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Field Notes: a Northwest nature blog

One of the reasons many of us live in the Pacific Northwest is the natural wonders that amaze us all. On this blog Seattle Times writers and photographers will share their explorations of the natural world from snowcaps to whitecaps. Write us at with your own sightings, questions and wonders to share.

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December 31, 2012 at 7:00 AM

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A hike to start the New Year

What better way to work off the holiday pounds and kick off those New Year's resolutions than with a nice bracing winter hike?


Washington's lowland forests provide excellent winter hiking opportunities.

Photo by Steve Ringman, staff photographer, The Seattle Times

There are plenty of snow-free options suitable for families, including the dog.

Washington State Parks is launching a year-long celebration of its centennial year with events all over the state, beginning with hikes on Jan. 1, in 13 parks participating in the program.

Options for the First Day Hikes, featuring hot chocolate for hikers, include everything from strolls through Pacific Northwest old growth forests to snowshoe walks in Eastern Washington. You will need a Discover Pass to park.

For a complete list of participating parks and descriptions of the hikes, see the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission web site.

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