tour the park, looking and listening for evidence of winter wildlife—including tracks, bird songs and howls. Prefer to go on foot? Bring your snowshoes, and head out along the same trail ahead of the bikers.

When we’re done riding and snowshoeing, we’ll have a free barbecue-style lunch, cocoa, coffee and social time at the park’s headquarters. You’re welcome to stay and play in the snow following the hike and ride.

Please call the park ahead of time if you wish to participate in the barbecue.

When: Snowshoe hike begins at 10 a.m. Bike ride begins at 10:30 a.m.
Where: Meet at the east welcome center
Name of trail: Rex Derr
Length of Hike: 2 to 4 miles
Difficulty: Moderate
Things to know: Leave pets at home
Minimum Age: None
Gear: For the ride: Fat bike, warm layers, gloves, hat water and snack. Bike rentals available through Methow Cycle and Sport in Winthrop. For the snowshoe trip, all the same gear but swap the bike for snowshoes.
Pets: No
Cancellation Info: (509) 996-2370

EASTERN WASHINGTON STATE PARKS


Snowy-Bowl-and-Pitcher
Hey, you know what is amazing in the winter? This. Take a guided hike at Riverside State Park on New Year’s Day! Photo by Karen

Columbia Plateau State Park Trail


Washtucna
How about a First Day BIKE! Cruise along the Columbia Plateau Trail, a 4,109 acre, 130 mile long, rail-bed trail that traces the original path of the Spokane, Portland, and Seattle Railroad.  Leave No Trace principles will be taught and practiced.  Enjoy wonderful Snake River views while learning about area flora, fauna, and geology.  Post-bike refreshments and prizes!

When: 10 a.m.
Where: Ice Harbor Dam Trailhead outside Pasco
Name of trail: Columbia Plateau Trail
Length of Hike: Approximately a 2 hour round-trip bicycle excursion, out and back, on the portion of the trail between Ice Harbor Dam Trailhead and Snake River Junction Trailhead.
Difficulty: Moderate
Things to know: No road bikes. Hybrid or mountain bikes only
Minimum Age: 10
Gear: Dress for the winter weather and conditions. Bike, helmet, water and your own bicycle repair kit as no support or maintenance will be available. Binoculars and a camera optional but recommended.
Pets: No
Cancellation info: (509) 545-2361

John Wayne Pioneer Trail/Iron Horse State Park


Ewan

Explore a rarely-seen side of the Iron Horse State Park Trail! Running 287 miles, the trail starts just east of North Bend and runs east to the Idaho border.  The eastern portion of this trail features shrub steppe and channeled scabland terrain.  During this hike, enjoy wonderful views of Rock Lake while learning about area flora, fauna, and geology.  See evidence of the Old Chicago, Milwaukee, Saint Paul and Pacific railroads.  Leave No Trace principles will be taught and practiced. Post-hike refreshments and prizes!

When: 10 a.m.
Where: Rock Lake, south end parking area off Rock Lake Road by Slaughter Pen Bay.
Name of trail: John Wayne Pioneer Trail/Old Milwaukee Corridor
Length of Hike: Approximately a 2 hour round-trip  excursion, out and back, on the portion of the trail between.
Difficulty: Moderate
Things to know: None
Minimum Age: 6
Gear: Dress for the winter weather and conditions. Binoculars, camera, water and good quality hiking/walking shoes that are closed toe.
Pets: No
Cancellation info: (509) 337-6457

Fields Spring State Park


Anatone
Discover the beauty and wonder of the Blue Mountains! Views on this hike may include the Wallowa Mountains, Hells Canyon, and the Grande Ronde River.  Leave No Trace principles will be taught and practiced. Discover who Mr. Fields was and what Mr. and Mrs. Puffer did! If there is no snow, this outing will become a traditional hike instead.  Post-hike refreshments and prizes!

When: 10 a.m.
Where: Meet at the trailhead near Puffer Butte Lodge parking area, at the end of Park Road
Name of trail: Corral Trail
Length of Hike: Approximately a 2 mile round trip snowshoe excursion, out and back. Optional climb for additional views will be offered.
Difficulty: Moderate
Things to know: No strollers
Minimum Age: 6
Gear: Dress for the weather and conditions; it’s winter!  Binoculars and a camera.  Water. Your snowshoes. If you do not have snowshoes, there are a limited number on site for rent; arrive 20 minutes early if you need to rent!
Pets: Dogs, on a leash
Cancellation info: (509) 256-3332

Mount Spokane State Park


Mead
Three events, three choices for fun in the snow! What’s your pleasure? A cross-country ski trip? An easy snowshoe hike, perfect for beginners? Or a more challenging snowshoe trek to the summit of Mount Spokane?

