Set 2019 in motion with a First Day Hike

2018-01-01 Lewis and Clark State Park

It's cold — so go outside! Get out for a healthy, fun hike this Jan. 1, and learn a little something along the trail such as these folks did at the 2018 First Day Hike at Lewis and Clark State Park!

Dec. 17, 2018

Ring in 2019 with healthy, active outdoor fun! First Day Hikes Pin 2019

Welcome the new year with one (or even two) of the more than three dozen First Day Hikes happening at 34 parks statewide.

This year, on Jan. 1, Washington state parks are offering hikes, bike rides, snowshoeing and paddle adventures and even some science and history lessons. We’ve added new hikes, in addition to some old favorites to the list. You’re sure to find a hike that appeals to you—body and mind! And don’t forget to get your First Day Hikes pin as a memento of your outing.

First Day Hikes are happening all across the nation and are organized in conjunction with America’s State Parks. New Year’s Day is also a Washington State Parks free day. You won’t need a Discover Pass to visit a state park.

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 directions to a park, follow the link to the state park web page. In addition, please remember that all minor children need to be accompanied by an adult.

North Sound/Island state parks

2018-01-01 Cama Beach FDH

Now doesn't that look like fun? Take it from these hikers at the 2018 Cama Beach First Day Hike — this is a great way to start the year!

Cama Beach Historical State Park
Camano Island

The staff at Cama Beach will offer two First Day Hike options.

Take an easy hike at Cama Beach along a forested trail, and enjoy views of Saratoga Passage and the Olympic Mountain Range in the distance. Warm beverages and light snacks will be served at Cama Center following the hike.

Name of hike: Cama Beach Short Hike
Name of trail: Bluff Trail to Waterfront Trail
Time: 10 a.m.
Length of hike: 0.5 miles
Where to meet: Park drop-off shelter
Difficulty: Easy
Minimum age of participant: 2 years or younger, if carried
Restrictions: Limited rocks and roots along and in trail
ADA accessible? No
Stroller accessible? No
Dogs allowed on leash? Yes
What to bring: Layered clothing and sturdy footwear
Contact/organizer: Jeff Wheeler, cama.beach@parks.wa.gov 
Further information/event cancellation: Check the phone message at (360) 387-1550  

Go a little further! Take a bracing hike and check out the beaver dam and pond at Cranberry Lake. Then get back to the Cama Center for a hot beverage and some snacks!

Name of hike: Long hike to Cranberry Lake
Name of trail: Cranberry Lake Trail to Bluff Trail
Time: 10 a.m.
Length of hike: 2 miles
Where to meet: Park drop-off shelter
Difficulty: Moderate
Minimum age of participant: 2 years or younger, if carried
Restrictions: Limited rocks and roots along and in trail
ADA accessible? No
Stroller accessible? No
Dogs allowed on leash? Yes
What to bring: Layered clothing and sturdy footwear
Contact/organizer: Jeff Wheeler, cama.beach@parks.wa.gov 
Further information/event cancellation: Check the phone message at (360) 387-1550

Deception Pass State Park
Bowman Bay 

New this year!

A gem of a hike at a crown jewel of a park! Beginning at Bowman Bay’s Civilian Conservation Corps-built center, park staff will guide you along the Pacific Northwest Trail, which runs along the coast of Fidalgo Island to Rosario Head. This trail is one of the most scenic in the entire park. Not only will you find views of the Salish Sea and various wildlife, but also the "Maiden of Deception Pass" statue and the Rosario Beach tide pools. After hiking back to Bowman Bay, you may also take a self-guided hike to Lighthouse or Lottie points for views of the bridge and Deception Pass. Refreshments will be provided at the end of the hike.

Name of hike: First Day Hike — Bowman Bay
Name of trail: Pacific Northwest Trail
Time: 10 a.m.
Length of hike: 1.5 miles
Where to meet: Bowman Bay Civilian Conservation Corps Shelter
Difficulty: Moderate
Minimum age of participant: None
Restrictions: The fairly steep incline at beginning of the hike may be difficult for younger children. The trail is too narrow to navigate both people and dogs comfortably, so unfortunately your furry friends will have to sit this one out.
ADA accessible? No
Stroller accessible? No
Dogs allowed on leash? No
What to bring: Water. Warm clothing (layers, scarves, gloves, weather dependent: hat, rain jacket), Footwear for wet ground and incline (shoes with good traction).
Contact/organizer: Lauren Hagen. Call (239) 404-1910 or email tierneyl2016@gmail.com 
Further information/event cancellation: Check the first-day post at Deception Pass Foundation  

Fort Flagler Historical State Park
Marrowstone Island

New this year!

Turn back time! Explore western Washington’s military past with park host and history enthusiast Ron Raplee. Don’t forget your flashlight!

