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25 First Day Hikes for the New Year

Posted by Erika Haugen-Goodman at Dec 29, 2015 03:40 PM |
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Get the new year off to a good start with one of these great hikes in State Parks

What hiking goals do you have for 2016? We asked that question on Facebook and received a number of replies. Some hikers were just starting out and others had big plans to tackle tough trails. Here are a few goals for the year from WTA fans:

Kim: "Once a week, out on a trail once a week, that's my resolution for the year."
Mike: "Multi-night backpacking trip with my 3 kids who will be ages 3, 1, and 1 this summer."
: "To do trail maintenance for the first time, with my daughter!"
: "Starting..."

Whether you're new to hiking or have been doing it for years, a new year means new trails to hike, so getting the year off to a good start on day one is a perfect way to get motivated.

Free guided adventures in State Parks

Lucky for us Washingtonians, Washington State Parks puts together an annual list of 'first day hikes' where you can stretch your legs. The list includes a variety of trails from easy to difficult, so there's bound to be one for you. As a bonus, January 1 is also a fee-free day for Washington State Parks! Enjoy free entrance and check out the other fee-free days for 2016.

Mount Spokane - Photo by Weluv2hike.
Mount Spokane in the winter is a great place for a snow-filled outing. Photo by Weluv2hike.

Here are a few of our favorite guided adventures from the list:

Bridgeport State Park: Walk and rock

If you like geology, this guided hike with a park ranger isn't to be missed. Explore the history of the Columbia River region near Chief Joseph Dam and learn more about how geology shaped this incredible area.

When: 9 a.m.
Where: Meet at the boat launch parking lot.
What: 2-mile hike around Bridgeport State Park.
Gear: Water, snack, warm layers, sturdy footwear and binoculars. (Snowshoes or  ice traction devices for shoes, such as Yaktrax, depending upon conditions.)
Difficulty: Easy.
Pets? Yes (on leash).
Cancellation Info: (509) 686-7231

Deception Pass State Park: History hike

Hike two miles out to Hoypus Point and back with a park manager and interpretive naturalist guide who will share the history of the area along the way. Be sure to bring a camera!

When: 10 a.m.
Where: Cornet Bay Boat Launch
Gear: Water and appropriate clothing for weather and trail conditions.
Difficulty: Moderate.
Pets? Yes (on leash).
Cancellation Info: Check the Deception Pass Foundation website.

Mount Spokane State Park: Snowshoe fun

If it's snow you seek, then Mount Spokane State Park won't disappoint. Join other snowshoers for a family friendly 2-4 mile outing.

When: 10 a.m.
Where: Snowmobile parking lot
What: You’ll need a Seasonal Sno-Park Permit or a One-Day Sno-Park Permit. Get a permit online.
Gear: Snowshoes and any gear for being in the snow for half a day. Don’t forget sunglasses!
Difficulty: Moderate
Cancellation Info: (509) 238-4258

Millersylvania State Park: Run with a ranger

If you want to kick things into high gear to start the year, join Ranger Ross for a 5k run around Millersylvania State Park's Perimeter Trail. If you're not too exhausted, take in the views of Deep Lake and the lush forest around you.

When: 9 a.m.
Where: Kitchen Shelter #1.
Gear: Running shoes, layered clothing appropriate for the winter weather and water.
Difficulty: Moderate.
Pets: No.
Cancellation Info: (360) 753-1519

Millersylvania State Park - Photo by Bob and Barb
Wander through the woods at Millersylvania State Park. Photo by Bob and Barb.

Potlatch State Park: Old growth stroll

Join Ranger Eric Hendricks and wander through old growth forest to the beach on Hood Canal. This area is rich in history and offers great water views to enjoy.

When: 10 a.m.
Where: At the north side of the day-use area by the beach kitchen shelter.
Gear: Weather appropriate clothing, rain gear and / or umbrella.
Difficulty: Easy.
Dogs: Yes (on leash).
Cancellation Info (360) 796-4415

Check out the full list for more 'first day' ideas, and we wish you the best in 2016 with all your hiking goals!