OPRD release – SALEM, Ore.—Guided First Day Hikes led by rangers and volunteers are set for 31 Oregon State Parks on New Year’s Day—Monday, Jan. 1. Hikes are free and the $5 day-use parking fee is waived that day for all state parks that require a parking permit and are open. America’s State Parks sponsors the First Day Hikes program nationwide to encourage everyone to start the year outside and connect with nature. The Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD) has participated since 2012. “I’m excited that we can offer 34 guided hikes in 31 state parks this year,” said Lisa Sumption, director of OPRD. “When more parks offer hikes, Oregonians have more options to hike near their homes or explore a new park and trail. Plus, this year we’re including more trail accessibility information in our online hike descriptions and are offering reasonable accommodations so visitors of all abilities can join us.” Visit the Oregon First Day Hikes web page to see the list of parks hosting hikes. Additional hike information such as hike times, meet-up locations and trail terrain are available via the park links on the web page. A few hikes require registration. Remember to plan for winter weather, dress in layers, wear sturdy shoes, bring water, and carry binoculars for viewing wildlife. Share photos of First Day Hikes via Twitter and Instagram by using the hashtag #ORfirstdayhikes or tagging “Oregon State Parks” on Facebook.