Name of hike: Hike Through History
Name of trail: Historic Gun Emplacement
Time: 11 a.m.
Length of hike: 2 miles
Where to meet: Park museum
Difficulty: Easy
Minimum age of participant: 5 years old
Restrictions: Much of the trail is unpaved and some sections are steep, with numerous tree roots 
ADA accessible? No
Stroller accessible? No
Dogs allowed on leash? Yes
What to bring: Dress appropriately for the weather. Hiking shoes advised. Bring binoculars or a camera for the views.
Contact/organizer: Fort Flagler Historical State Park staff, (360) 385-3701, or fort.flagler@parks.wa.gov 
Further information/event cancellation: (360) 385-3701

Fort Worden Historical State Park
Port Townsend

New this year!

Two great new hikes at Fort Worden will give you great views, exercise and a peek into history!

The first hike offers views of the Admiralty Inlet, Point Wilson lighthouse, Strait of Juan de Fuca, San Juan Islands and the Olympic and Cascade mountain ranges.  This hike is self-guided, so you can move at your own pace and make as many stops as you like along the way.

Name of hike: Viewpoints Loop Hike
Name of trail: JFK Trail to Peace Mile Trail
Time: 1 p.m.
Length of hike: 2.5 miles
Where to meet: USO Building parking lot on the west side of the Taps at the Guardhouse pub
Difficulty: Moderate
Minimum age of participant: None
Restrictions: This majority of the tour is ADA compliant and stroller accessible. However, a portion of the tour will go through the Fort’s bunkers, which may be inaccessible to some.
ADA accessible? See restrictions
Stroller accessible? See restrictions
Dogs allowed on leash? Yes
What to bring: Dress appropriately for the weather. Hiking shoes advised. Bring binoculars or a camera for the views.
Contact/organizer: Friends of Fort Worden, or friendsoffw@gmail.com 
Further information/event cancellation: None

The second Fort Worden hike, also guided, lets you meander through a forest canopy winding past several of the historic mortar batteries and main gun line. Stop at Memory’s Vault, a sculpture garden with columns of poetry. Weather permitting, enjoy mountain views.

Name of hike: The Best of Fort Worden
Name of trail: Battery Way East and West, Upper Gun Line
Time: 1 p.m.
Length of hike: 2.5 miles
Where to meet: USO Building parking lot on the west side of the Taps at the Guardhouse pub
Difficulty: Moderate
Minimum age of participant: None
Restrictions: Short sections of Battery Way Loop are steep, but the entire trail is paved. The hike is guided, and there will be docents along the way to provide information or to answer questions. 
ADA accessible? No
Stroller accessible? Yes
Dogs allowed on leash? No
What to bring: Dress appropriately for the weather. Hiking shoes advised. Bring binoculars or a camera for the views.
Contact/organizer: Friends of Fort Worden, or friendsoffw@gmail.com 
Further information/event cancellation: None


Larrabee State Park
Bellingham

Our oldest park and still one of the best! Join Larrabee’s Mallory Suggs for walk along a trail covered in trees and greenery with views of Bellingham Bay. The trail will lead to Fragrance Lake, one of two lakes within Larrabee State Park. Once at the lake, you can opt for a stroll  around the lake, or head back down the trail. Along the hike, you will learn about the history of Larrabee State Park, as well as the flora and fauna of the area.

Name of hike: Fragrance Lake
Name of trail: 2 Dollar Trail
Time: 9 a.m.
Length of hike: 3.5 miles
Where to meet: 2 Dollar Trail Head on Cleator Road
Difficulty: Moderate
Minimum age of participant: None
Restrictions: None
ADA accessible? No
Stroller accessible? No
Dogs allowed on leash? Yes
What to bring: Water, warm clothes, sturdy shoes and snacks.
Contact/organizer: Mallory Suggs, mallory.suggs@parks.wa.gov 
Further information/event cancellation: Call (360) 603-0479

Moran State Park
Olga

Join Ranger William Hoppe for a hike around the south end of the sparkling waters of Cascade Lake and past the old-growth forest to Cascade Falls. Craving a frosty dip? Join the members of Orcas Island Rowing for their annual Polar Bear Plunge! Gather at cascade lake and be ready to jump in (and quickly out) at 11 a.m. sharp. Then warm up by the fire and enjoy some treats while you dry off for the hike!

Name of hike: Moran State Park
Name of trail: Cascade Creek Trail
Time: 1 p.m.
Length of hike: 2 miles
Where to meet: Meet at the south end trailer parking area. Drive past the Cascade Lake picnic area and take the first right turn at the south end campground sign to find the parking area.
Difficulty: Moderate
Minimum age of participant: 5 years old
Restrictions: None
ADA accessible? No
Stroller accessible? No
Dogs allowed on leash? Yes
What to bring: Wear hiking boots and layers for winter weather
Contact/organizer: William Hoppe, (360) 376-2326
Further information/event cancellation: (360) 376-2326

South Whidbey State Park
Freeland

New this year!

