HIKING/SNOWSHOEING -- Get 2016 off on the right foot with a group winter hike or snowshoe trek on Jan. 1 at a Washington state park.
First Day Hikes are catching on across the country, some among friends and a growing batch organized by America’s State Parks.
If you’re visiting another part of Washington on New Year’s Day, check to see of one of the state’s two dozen First Day Hikes is scheduled at nearby park at bit.ly/1Qw8k6R.
New Year’s Day also is a Washington State Parks ‘Free Day,’ one of the dozen days a year that Discover Passes are not required for vehicle access to a state park.
However, if the state park also is a winter recreation Sno-Park area, a Sno-Park permit is still required any day during the winter season, said Steve Christensen, Mount Spokane State Park manager. Sno-Park Permits can be purchased in Spokane at stores such as Fitness Fanatics, Mountain Gear and REI. Get a permit online.
Spokane-area trekkers have two moderately strenuous First Day guided group hike choices on Jan. 1:
- Mount Spokane State Park -- Snowshoe hike, 2-4 miles round trip on Trail 130. Meet 10 a.m. at the snowmobile parking lot. Seasonal Sno-Park Permit required. If you use a one-day Sno-Park Permit, a Discover Pass also is required. Bring daypack, layered clothing, water, food, snowshoeing gear, sunscreen and sunglasses. Info: (509) 238-4258
- Riverside State Park -- Take a casual hike with a ranger through the ponderosa pines and down the Deep Creek Interpretive Trail. If the snow is deep, the trek will stay on the Centennial Trail. Meet 1 p.m. at Deep Creek parking lot, N. State Park Drive (off of 7 Mile Road). Bring daypack, layered clothing, water, food, sunscreen, sunglasses and possibly snowshoes depending on conditions. Pets OK on leash. Info: (509) 465-5064 or to contact the on-duty ranger the day of the hike call (509) 850-5109.