washington state parks logoOLYMPIA — December 7, 2023 — Ring in the new year with Washington State Parks during our annual First Day Hikes event on Jan. 1, 2024. 

More than 40 state parks will host staff-led and self-guided hikes, snowshoe excursions, dog walks, bike and trail rides, paddle adventures and more on New Year’s Day. 

First Day Hikes events will range in difficulty from paved, flat ADA-accessible trails to moderate hill climbs. A few parks will host more than one hike with options tailored to different interests and abilities. Additionally, some hikes will include fun and educational talks with rangers where you can learn about the history and natural features of the parks.

Some First Day Hike adventures to put on your list include:

  • A medium-to-advanced level bike ride at Fort Ebey State Park.
  • A 0.5-mile scavenger hunt at Deception Pass State Park’s Bowman Bay.
  • A 3-mile leisurely paddle at Ike Kinswa State Park on Lake Mayfield with kayaks, paddles and personal floatation devices provided for use.
  • A 2.5-mile guided snowshoe hike at Lake Wenatchee State Park with limited snowshoe rentals available.
  • A 0.5-mile walk along Lake Sammamish State Park’s boardwalk.
  • A self-guided trail ride through Bridle Trails State Park on well-maintained, equestrian-friendly trails.
  • ADA-accessible hikes at Bridle Trails State Park, Columbia Plateau Trail State Park, Klickitat State Park Trail, Lake Sammamish State Park, Lime Kiln State Park, Lincoln Rock State Park, Palouse Falls State Park, Rockport State Park, Sacajawea State Park, Schafer State Park and Seaquest State Park.
  • And much more!

First Day Hikes is a national initiative led by America’s State Parks, encouraging people to start the new year outside. Last year, more than 1,500 participants hiked, biked and snowshoed 2,652.67 trail miles in Washington’s state parks. Distance and rigor vary from park to park, but all hikes aim to create a fun experience for the whole family. 

Most First Day Hikes require advanced registration, and group sizes may be limited. Select hikes will have snowshoes available for visitors to reserve. Visit our website to view all activities and registration information. 

New Year’s Day also marks the first state-managed land free day of 2024. Visitors will not need a Discover Pass to park on state recreation lands. If you plan to participate in a First Day Hike at a park that becomes a Sno-Park during the winter (Easton Reload Sno-Park, Fields Spring State Park, Lake Wenatchee State Park and Mount Spokane State Park), a Sno-Park permit is required.