Start your year with a family exploration with a hike and scavenger hunt for kids of all ages. Traverse through a family-friendly loop in the forest at South Whidbey to find some hidden gems. Join us for refreshments after!

Name of hike: South Whidbey State Park
Name of trail: Forest Discovery Trail
Time: 2 p.m.
Length of hike: .75 miles
Where to meet: Gravel parking lot immediately off S. Smuggler’s Cove Road
Difficulty: Easy
Minimum age of participant: Walking age or in a carrier.
Restrictions: None
ADA accessible? No
Stroller accessible? No
Dogs allowed on leash? Yes
What to bring: Water bottle, layers, walking shoes. Dress in preparation for rain and mud.
Contact/organizer: Jackie French, (360) 678-1186, or jackie.french@parks.wa.gov 
Further information/event cancellation: (360) 544-2457. Cancellations will be decided by noon.

Wallace Falls State Park
Gold Bar

New this year!

What do you get when you mix science, hiking and water falls? A lot of First-Day fun! Join Senior Park Aide Leslie Holmes at the Small Falls Interpretive Loop to explore the winter forest, learn about unseen biological processes, identify twigs and visit the scenic small falls.

Name of hike: Sleeping Forests
Name of trail: 
Small Falls Interpretive Loop
Time:
Noon
Length of hike: 
About 1 mile
Where to meet: 
Follow park signs to meet at Small Falls
Difficulty: 
Easy
Minimum age of participant: 
None
Restrictions: 
None
ADA accessible? 
No
Stroller accessible? 
No
Dogs allowed on leash? 
Yes
What to bring: 
Wear hiking boots and layers for winter weather
Contact/organizer: 
Leslie Holmes, (360) 793-0420, or leslie.holmes@parks.wa.gov
Further information/event cancellation: 
None  



Puget Sound and Hood Canal state parks

Dash Point State Park
Federal Way

New this year!

Hike and enjoy and some lessons about the trees, plants, birds and this park’s beaches and forestlands! Adrian Bankhead of the Washington State Parks Foundation and other Foundation staff will be leading. We especially welcome military veterans who want to enjoy time in nature in a supportive setting.

Name of hike: First Day Nature Hike
Name of trail: Beach Boundary and Fern Alley trails
Time: 10:30 a.m.
Length of hike: 3 miles
Where to meet: Day use parking lot by the beach
Difficulty: Moderate
Minimum age of participant: None
Restrictions
: Some areas with steep paths and/or stairs. Trails may be muddy.
ADA accessible? No
Stroller accessible? No
Dogs allowed on leash? Yes
What to bring: Comfortable, sturdy footwear for the walk and wear weather-appropriate clothing. Binoculars are recommended.
Contact/organizer: Adrian Bankhead and John Floberg, Washington State Parks Foundation, (206) 486-7275, or adrian@wspf.org or john@wspf.org 
Further information/event cancellation: (253) 661-4956 or (206) 437-6086

Scenic Beach State Park
Seabeck

New this year!

Take a ranger-led hike at this beautiful Hood Canal park and discover, history, great vistas and more!

Name of hike: Scenic Beach State Park
Time: 10 a.m.
Length of hike: 0.75 miles
Where to meet: Park office
Difficulty: Easy
Minimum age of participant: None
Restrictions
: None
ADA accessible? No
Stroller accessible? No
Dogs allowed on leash? Yes
What to bring: Hiking boots or shoes
Contact/organizer: Scenic Beach State Park, (360) 830-5079
Further information/event cancellation: (360) 830-5079

Saltwater State Park
Des Moines

New this year!

Swap your boots for a kayak or a stand up paddleboard! Tour the boundaries of the Marine Protected Area, and enjoying a view of Saltwater State Park from the water. This First Day event is recommended for experienced paddlers. Bring your own paddlecraft. Cold water paddle sports carries strong risks. To make sure you're prepared for and participants must bring their own cold water safety gear as well as water craft. For more information on how to prepare for paddling in cold water, check out our Boating Program's valuable online information.

Name of trail: Marine Protected Area of Saltwater State Park
Time: 10 a.m.
Length of hike: 1.5 miles
Where to meet: Day-use parking lot by the beach
Difficulty: Moderate to strenuous
Minimum age of participant: None
Restrictions: None
ADA accessible? No
Stroller accessible? No
Dogs allowed on leash? Yes
What to bring: Human-powered watercraft in good repair (kayak, canoe, SUP etc.) and proper safety gear
Contact/organizer: Ranger Daniel Yorkston, (253) 661-4956, or saltwater@parks.wa.gov
Further information/event cancellation: (253) 661-4956

Twanoh State Park
Union

New this year!

Flora! Fauna! Fish — oh my! Come explore this classic CCC-built park! If you have never been here before, it is sure to be on your favorite list the minute you do. Learn about the salmon that spawn at the park and more!

