News for those who live, work and play in the Santiam Canyon

Free guided hike, parking on New Year’s Day at Detroit Lake

A free guided hike along the lake in Detroit Lake State parks is on tap for New Year’s Day.

The hike is part of Oregon State Park’s annual tradition of waiving parking permit fees on the year’s first day at all state parks that require them. 

A total of 31 Oregon Parks are offering the guided hikes. Go to for the full list.

America’s State Parks sponsors the first-day hikes to encourage Americans to start the year outside and connect with nature. The Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD) has participated since 2012.

The Detroit Lake hike runs for 1.5 miles and begins at 11 a.m. at the campground visitors center, 4400 N. Santiam Highway. The hike will explore areas of the park and the Perimeter Trail that burned in the 2020 fire and see how they are recovering. 

Call 503-872-5271 or register online at if you plan to attend and leave your contact information in case the hike is canceled because of weather conditions.

The 90-minute hike begins at the campground visitor center, 44000 N. Santiam Hwy. SE, Detroit.  Parking is up front (seven spaces), and additional parking is available in a normally closed portion of the campground’s E-Loop.

Friendly dogs are welcome on six-foot leashes and participants should dress in layers, wear sturdy shoes appropriate for ice and snow, and bring water and snacks, as well as a camera or binoculars for wildlife viewing.

Participants also can share photos of first day hikes via Twitter and Instagram by using the hashtag #ORfirstdayhikes or tagging “Oregon State Parks” on Facebook. 

Those who are interested in traveling a bit for their first-day jaunt could try Silver Falls State Park, which is hosting a pair of hikes that will put on display some of the amenities that opened in July at the site of the old North Falls group camp area. 

A North Canyon Trailhead has been established and a new ADA-accessible North Rim Trail connects the area to a viewpoint of North Falls, with the trail continuing to a link-up with the trail system that emanates from the North Falls Trailhead. Silver Falls has added restrooms, a kiosk with maps, a pay station and extended parking at the North Canyon site, with a new visitor center and campground set to appear across Highway 214 by 2025. 

If you are traveling from the Santiam Canyon the North Canyon Trailhead can be found just after you reach the North Falls parking lot.

Park staff are planning a pair of 1.5-mile hikes, one at 10 a.m. and the second at noon. The hikes will begin at the North Canyon Trailhead and travel approximately three-quarters of a mile to the new North Falls viewpoint. Visitors will learn about the geology, history, and natural resources of the park during the hikes. Pets are allowed on leash on this hike.

The North Rim Trail has a surface of compacted gravel, is 6 feet wide, and has a slope of less than 5 percent. Most mobility devices can navigate this trail.

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