What's going on during New Year's Day? Cold-water dips and great hikes!

Peninsula Daily News

Those who want to shake off the effects of New Year's Eve celebration can consider taking a cold plunge in a Polar Bear Dip, compete in a run or enjoy a hike on New Year's Day.

The longest-running annual Polar Bear Dip on the North Olympic Peninsula is at Hollywood Beach in Port Angeles, which will mark its 26th year on Tuesday.

Those who dare will jump into Port Angeles Harbor at 10 a.m., said Dan Welden, an organizer.

“As usual, there will be a hot fire to warm the polar bears pre- and post-dip,” Welden said.

He expects between 75 and 100 people to participate. Spectators also are welcome.

For the second year, Volunteer Hospice of Clallam County will supply dippers and observers with hot beverages and other refreshments.

The hospice has a “Dip for Dollars” promotion. Individuals are nominated with a dollar amount attached to participate in the plunge.

“For example, I know that someone has pledged $100 to [Volunteer Hospice of Clallam County] if Board President Ed Hophner were to take the plunge,” Welden said.

The group invites others to issue similar challenges, he said.

The 20th annual Nordland Polar Bear Dip will be the first one without Tom Rose, owner of Nordland General Store, joining in, said his wife, Sue Rose.

Her husband went into Jefferson Healthcare hospital for emergency surgery on Christmas Eve.

He's recovering well, but will probably be hospitalized for another couple of days and will be able only to watch the action this year, she said Saturday.

“Tom is only one who has jumped in every year,” Sue Rose said. “He won't be able to do it this year so now he's looking for surrogates.

“He's been guilting everybody, even his nurses,” she said.

Participants will take the plunge into Mystery Bay at noon, jumping from the dock across from the store at 7180 Flagler Road.

Wetsuits are not allowed, Tom Rose has said in earlier years.

Most years, the plunge has drawn between 70 and 120 people, Sue Rose said.

The record, made in 2000, was 187.

“We think it'd be great to break the record,” she said.

“A few hardy, sturdy folks” will brave the cold water of the Strait of Juan de Fuca at noon in Neah Bay, said organizer June Williams.

The 12th annual Neah Bay plunge will be at noon behind the Neah Bay Senior Center, 341 Bay View Ave.

Afterward, “we usually gather somewhere to have soup,” Williams said.

Usually about a dozen to 20 people take the plunge, she said.

The Lake Pleasant Polar Bear Plunge will lack one of its organizers this year, her mother said.

Sonja Hirsch was due to give birth to her first child this weekend, said her mother, Carin Hirsch on Friday.

If the baby arrives on time, Carin will jump into the lake, she said; if not, she may be in Seattle with her daughter.

“If we're not there, go ahead and jump in without us,” she said.

The plunge at Lake Pleasant Community Beach County Park, now in its eighth year, will be at
10 a.m.

It tends to feature outrageous costumes.

The Lake Pleasant Community Beach County Park is off U.S. Highway 101 in Beaver, 10 miles north of Forks.

If getting cold and wet isn't in your plans, there are other ways to venture outdoors on Wednesday.

The second annual Jefferson Trails Coalition New Years Discovery 10K Run/Walk is planned for New Year's Day.

Discovery Bay Golf Course, 7401 Cape George Road, will again host the event, which runs from
11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The 10K course winds through the golf course's fairways and the southern end of the Larry Scott Trail, the eastern end of the Olympic Discovery Trail.

It is open to all ages.

Commemorative knit beanies are available to all participants as part of the entry fee of $25 for pre-registrants or $30 at the event.

Prizes and ribbons are awarded to the top three finishers in each gender/age group.

Pre-register at peninsulatrailscoalition.org.

For more information, phone Jeff Selby 360-385-0995 or email NY

A free New Year's Day Teddy Bear Hike is planned by the Olympic Chapter of the Washington Native Plant Society.

The hike will begin at North Beach Park at the end of Kuhn Street at 10 a.m.

This event is open to the public.

Depending on weather, the walk will be between 1 mile and 3 miles into the park.

Attendees are invited to bring Teddy bears or other stuffed friends.

For more information, phone Fred or Ann Weinmann at 360-379-0986 or email fweinmann@cablespeed.com.

Guided hikes will be offered at Fort Flagler State Park on Marrowstone Island and at Fort Worden State Park in Port Townsend.

The state Parks and Recreation Commission is offering First Day Hikes at 15 state parks.

The Discover Pass is required for vehicle access.

North Olympic Peninsula state parks with hikes are:

■   Fort Flagler State Park: Hike 2 miles along the Bluff Trail or a shorter hike three-fourths of a mile that includes views of North Puget Sound and historic military structures.

Meet at 1 p.m. in front of the park museum. On-leash pets are welcome. The park museum is open on New Year's Day.

■   Fort Worden State Park: Take a stroll up Artillery Hill and walk through multiple coastal defense bunkers for a 1.5-mile hike. Meet at 12:30 p.m. at the Memories Vault.

Those unfamiliar with the park may wish to arrive 30 minutes early and ask for directions at the Coastal Artillery Museum, located next door to the park office.

Children 10 and older are welcome. Those who want to explore the bunkers are advised to take along a flashlight.

For more information, see www.parks.wa.gov/events.

Last modified: December 29. 2013 10:15AM
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