Visit Oregon and Washington state parks for free on Black Friday

black fridayThe #OptOutside trend started by REI in 2015 continues this year. Oregon and Washington state parks are waiving their fees on Black Friday, giving you another reason to spend time outdoors instead of fighting over packages in stores.

Both state parks departments are renaming the day. The Friday after Thanksgiving is “Green Friday” in Oregon and “Autumn Day” in Washington.

Also read: Top five hikes to watch winter storms on the coast

Oregon’s Green Friday applies to 25 parks that usually charge a $5 parking fee. Here’s are a few recommendations in Oregon to spend the upcoming outdoor holiday as compiled by The Oregonian:

  1. Fort Stevens

Fort Stevens boasts a huge number of unique features, including the iconic Peter Iredale shipwreck, the massive South Jetty at mouth of the Columbia River, the many historic military batteries, and more than six miles of sandy beach – all found at the confluence of the mightiest river in the western U.S. and the greatest ocean on Earth.

  1. Silver Falls

Silver Falls is an incredible state park, found near Silverton in the Willamette Valley. You can view towering South Falls from a viewpoint near the parking lot, but if you’re up for a hike, consider tackling the Trail of Ten Falls to see all the beautiful waterfalls that fill the park.

  1. Tryon Creek

The only state park in Portland proper, Tryon Creek is a perfect spot for a short nature hike. A sprawling network of trails cross creeks on wooden bridges, with all manner of plant and animal life to be found in the forest. For those celebrating Thanksgiving in the city, it’s certainly one of the easiest state parks to access.

  1. Viento

On the Oregon side of the Columbia River Gorge, you can visit beautiful Viento State Park, which offers access to the Columbia River, as well as the forested cliffs and waterfalls of the gorge. There’s also a 75-site campground, though the passing trains don’t allow for a very restful night.

  1. Rooster Rock

Rooster Rock is another beautiful state park on the Oregon side of the Columbia River Gorge, with a boat launch, river views, disc golf and even a clothing-optional beach, if you’re into that kind of thing. It’s also a great place to go stargazing, but you’ll need to get there around dusk in order to leave by the time the park closes at 6 p.m.

  1. Oswald West

Easily one of the most beautiful state parks in Oregon, Oswald West is a day-trip destination on the Oregon coast, with many miles of trails that lead up cliffs overlooking the ocean. You can summit Neahkahnie Mountain, hike up Cape Falcon or spend the day at Short Sand Beach, which is known as a great spot for surfers. There are also little pockets of beauty in the coastal forest in between.

Will you be visiting a state park for Black Friday? Share your pictures with Oregon Forests Forever!