Author Archives: the Oregon State Parks Team
Free parking at participating parks Jan. 1
Free guided First Day Hikes are set for 27 state parks on New Year’s Day. Park rangers or volunteers will lead most of the hikes. The usual $5 day-use parking fee is waived for all visitors at participating parks Jan. 1 only.
If you go
Dress in layers, wear sturdy shoes, and bring water as well as a camera or binoculars for wildlife viewing.
This year, OPRD is asking participants to share photos of their First Day Hike via social media by using the hashtag #ORfirstdayhikes Twitter and Instagram or tagging “Oregon State Parks” on Facebook. Images can also be e-mailed to email@example.com.
Click on the links below for more information about the hike at each park.
- L.L. “Stub” Stewart Memorial State Park, 9 a.m. at the Hilltop Day-use Area.
- Milo McIver State Park, 10 a.m. at the Riverbend lower boat launch parking lot.
- Tryon Creek State Natural Area, 9 a.m. at the Nature Center.
- Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail, 10 a.m. at the Tooth Rock Trailhead
- Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail, 1 p.m. at the Hatfield East Trailhead
- Champoeg State Heritage Area, hikes (2) at 10 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Meet at the Visitor Center.
- Elijah Bristow State Park, noon horse ride at the equestrian parking area. Bring your own horse.
- Fort Yamhill State Heritage Area, 10 a.m. at the trailhead kiosk.
- Luckiamute State Natural Area, 10 a.m. at the North Luckiamute Trailhead if conditions allow. Alternate meeting site at the South Luckiamute Trailhead. North Santiam State Park, 11:30 a.m. at the picnic shelter.
- North Santiam State Park, 11:30 a.m. at the picnic shelter.
- Silver Falls State Park, 10 a.m. at the South Falls Lodge porch.
- Willamette Mission State Park, hikes (2) at 10 a.m. and noon. Meet at the Wheatland Ferry bicycle trailhead parking lot.
- CANCELLED OC&E Woods Line State Trail. Too much snow in the parking areas and on the trail for a pleasant hike.
- TouVelle State Recreation Site, 11 a.m. at the parking lot next to Area F.
- Valley of the Rogue State Park, 11 a.m. at the park program area.
- Beverly Beach State Park, 10 a.m. in the day-use area
- Bullards Beach State Park, 10 a.m. near the entrance to B Loop.
- Cape Lookout State Park, Noon in the Cape Lookout Trail parking lot.
- Fort Stevens State Park, 10 a.m. in the North Coffenbury Lake parking lot.
- Harris Beach State Park, 10 a.m. in the extra vehicle parking lot.
- Jessie M. Honeyman Memorial State Park, 10 a.m. at the group campground parking lot off Canary Road.
- Taft Beach in Lincoln City, 10 a.m. at the #49 Beach Access, 825, SW 51st Street
- Nehalem Bay State Park, 10 a.m. in the parking lot behind the registration booth.
- South Beach State Park, 10 a.m. at the South Jetty Trailhead.
- William M. Tugman State Park, 10 a.m. in the day-use parking lot by the boat ramp.
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.
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 location.
A life-sized, lit-up orca whale. A winter solstice nature walk. A historic house decked out in Victorian-era holiday decor. All this and more is in store at Oregon State Parks this month in celebration of the season. And all are put on in part — or completely — by dedicated volunteers. So why not come out and experience a wintery side of your local state park?
38th Annual Christmas Festival at Silver Falls State Park
When: 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 12-13
Where: South Falls Day Use Area (park information and driving directions)
What: Visit Santa and enjoy live music, refreshments, roving bagpipes, bird box building, bird seed ornaments and other Christmas crafts. Enter a drawing for a wreath raffle and shop for gifts at the Nature Store.
Cost: $5 parking per vehicle; parking permits available for purchase at the park, or display a current Oregon State Parks campground receipt or a current state parks annual parking permit. No charge for most activities.
Information: Silver Falls Blog
Christmas in the Cookhouse and Collier Memorial State Park
When: 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 12
Where: Collier Memorial Logging Museum, 46000 Highway 97 N., Chiloquin (park information and driving directions)
What: An old-fashioned Christmas celebration with snacks, story corner, make-and-take ornaments and other activities for the young and young-at-heart.
Cost: Admission is free, but a canned or dry-packaged food donation for the local food pantry is appreciated.
Information: 541-783-2471, Ext 23.
Winter Solstice Celebration at Tryon Creek State Natural Area
When: 4-6 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 19
Where: 11321 SW. Terwilliger Blvd., Portland (park information and driving directions)
What: Celebrate the changing of the seasons with the shortest day and longest night of the year. Learn the science behind the solstice, explore the forest during an evening guided walk with a trained naturalist, make a winter craft and enjoy treats from a Dutch oven. Parents and adults: please accompany your children at all times.
Cost: Free; no registration is required.
Historic Hughes House Victorian Christmas and lighthouse tours at Cape Blanco State Park
When: 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 19-20 and Dec. 26-28
Where: Hughes House and Cape Blanco Lighthouse, Cape Blanco Road, Port Orford (park information and driving directions)
What: The Cape Blanco Heritage Society opens the elegant 1898 Victorian farmhouse especially for the holidays. Heritage Society volunteers host the open house, which includes cider and cookies. The Victorian Shoppe at the Hughes House sells unique gifts.
The Cape Blanco Lighthouse workroom will also be open for tours both weekends, weather permitting. The tower is closed due to pending repairs.
Information: (541) 332-0521 or (541) 332-0248
Holiday Lights at Shore Acres State Park
When: 4-9:30 p.m. through Dec. 31 (park information and driving directions)
Where: 89039 Cape Arago Highway, Coos Bay
What: Walk through an outdoor holiday light display of 325,000-plus lights and “light sculptures” of pelicans, puffins, jellyfish, a life-size leaping orca whale, butterflies, sea lions, leaping frogs and much more. Shop in the volunteer-run gift shop and visit the historic Garden House for hot cider, punch, coffee and cookies.
Cost: $5 parking per vehicle; parking permits available for purchase at the park, or display a current Oregon State Parks campground receipt, a state parks annual parking permit, or a coastal passport. No charge for lights viewing.
Information: Friends of Shore Acres