Bulletin Staff Report

T hree popular Central Oregon state parks will be open for free, guided day hikes on New Year’s Day.

For the eighth year in a row, the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department is partnering with America’s State Parks to offer free guided hikes across Oregon on Jan. 1, including at La Pine, Smith Rock and Tumalo state parks in Central Oregon, according to a news release from the parks department.

At Smith Rock, two guided moderate-intensity hikes — a 2-mile hike on Rimrock Trail and a 3-mile hike on Wolf Tree Trail — will leave at 10 a.m. from the Smith Rock Welcome Center. Both hikes will be limited to 35 hikers, and the $5 parking fee will be waived, according to the release.

The guided hike at La Pine State Park will leave from South Loop trailhead at 11 a.m. The easy, 3-mile hike on the Deschutes Loop Trail will feature wildlife viewing and a nice winter scene from McGregor Viewpoint, according to the release.

The hike at Tumalo State Park will leave from Deschutes River Trail trailhead at 11 a.m. The easy, 3.4-mile hike along the Deschutes River Trail will also provide opportunities for wildlife viewing, according to the release.

Hikers can register for the hikes at www.store.oregonstate parks.org. Registration is not required but helps park staff plan and allows them to notify hikers if the hike is canceled because of bad weather.