Name of hike: Twanoh First Day Hike
Name of trail: Twanoh Creek Trail
Time: 10 a.m.
Length of hike: 2.25 miles
Where to meet: Parking lot below campground office
Difficulty: Moderate
Minimum age of participant: None
Restrictions: None
ADA accessible? No
Stroller accessible? Yes
Dogs allowed on leash? Yes
What to bring: Wear warm clothes, along with appropriate rain gear as well as sturdy hiking shoes/boots. Hoping to spot some wildlife? Bring binoculars.
Contact/organizer: Wes Patterson, wes.patterson@parks.wa.gov 
Further information/event cancellation: (360) 275-2222

Southwest and coastal state parks

Cape Disappointment FDH

The new year is looking up already! A First Day Hike is a great way to start the year. Here's the hale and hearty group from the 2018 Cape Disappointment hike.

Beacon Rock State Park
Skamania

Drinking in the dramatic beauty of the Columbia River is a great way to start the new year. After the hike, join the fun at Doetsch Day-Use Shelter and enjoy a campfire and roast hot dogs and marshmallows and warm up with some hot chocolate. An American Sign Language (ASL) interpreter for the hearing impaired will be on hand during this hike.

Name of hike: Beacon Rock
Name of trail: Beacon Rock Trail
Time: 10 a.m.
Length of hike: 2 miles
Where to meet: Beacon Rock Trail trailhead
Difficulty: Moderate
Minimum age of participant: None
Restrictions: None
ADA accessible? No
Stroller accessible? No
Dogs allowed on leash? Yes
What to bring: Camera, binoculars and plenty of warm clothes as it can be extremely cold at Beacon Rock in January.
Contact/organizer: Bob Holland, (509) 427-8265
Further information/event cancellation: (509) 427-8265

Cape Disappointment State Park
Ilwaco

New this year!

See the sea! Led by Interpretive Specialist Stephen Wood, the hike will illustrate the historical record of North Head Lighthouse and focus on current efforts to restore it. The hike will follow the Lighthouse Keepers Loop Trail, with story points along the trail, at the lighthouse and residence grounds. An optional hike extension follows the Bell’s View Trail for a glimpse into other historical layers of North Head. These hikes provide excellent views of the Pacific Ocean, the mouth of the Columbia River and Long Beach Peninsula.

Name of hike: Past, Present and Future of North Head and Bell’s View
Name of trail: Lighthouse Keeper’s Loop
Time: 10 a.m.
Length of hike: 1 mile
Where to meet: North Head kiosk, near restrooms
Difficulty: Easy
Minimum age of participant: None
Restrictions: The route includes 20 stairs.  An alternative, unguided route will be available for those with strollers or other mobility aids.
ADA accessible? No
Stroller accessible? Yes
Dogs allowed on leash? Yes
What to bring: Wear footwear that handles gravel and pavement.  A camera or binoculars might be of benefit if the weather is manageable.
Contact/organizer: Stephen Wood, (360) 642-3029, or stephen.wood@parks.wa.gov 
Further information/event cancellation: Cape Disappointment office, (306) 642-3078

Lake Sylvia State Park
Montesano

Lake Sylvia State Park is a perfect place for lowland hiking anytime during the winter — and why not New Year’s Day? You’ll love the idyllic lake setting and the old-growth forest trails. A park ranger will lead a 2-mile hike along the trail that loops around Lake Sylvia. A volunteer from the Friends of Schafer and Lake Sylvia (FOSLS) will lead a shorter stroll as well. Learn about the history of the Lake Sylvia area and discuss native plants and wildlife. The FOSLS folks will provide cocoa and cookies.

Name of hike: Lake Sylvia State Park
Name of trail: Lake Trail
Time: 1 p.m.
Length of hike: 2 miles
Where to meet: Kitchen shelter
Difficulty: Easy
Minimum age of participant: None
Restrictions: None
ADA accessible? No
Stroller accessible? Yes
Dogs allowed on leash? Yes
What to bring: Good hiking shoes/boots and an umbrella
Contact/organizer: Jason Bearden, (360) 580-5191, or jason.bearden@parks.wa.gov 
Further information/event cancellation: (306) 249-3621

Lewis and Clark State Park
Winlock

Join park staff as we explore the beautiful old-growth forest that Lewis and Clark State Park has to offer. Learn about the area's rich history as well as its abundant flora and fauna. This scenic hike takes you under towering cedar and fir trees strung with lichen and moss, and through a lush understory teeming with ferns. The hike will begin in the CCC kitchen shelter where a warm fire and drinks and snacks will be provided. A short presentation on the local wildlife will take place before the hike. 

