Join us for a First Day Hike Jan. 1


first-day-hike

Hike and watch for whales on Jan. 1

We’re headed outside on New Year’s Day for First Day Hikes in 21 Oregon State Parks. Park rangers or volunteers will lead most of the hikes. Day-use parking fees are waived for all visitors at participating parks Jan. 1 only.

Plan for any type of weather condition and remember to bring your binoculars for wildlife viewing.

Participating parks and meeting areas:

PORTLAND AREA

COLUMBIA GORGE

WILLAMETTE VALLEY/CASCADES

SOUTHERN OREGON

COAST

EASTERN/CENTRAL OREGON

Gray whales are on the move during Dec. 27-31 Whale Watch Week


Watching for gray whales at Cape Meares State Scenic Viewpoint.

Watching for gray whales at Cape Meares State Scenic Viewpoint.

If you’re headed to the Oregon coast next week, watch for migrating whales with trained volunteers during the annual winter Whale Watching Week from Dec. 27-31. Volunteers with the Whale Watching Spoken Here program will be stationed at 24 sites from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on those days to help people spot gray whales that are heading south to Mexico.

“We’ve already seen the first migrating gray whales in the past few days and we expect another excellent winter whale watching week.  Last winter our volunteers helped people see more than 1,600 gray whales plus a pod of orcas and some humpback whales spotted on the central coast. You never know what you’re going to see while you’re whale watching, but that’s half the fun.” Ranger Luke Parsons, Whale Watching Center

Volunteers will also share information about whale migration and feeding habits. The winter migration typically lasts until mid-January. A map of the watch sites is available at whalespoken.org.

Camping, including yurts and cabins, is available at state parks along the coast. Go to oregonstateparks.org to check availability and make a reservation.

OPRD reminds visitors to check www.oregonstateparks.org and www.tripcheck.com for weather-related alerts and closures before heading to the coast. Be aware of winter storms and high waves—respect closures, stay off the sand and watch storms from an elevated site.

Livestream from Beverly Beach State Park


Rangers Brian Fowler and Luke Parsons explain king tides and share upcoming Oregon State Parks events.