Published 11/13/2019 at 3:33 PM PDT
By OREGON TRAVEL DAILY STAFF
(Salem, Oregon) – Thanksgiving weekend in Oregon just got a little more walking-friendly. Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD) is opening up all state parks to walkers, hikers or merely wanderers by nixing the day-use parking fees on Friday, November 29. Black Friday turns to Green Friday around Oregon, and OPRD is inviting residents to ditch the shopping bags for the outdoors.
“Fall weather brings a different flavor to many state parks and we’re encouraging folks to get outside and explore,” said Lisa Sumption, OPRD director. “This is our fifth year celebrating Green Friday and we’re excited to continue the post-holiday tradition.”
Almost all state parks around the region have free parking, but there are 25 of them that do charge a $5 fee for parking. The Green Friday freebie applies to those parks from open to close on November 29. The one exception is Shore Acres State Park on the south coast, where it expires at 3 p.m. for the Holiday Lights event that runs Thanksgiving through New Year's Eve. A list of parks that charge the $5 parking fee is available online.
Learn more about Oregon State Parks on oregonstateparks.org.
Latest on Wildlife Viewing in Northwest Oregon
According to Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW), there’s lots to see around the state right now in terms of critters and creatures, including migrating shorebirds and brown pelicans on the beaches.
White pelicans, normally associated with inland waters, have been seen a couple of times in recent months in nearshore areas of the north Oregon coast. However, they can be spotted regularly on the lower Columbia River. They are much larger, weighing nearly twice as much as their cousin, the brown pelican.
Migratory ducks and geese have been showing up on north coast estuaries, including the Columbia River for a few weeks now, and more will be moving in from the north in the coming weeks. Binoculars and a spotting scope are recommended to aid in viewing.
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