Name of hike: Lewis and Clark State Park
Name of trail: Lake Trail
Time: 1 p.m.
Length of hike: 2 miles
Where to meet: Main front entrance gate. The park is closed to cars in the winter, so participants are encouraged to park across the road (Jackson Highway) by the park office. Walk past the gate to the kitchen shelter where the hike begins.
Difficulty: Moderate
Minimum age of participant: None. Babies in backpacks welcome!
Restrictions: The trail can be wet and muddy during the winter months with exposed tree roots to step over. There is a small amount of elevation gain throughout. Shorter alternate paths are available for those interested.
ADA accessible? No
Stroller accessible? No
Dogs allowed on leash? Yes
What to bring: Rain gear is recommended (just in case) as well as warm winter layers. Sturdy hiking shoes or muck boots are strongly encouraged. No technical gear required.
Contact/organizer: Alysa Adams, (360) 274-0962, or alysa.adams@parks.wa.gov 
Further information/event cancellation: In case of inclement weather call (360) 864-2643 (Lewis and Clark State Park) or 253-951-1345 (staff member)

Millersylvania State Park
Olympia

Take a ranger-led hike through this classic Pacific Northwest CCC camping park. Explore the wetlands, lakeside, forest and orchard. Enjoy coffee and snacks before and after the hike.

Name of hike: Millersylvania First Day Hike
Name of trail: Park Boundary Trail
Time: 9 a.m.
Length of hike: 2.5 miles
Where to meet: Kitchen Shelter #1
Difficulty: Moderate
Minimum age of participant: None
Restrictions
: Possible wet/muddy trails
ADA accessible? No
Stroller accessible? No
Dogs allowed on leash? Yes
What to bring: Rain jacket, boots, extra socks and water. Dress for the weather.
Contact/organizer: Lance Schlosser, lance.schlosser@parks.wa.gov 
Further information/event cancellation: None

Nolte State Park
Enumclaw

Nolte State Park’s Lake Trail around Deep Lake is a lovely, easy 1.25-mile-loop — and a great pick for families! 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.

Name of hike: Nolte State Park
Name of trail: Lake Trail Loop
Time: 10:30 a.m.
Length of hike: 1.25 miles
Where to meet: Main bulletin board
Difficulty: Easy
Minimum age of participant: None
Restrictions: None
ADA accessible? No
Stroller accessible? Yes
Dogs allowed on leash? Yes
What to bring: Rain jacket, boots, extra socks and water. Dress for the weather.
Contact/organizer: Ranger Anna Bailey, (360) 886-0148, or kanasket.palmer@parks.wa.gov 
Further information/event cancellation: (360) 886-0148

Twin Harbors State Park
Westport

New this year!

Walk the dunes with a park ranger!  Participants will hike through a wooded area that leads to a dune trail and a view of the ocean. Learn about the history of the area as you meander along the trail. Snacks and water will be provided at the trail head.

Name of hike: First Day Hike
Name of trail: Shifting Sands Trail
Time: 10 a.m.
Length of hike: 1 mile
Where to meet: Schafer Road day use parking lot
Difficulty: Easy
Minimum age of participant: None
Restrictions: None
ADA accessible? No
Stroller accessible? Yes
Dogs allowed on leash? Yes
What to bring: Hiking boots and poles
Contact/organizer: Tyler Newmyer, (360) 268-1457
Further information/event cancellation: (360) 268-1457


Central Washington state parks

2018-01-01 Lake Wenatchee FDH - FEATURE

Go for a new year's stroll in the snow, like these happy snowshoers at the 2018 Lake Wenatchee First Day Hike!

Alta Lake State Park
Pateros

Explore the flora, fauna and geology of Alta Lake and Goat Mountain 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. Stay after the hike for hot coffee, cocoa and snacks. In addition, this location is at the gateway to the gorgeous Methow Valley and near the confluence of the Columbia and Methow rivers.

Name of hike: Alta Lake State Park
Name of trail: Alta Lake Fire Road
Time: 1 p.m.
Length of hike: 2 miles
Where to meet: Park office
Difficulty: Easy to moderate
Minimum age of participant: None
Restrictions: None
ADA accessible? No
Stroller accessible? Yes
Dogs allowed on leash? Yes
What to bring: Hiking boots, hiking poles, traction cleats, snow shoes and water
Contact/organizer: Ranger John Whittet, (509) 923-2473
Further information/event cancellation: (509) 923-2473

Bridgeport State Park
Okanogan County

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 geological terms. Stick around after the hike to enjoy hot coffee, cocoa and snacks by the campfire. This hike will take approximately 45 minutes and the refreshments will be provided until 3 p.m.

