Dozens of free hikes—two in the Buxton area—sponsored by Oregon State Parks are on the books to ring in the new year.
On Monday, January 1, the $5 parking fee at day use areas at parks like Stub Stewart State Park will be waived as well.
“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.”
The program is offered as part of the America’s State Parks alliance, a group of state park systems in all 50 states.
Oregon has participated since 2012.
Banks-Vernonia First Day Hike and Ride
Park rangers and volunteers will lead a guided hike starting at the Buxton Trailhead (24600 NW Bacona Road) at 11 a.m. The route will head south across the Buxton Trestle.
First Day Ride
If horses are more your style, a concurrent event at the same location will be lead by Oregon Equestrian Trails, followed by a 1 p.m. potluck. You must bring your own horse.
Pets are welcome, but must be on a leash no more than 6 feet long. Children must be accompanied by an adult.
Starting at the Hilltop Day Use Area, park staff and volunteers will lead a three mile hike at Stub Stewart State Park. In a loop connecting Boomscooter Trail, Unfit Settlement Trail, Hares Canyon Trail, Peavey Hook Bridleway, and Widowmaker Way, there will be moderate elevation gain in some of the sections.
The route is a mix of dirt and gravel paths. Waterproof hiking boots were advised.
“The Friends of Stub Stewart State Park and Banks-Vernonia Rails to Trail will be running a booth with free hot drinks and snacks, as well as information about how to volunteer for future events and work parties at Stub,” an event listing for the hike read.
Pets on a leash no longer than 6 feet are welcome. Children must be accompanied by an adult.