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Step into the New Year with a First Day Hike on Benson Beach

First Day Hike

Benson Beach, seen from the North Head Lighthouse lookout, is the site of Washington State Park’s First Day Hike in Cape Disappointment State Park.

Start the new year off right with a First Day Hike across Benson Beach in Cape Disappointment State Park on Jan. 1.

First Day Hikes are organized by Washington State Parks, which is making a push to get people outdoors and into nature. Remember that New Year’s resolution to spend more time exercising and less time on the couch? Well, here’s a chance to put it into practice.

First Day Hike

The Cape Disappointment State Park hike is from 11 am to 1 pm Sunday, Jan. 1. It kicks off at the Benson Beach Amphitheater parking lot. Jan. 1 is the first Free Park Day of 2017, so you won’t need a Discover Pass.

The moderately difficult hike is about three miles. Participants should bring water and be prepared for wet weather. Dogs on leashes are welcome to join the fun.

More than three dozen First Day Hikes are planned at 32 state parks throughout Washington. First Day Hike pins should also be available.

Benson Beach is a lightly trafficked stretch of sand along Cape Disappointment State Park. It’s bookended by the North Jetty to one side and the North Head Lighthouse to the other. Although short on distance compared to the 28-mile Long Beach Peninsula, Benson Beach is rich in wildlife. Look for eagles and other large birds along the tree line and keep your eyes peeled for seals in the nearby surf. Deer sometimes meander through the area. Even whales have been known to frequent the waters around the jetty.

Call 360.902.8502 for more information.

First Day Hike

Stop by the Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center in Cape Disappointment State Park, a hotspot for Peninsula whale watching.

Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center

The hike ends relatively early, so you’ll have plenty of time to explore the scenic state park before the sun sets. Cape Disappointment State Park is home to two working lighthouses that date back well over a century; both are accessible by relatively short walks. The Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center is open 10am-5pm Wednesday through Sunday and offers spectacular views of the confluence of the Columbia River and Pacific Ocean. It’s also among the most-popular whale-watching hotspots on the Peninsula.

Cape Disappointment State Parks features an array of landscapes, all of which are easily accessible and worthy of exploration. Old-growth forest, freshwater lakes, saltwater marshes and ocean tidelands can all be found within the 1,882-acre state park. Between the First Day Hike and Free Park Day, you’ll have an opportunity to see it all.

Upcoming events:

Fireworks at Midnight over the Ocean – Dec. 31

Community Crab Feed – Jan. 14

Windless Kite Festival – Jan. 21-22

Asian New Year Kite Celebration – Jan. 27 – Feb. 10

Beach Clean Up Day – Feb. 4

FisherPoets Gathering – Feb. 24-26

Savings & coupons:

Peninsula specials & coupons

The Long Beach Peninsula Visitors Bureau facilitates, coordinates and implements the promotion of our communities as a tourist destination. Contact us at (360) 642-2400 or ask@funbeach.com.

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