Name of hike: Bridgeport State Park
Name of trail: Rufus Woods Overlook Trail
Time: 1 p.m.
Length of hike: .25 mile
Where to meet: Group camp parking area
Difficulty: Easy to moderate
Minimum age of participant: None
Restrictions: None
ADA accessible? No
Stroller accessible? No
Dogs allowed on leash? Yes
What to bring: Hiking boots, hiking poles, traction cleats, snow shoes and water
Contact/organizer: Ranger John Whittet, (509) 923-2473
Further information/event cancellation: (509) 923-2473

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 at 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 some time in the snow and enjoying beautiful views of the crystal-clear Lake Chelan!

Name of hike: Lake Chelan State Park First Day Hike
Name of trail: Little Bear Trail
Time: 1 p.m.
Length of hike: 2.5 miles
Where to meet: Day use shelter
Difficulty: Easy
Minimum age of participant: 5 years old
Restrictions: None
ADA accessible? No
Stroller accessible? No
Dogs allowed on leash? Yes
What to bring: This time of year, trail conditions typically consist of hard pack snow with some ice. Snow shoes or traction cleats are advised.
Contact/organizer: Andrew Southard, (509) 687-3710, or andrew.southard@parks.wa.gov 
Further information/event cancellation: (509) 687-3710

Lake Easton State Park
Easton

New this year!

Join us for a ranger-led snowshoe hike or trek, depending on conditions, along the shores of Lake Easton and through the surrounding forest. Enjoy light snacks and hot chocolate in the day use area following the hike.

Name of hike: Lake Easton State Park
Name of trail: Snowshoe Trek
Time: 12:30 p.m.
Length of hike: 3 miles
Where to meet: Day-use area
Difficulty: Easy
Minimum age of participant: None
Restrictions: None
ADA accessible? No
Stroller accessible? No
Dogs allowed on leash? No
What to bring: Snowshoes, poles, layered clothing, boots and water. Sno-Park permit required.
Contact/organizer: Kevin Lieske, (509) 856-2290, or kevin.lieske@parks.wa.gov 
Further information/event cancellation: Call (509) 856-2290 on the day of the hike to confirm

Lake Wenatchee State Park
Leavenworth

Take a guided snowshoe hike along the Wenatchee River up to North Beach for views across Lake Wenatchee. Then, wander through the park's pine and Douglas-fir forest and return to the north reservation booth for hot cocoa and light snacks. Along the way, our hike leaders will point out various historical aspects of the park, highlight notable stories and discuss some fun facts. One particular stop at North Beach is a favorite, where participants tend to take a snack break and gather together for a group photo opportunity.

Snowshoes are available to rent in limited youth and adult sizes. Contact the park ahead of time to reserve a pair.

Name of hike: First Day Guided Snowshoe Hike
Name of trail: North Lake Loop Trail
Time: 11 a.m.
Length of hike: 2.5 miles
Where to meet: North Park Reservation Booth
Difficulty: Easy
Minimum age of participant: None
Restrictions: No restrictions.
ADA accessible? No
Stroller accessible? No
Dogs allowed on leash? Yes
What to bring: Appropriate winter attire, snowshoes and trekking poles (if preferred). Gloves, hat, warm jacket and waterproof boots are suggested. Sno-Park permit required.
Contact/organizer: Amanda Fisher, (509) 763-3101
Further information/event cancellation: Call (509) 763-3101 ahead of time to confirm the event is still occurring, as inclement weather can impact this hike. Please call for related information or questions. If you have a large group coming, please inform the park at least five business days ahead of time.

Lincoln Rock State Park
East Wenatchee

Join park staff for some intriguing history of Lincoln Rock State Park, area geology, the Rocky Reach Dam and the Rocky Reach Trail. Bring a camera for an exhilarating view of the dam, its spillways and the juvenile fish bypass from the interpretive outlook on the trail.

Name of hike: Lincoln Rock State Park
Name of trail: 
Rocky Reach Trail
Time: 
11 a.m.
Length of hike:
2 miles
Where to meet: 
Day use/monument viewing area
Difficulty:
Easy
Minimum age of participant: 
None
Restrictions: 
There may be snow on the ground, and the trail may not be maintained. Plan accordingly.
ADA accessible? 
Yes
Stroller accessible? 
Yes
Dogs allowed on leash? 
Yes
What to bring: 
Appropriate footwear and clothes for cold and possible snow.
Contact/organizer: 
Dennis Lotts, (509) 884-8702 or dennis.lotts@parks.wa.gov
Further information/event cancellation: 
(509) 884-8702

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. Snowshoe hike begins at 10 a.m. and the bike ride begins at 10:30 a.m.

Name of hike: Fat-Tire Bike Ride or Hike
Name of trail: 
Rex Derr Trail
Time: 
10 and 10:30 a.m.
Length of hike: 
2 to 4 miles
Where to meet: 
Park shop near the East Campground welcome center
Difficulty: 
Moderate
Minimum age of participant: None
Restrictions: None
ADA accessible? No
Stroller accessible? No
Dogs allowed on leash? No
What to bring: 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. Sno-Park permit required.
Contact/organizer: Bryan Alexander, (509) 996-2270 or bryan.alexander@parks.wa.gov 
Further information/event cancellation: (509) 996-2370

Sun Lakes-Dry Falls State Park
Coulee City

New this year!