First Day Snowshoe: Beginner/Easy
Join members of the Snowshoe Mount Spokane group for an easy 3-mile roundtrip trek, which includes a stop at the Snowshoe Warming Hut. This is an ideal activity for those new to snowshoeing.

When: 10 a.m.
Where: Bottom of the Mount Kit Carson Loop Road
Name of trail: Lower Kit Carson Loop Road
Length of Hike: 3 miles
Difficulty: Easy
Things to know: None?
Minimum Age: Any
Gear: Dress in layers, and be sure to have water in a freeze-proof container. Sno-Park permit required.
Pets: Dogs, on leash but not in warming hut
Cancellation info: Check the Snowshoe Mount Spokane Facebook event page

Strenuous Snowshoe Hike

When: 10 a.m.
Where: Sno-park Lot (Snowmobile Lot) 3.2 miles from entrance
Name of trail: Trail 131 to Vista House at the Summit
Length of Hike: 4 miles
Difficulty: Strenuous
Things to know: See Facebook link below.
Minimum Age: None
Gear: See Facebook link
Pets: Dogs, on leash but not allowed in Vista House
Cancellation info: Check the Snowshoe Mount Spokane Facebook event page

Nordic Ski Excursion
When: 9 a.m.
Where: Meet at the Selkirk Lodge
Name of trail: Valley View, Sam’s Swoop, Lodgepole
Length of Hike: 2 miles
Difficulty: Moderate
Things to know: Trails are not ADA accessible. This trip is limited to pre-registered participants
Minimum Age: 18
Gear: Cross-country skis, ski poles, warm clothing, water and snacks
Pets: No
Cancellation info: (509) 979-6401. Register for this free event at spokanenordic.org

Palouse Falls State Park


Starbuck
During this hike, enjoy wonderful views of the official state waterfall created by the Palouse River while learning about area flora, fauna, and geology.  Palouse Falls is a 105-acre park featuring dramatic evidence of the Ice Age Floods.  Leave No Trace principles will be taught and practiced. Post-hike refreshments and prizes!

When: Noon
Where: Meet at the lower parking lot at overlook near bathroom
Name of trail: N/A
Length of Hike: Approximately a 2 hour excursion, out and back.
Difficulty: Moderate
Things to know: No strollers
Minimum Age: 6
Gear: Dress for the winter weather and conditions. Binoculars and a camera. Water. Good quality hiking/walking shoes.
Pets: No
Cancellation info: (509) 337-6457

Riverside State Park


Nine Mile Falls
Walk a winter wonderland alongside the Spokane River and surrounding riparian zone! Riverside State Park is gorgeous year-round, but in the winter it becomes an icy jewel with dusted pines and cold, clear river water rushing through ice and pillowy, snow-covered boulders. Discuss the importance of riparian zones with your guide as you enjoy the brisk winter environs.  You won’t want to miss this hike—or forget your camera!

When: 1 p.m.
Where: McLellan Trailhead
Name of trail: McLellan Riparian Trailhead
Length of Hike: 2 miles
Difficulty: Easy
Things to know: No motorized vehicles on the trail
Minimum Age: Walking age or in a backpack.
Gear: Water bottle, warm clothes, snacks. Keep an eye on the weather to determine what kind of foot gear you will need. There may be snow or ice on the trail.
Pets: Dogs, on leash
Cancellation info: (509) 465-5064


Sun Lakes-Dry Falls State Park


Coulee City
The day will begin at the Dry Falls Visitor Center for an overview of the geology of Dry Falls and Sun Lakes State Park plus a tour of the Visitor Center.  We will then drive to Sun Lakes or Lake Lenore Caves, depending on the level of interest from the group.  Because the weather and road conditions vary the best trail will be a “New Year’s Day Surprise!”

Light refreshments will be served before the hike.  Bring a thermos, travel mug, binoculars, and be ready for a fun educational walk in the park!  Prizes will be awarded for the most unusual object found and remembering how to get back to the car by using natural navigational aids.

When: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Where: Meet at the Dry Falls Visitor Center
Name of trail: Exact route will be selected on the day of the hike based on group dynamics and weather conditions
Length of Hike: About 4 to 5 miles on trails that include stairs, gravel and paved surfaces
Difficulty: Moderate
Things to know: Please no smart phones on this trip
Minimum Age: None
Gear: Water, food, proper foot gear and clothing for the weather conditions, including wind
Pets: No
Cancellation info: (509) 632-5214
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Feature photo: First-day fat tire bike ride at Pearrygin Lake State Park.