85-Year-Old Hiker and Nearly 2,000 Additional Visitors Started 2024 with a First Day Hike

February 11, 2024 at 6:24 p.m.
This "First Day" hike at Lake Wenatchee State Park was one of 50 group events at Washington State Parks on January 1, photo courtesy of Washington State Parks & Recreation Commission
This "First Day" hike at Lake Wenatchee State Park was one of 50 group events at Washington State Parks on January 1, photo courtesy of Washington State Parks & Recreation Commission

The numbers are in on Washington’s First Day Hikes, and boy are they impressive! 

More than 40 Washington state parks hosted First Day Hikes this year, with 50 hikes in total.

The term “hike” is defined loosely, and includes hiking, biking, kayaking, horseback riding, snowshoeing, or even coaxing dogs through an obstacle course. Together, they covered 2,871.2 miles of trail that varied in distance and rigor.


photos courtesy State Parks & Recreation Commission

 

At Lake Sylvia State Park in Montesano, Park Ranger Glennette Falani reported, “I have been with Sylvia since 2017 as the Ranger 1 and I have led the First Day hikes many times. I believe this was the largest we have had. It was a beautiful day. NO RAIN. The oldest hiker we had participated in the 1.5-mile hike around the lake. She is 85 years old, and she crushed it!”


Some other highlights:


-- Bald eagles made impromptu appearances at Ike Kinswa, Lake Sammamish and Cama Beach.  
-- At Lime Kiln Point, hikers climbed to the top of the lighthouse.  
-- Sacajawea’s canine obstacle course allowed several dogs to earn Bark Ranger badges.  

The annual First Day Hikes events offer an experience for park-goers to start the new year off in the outdoors. First Day Hikes are free (no Discover Pass required); they are an inclusive and welcoming experience to enhance park-goers' knowledge, skills and confidence in the outdoors.

Most of First Day Hikes are guided and some even offer refreshments!



Didn’t make it to First Day Hikes? You haven’t missed your chance for staff-led winter activities:

-- Easton Reload Sno-Park will host guided snowshoe hikes, Saturdays, 9 a.m. and Mondays, 10:30 a.m. through February. Sno-Park permits required.
-- Lake Wenatchee has guided snowshoe hikes, Sundays through February, 11 a.m., North park office. Sno-Park permits required.
-- Palouse to Cascades Trail, Cle Elum South Depot will hold guided winter walks, Saturdays at 1 p.m. to mid-March.
-- Deception Pass is holding Families in Nature programs every other Friday and Saturday, 9:30-11am through mid-March.
-- Deception Pass will host a Bird Walk on February 24.
-- Check Washington State Parks Calendar of Events for additional events and programs: 
https://parks.wa.gov/find-activities/event-calendar


The information and photos for this article are courtesy Washington State Parks & Recreation Commission

 

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