This is one geology lesson you won’t want to miss! Start the day at the Dry Falls Visitor Center for an overview of the geology of Dry Falls, the Ice Age Floods National Geologic Trail and a tour of the visitor center. Enjoy some refreshments and snacks and bring a thermal travel mug for a special prize! Then, take a looping hike through the winter wonderland of desert sagebrush and rolling shrub steppe. Weather, road and trail conditions will determine trail route.

Name of hike: New Year’s Day Tracks and Impressions at Sun Lakes-Dry Falls
Name of trail: 
None
Time: 
10:30 a.m.
Length of hike: 
2.5 miles
Where to meet: 
Dry Falls Visitor Center
Difficulty: 
Easy to moderate
Minimum age of participant: 
None
Restrictions: 
None
ADA accessible? 
No
Stroller accessible? 
No
Dogs allowed on leash? 
Yes
What to bring: T
he 10 essentials, light day pack, boots and weather-appropriate clothing.
Contact/organizer: David E. McWalter, Interpretive Specialist II, (509) 632-5214, or david.mcwalter@parks.wa.gov 
Further information/event cancellation: (509) 632-5214


Eastern Washington state parks

2018-01-01 fdh Riverside Bowl and Pitcher Group photo

Over the river and through the woods is the best place to spend New Year's Day 2019! Get over to Riverside State Park, and try out this hike on Jan. 1!

Fields Spring State Park
Anatone

New this year!

Take a turn around this beautiful Blue Mountains park and learn about the area and its history. Post-hike refreshments and prizes will be available! If you do not have snowshoes, a limited number will be available for rent for $5. Arrive 20 minutes early if you need to rent snowshoes. If there is snow, bring a sled or two and enjoy the park’s wicked-cool sledding hill!

Name of hike: Fields Spring Corral Trail
Name of trail: Corral Trail
Time: 10 a.m.
Length of hike: 2 miles
Where to meet: In the parking area at the end of Park Road, past Puffer Butte Lodes at the Corral Trail trailhead
Difficulty: Moderate
Minimum age of participant: None
Restrictions
: If there is no snow, this will be a hike and not a snowshoeing event.
ADA accessible? No
Stroller accessible? No
Dogs allowed on leash? Yes
What to bring: Snowshoes, binoculars and a camera. Sno-Park permit required.
Contact/organizer: Fields Spring State Park staff, (509) 256-3332, or fields.spring@parks.wa.gov 
Further information/event cancellation: (509) 256-3332

Mount Spokane State Park
Spokane

Two hikes to entice you to the snow and ice this year at Mount Spokane!

On the Summit Hike, snowshoe past the Bald Knob Picnic Shelter to the historic stone Vista House located at 5,883 feet — the highest point of Mount Spokane. If weather permits, you’ll  have views of the Cabinet Mountains in Montana, Selkirk Crest in North Idaho and nearby lakes. Snacks and hot beverages will be provided at the trailhead. Hot drinks and snacks will be available for sale at the Vista House.

Name of hike: Mount Spokane Summit Hike
Name of trail: Trail 130 and 131 to the Bald Knob Picnic Shelter, then traverse to summit
Time: 9:30 a.m.
Length of hike: 3.5 miles
Where to meet: Meet in the Lower Selkirk parking lot, also known as the snowmobile Sno-Park lot.
Difficulty: Strenuous
Minimum age of participant: None
Restrictions
: Maximum group size is 30. Please RSVP Lori Brittos at 509-465-5064, or lori.brittos@parks.wa.gov by Dec. 26. No dogs will be permitted on the group snowshoe hike.
ADA accessible? No
Stroller accessible? No
Dogs allowed on leash? No
What to bring: Waterproof or water-resistant boots, gators or waterproof pants, snowshoes, trekking poles, sunglasses, sunscreen, snacks and water. Sno-Park permit required.
Contact/organizer: Lara Gricar, (509) 465-5066, or lara.gricar@parks.wa.gov   
Further information/event cancellation: (509) 465-5064

On this gentler Mount Spokane hike, snowshoe west along the Lower Kit Carson Loop Road to Smith Gap and the snowshoe hut, which was completed in 2014. Along the way, you’ll traverse a beautiful old growth cedar-hemlock forest and pass several stream crossings. Snacks and hot beverages will be provided at the trailhead.

Name of hike: Mount Spokane Summit
Name of trail: Lower Mount Kit Carson Loop Road
Time: 9:30 a.m.
Length of hike: 2 miles
Where to meet: Meet in the Lower Selkirk parking lot, also known as the snowmobile Sno-Park lot.
Difficulty: Easy
Minimum age of participant: None
Restrictions
: Maximum group size is 30. Please RSVP to Lori Brittos, (509) 465-5064, or lori.brittos@parks.wa.gov by Dec. 26. No dogs will be permitted on the group snowshoe hike.
ADA accessible? No
Stroller accessible? No
Dogs allowed on leash? No
What to bring: Waterproof or water-resistant boots, gators or waterproof pants, snowshoes, trekking poles, sunglasses, sunscreen, snacks and water.
Contact/organizer: Lara Gricar, (509) 465-5066, or lara.gricar@parks.wa.gov 
Further information/event cancellation: (509) 465-5066

Riverside State Park
Spokane

New this year!

Hike among towering ponderosa pines and massive basalt rock formations in one of the main areas of Riverside State Park called Bowl and Pitcher. Learn about the park’s history, flora and fauna and view many of the distinctive structures built by the Civilian Conservation Corps, including the iconic swinging bridge. Snacks and hot beverages will be provided at the trailhead.

Name of hike: Bowl and Pitcher Overlook and Loop Trail
Name of trail: Trail 25
Time: 9 a.m.
Length of hike: 4 miles
Where to meet: Day use parking lot at the Bowl and Pitcher
Difficulty: Moderate
Minimum age of participant: None
Restrictions
: Maximum group size is 30. Please RSVP Alyssa Cornell, (509) 953-0495, or alyssa.cornell@parks.wa.gov by Dec. 26. No dogs allowed on hike.
ADA accessible? No
Stroller accessible? No
Dogs allowed on leash? No
What to bring: Hiking boots or shoes with good traction, sunglasses, water and snacks. If there is snow, please bring snow-appropriate gear such as snowshoes, micro spikes and trekking poles. Binoculars are encouraged for viewing wildlife, particularly birds.
Contact/organizer: Alyssa Cornell at (509) 953-0495
Further information/event cancellation: (509) 953-0495

Sacajawea Historical State Park
Pasco

New this year!

This is a staff-led interpretive hike exploring the flora and fauna of Sacajawea State Park and the history of the Lewis and Clark expedition and the tribal presence in the area. Post-hike refreshments and prizes will be available. Leave no Trace principles will be taught!

Name of hike: Sacajawea Historical State Park
Name of trail: None
Time: 10 a.m.
Length of hike: About 1.5 hours of interpretation
Where to meet: Park office
Difficulty: Easy
Minimum age of participant: None
Restrictions
: None
ADA accessible? No
Stroller accessible? Yes
Dogs allowed on leash? Yes
What to bring: Binoculars
Contact/organizer: Ranger Nic, (509) 545-2361
Further information/event cancellation: (509) 545-2361

Northwest Washington state parks

Rockport Hikers on a Bridge

Fun in the forest with friends? Yes, please! A walk through the Rockport State Park wilderness is always a wonderful way to welcome the new year!

Rockport State Park
Rockport

Rockport’s hike will once again be led by local fitness expert Valerie Stafford, owner of Encore Fitness in Concrete. Valerie will lead a warmup and give tips for a fun and healthy hike. After the hike, gather at the Discovery Center to warm up with a crackling fire in the wood stove, hot beverages and healthy snacks!

There will be two trail options: The ADA and stroller accessible trail and the Evergreen Trail, which is more strenuous with uneven terrain.

This hike will kick off the 2019 “Healthy Hikes” program at Rockport to encourage people to be fit and spend time in a rare and beautiful old growth forest. Participants who log 100 miles of hiking in Rockport over the 2019 calendar year can earn a hand-carved and painted walking stick made by Senior Park Aide Don Smith.

Name of hike: Rockport Healthy Hike #1
Name of trail: Evergreen Trail
Time: 10 a.m.
Length of hike: 1 to 3.5 miles
Where to meet: Rockport Picnic Shelter
Difficulty: Moderate
Minimum age of participant: No minimum
Restrictions: None.
ADA accessible? See description
Stroller accessible? See description
Dogs allowed on leash? Yes
What to bring: Dress appropriately for weather, good boots/trail shoes that won’t mind mud and water are a good idea, and trekking poles or walking stick are recommended.
Contact/organizer: Don Smith, (360) 770-7677, or don.smith@parks.wa.gov 
Further information/event cancellation: (360) 770-7677


First Day Hikes are happening all across the nation and are organized in conjunction with America’s State Parks. New Year’s Day is also a Washington State Parks free day. You won’t need a Discover Pass to visit a state park.

Have a wonderful New Year’s Day, and enjoy your First Day Hike! And once you are done, tell us about it!
Share your Washington State Parks First Day Hikes photos and stories here!

Posting your First Day Hike photos on social media?
Be sure to use the #FirstDayHikes hashtag and tag us @WaStatePks (Twitter), #WaStateParks (Instagram) and @WashingtonStateParks (Facebook).

Check out photos from last year’s hikes.