Archive for the ‘Recreation’ Category

Best bird’s eye views from DNR hikes

July 15, 2014

With summer comes sunny days, and what better way to enjoy them than while recreating on DNR-managed land. DNR recreation opportunities offer visitors many places to take in Washington’s vistas.

Whether viewed from a trailhead picnic bench or after a long hike, the vistas you’ll find on DNR-managed lands are sure to awe.

Read on for a list of recreation opportunities sure to leave a lasting impression.

Samish Bay Overlook

View of Samish Bay from the Samish Overlook and Day-Use Area, managed by DNR. Photo DNR.

Samish Overlook
At Blanchard Mountain you can catch a great view of the San Juan Islands and have a picnic while watching the paragliders!

Eagle Nest Vista
Located in the Ahtanum State Forest, Eagle Nest Vista is just what its name implies – a bird’s eye view over the breathtaking sub-alpine forest. Enjoy a picnic while taking in the sights.

Mount Si

Enjoy a day hike up to Mount Si NRCA for great views. Photo by Diana Lofflin/ DNR

Mount Si Trailhead
Pack a picnic lunch and expect to see views of the Snoqualmie valley and Cascades. Mount Si Natural Resources Conservation Area (NRCA) draws about 100,000 visitors each year.

Twin Falls Lake
The high cascading inlet falls of Twin Falls Lake, located in the Morning Star NRCA, provide incentives to visitors willing to hike for their view. Start at the Ashland Lakes Trailhead for a 4.5-mile hike to the site.

Discover Pass
As you plan your next vista-viewing adventure, make sure to remember to grab a Discover Pass to make the most of Washington’s sunny days.

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5 Boating Safety Tips: Know before you go

July 11, 2014
Kayakers take advantage of nice weather to paddle in Puget Sound. Photo: DNR.

Kayakers take advantage of nice weather to paddle in Puget Sound. Photo: DNR.

With the arrival of hot summer days, you may be anxious to get out on the water and play! However, there have been many close calls due to cold water and the unpredictable weather in Puget Sound.

The Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is an advocate of safe and sustainable recreation. Before you head out to play, make sure you follow these five safety tips:

  1. Dress for the occasion. On a sunny day, a dip in the cool water might not sound like such a bad thing, but hypothermia can set in after only minutes of exposure. A wetsuit is a great way to stay safe and comfortable. If a wetsuit isn’t an option, wool clothing insulates better than cotton when wet.
  2. Practice self-rescue. In the event that you end up in the water unintentionally, being able to get back into your boat in deep water is imperative. Practice self-rescue in safe water before heading out.
  3. Be aware of offshore winds. When kayaking in open water, make sure to pay attention to off-shore winds that can make the paddle back to shore difficult.
  4. Paddle with a partner. If you kayak with a buddy, you’ll always have someone there in case of an emergency… plus, it’s much more fun.
  5. Always wear your PFD (personal floatation device). The most important thing to remember is that PFDs save lives. Don’t paddle without one.

    A group of kayakers paddle in Bellingham Channel. Cypress Island and one of the Cone Islands are in the background. Photo: DNR/Jason Goldstein

    A group of kayakers paddle in Bellingham Channel. Cypress Island and one of the Cone Islands are in the background. Photo: DNR/Jason Goldstein

If you want to take your paddling safety skills to the next level, check out these resources:

FREE online paddle safety course
Washington Water Trails Association

If you operate a motor boat, you’ll need to get your Boater Education Card from State Parks.

Remember, be safe and have a great time on the water!

Do you have any water safety tips? Please send your comments to recreation@dnr.wa.gov.

Find waterside recreation sites for DNR-managed lands, recreation rules, opening and closure information, and more on our Recreation web page.

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Rec Alert: Lake Spokane Recreation Area CLOSED

July 10, 2014

Lake Spokane Campground is closed to the public while fire crews use the site to host base camp operations to fight the Lake Spokane fire.

Spokane Lake Campground is closed to help firefighting efforts. Photo by: KXLY 4 News

Spokane Lake Campground is closed to help firefighting efforts. Photo by: KXLY 4 News

The Lake Spokane campground, day-use, water access areas, and boat launch are all completely closed to the public.

Although this is a DNR campground, the site has been managed by Washington State Parks since 2012. If you have questions about reservations at Lake Spokane, please call 509-465-5064.

Where can I go instead?
We’re asking the public to stay clear of Lake Spokane recreation area so fire crews can focus on their work. By visiting other sites, you will be helping the firefighters fight the fire. We understand the inconvenience of this situation and greatly appreciate your support.

During this closure, please visit one of the following nearby recreation instead:

  • Riverside State Park.
  • Nine Mile Recreation Area Campground. This location has a campground, day-use, and swimming area for public use.
  • Two public boat launches located at south end of Lake Spokane.
  • The DNR-managed Dragoon Creek Campground.

Nine Mile Recreation Area Campground
11226 W Charles Rd
Nine Mile Falls, Washington 99026

Riverside State Park
9711 W. Charles Road
Nine Mile Falls, WA 99026

Dragoon Creek Campground
Start in Spokane at the junction of US Hwy 2 and US Hwy 395.
Go north on US Hwy 395 for 10.2 mi.
Turn left on Dragoon Creek Rd. Go 0.4 mi. to camp entrance.

Please remember a Discover Pass is required for vehicle access to these campgrounds.

Stay connected
Make sure you’re in the loop this fire season. Get updates on Washington wildfires by following the DNR Fire Twitter.

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Your recreation guide to Teanaway Community Forest

May 22, 2014
Mountain biking is just one of the recreation uses at the Teanaway Community Forest.

Mountain biking is just one of the recreation uses at the Teanaway Community Forest.

The Teanaway Community Forest, situated at the headwaters of the Yakima Basin watershed, offers many outdoor recreational opportunities and is a gateway to other public lands, such as nearby national forests.

The Washington departments of Natural Resources and Fish and Wildlife have put together a factsheet on interim recreation opportunities available while they develop the management plan with input from a community advisory committee.

Check out the highlights below:

Hiking, horseback riding, and mountain biking
The Community Forest may lack a maintained trail system currently, but hikers, horseback riders and mountain bikers may use existing trails at their own risk. Most roads are posted as closed to motor vehicles but they are opened for non-motorized uses.

Off-road and all-terrain vehicles must abide by county rules on public roads within the Community Forest. These vehicles are not permitted on gated roads.

Hunting and fishing
Hunting and fishing are allowed under state regulations:

Camping and campfires
Free, first come, first served overnight camping is available in three designated campgrounds: 29 Pines, Indian Camp, and Teanaway. Camping outside those campgrounds is not allowed. Garbage is not collected at the campgrounds, so campers must pack out all trash.

Campfires are permitted within approved fire rings in each campground unless a burn ban is in force within Kittitas County. Fires in commercially purchased propane fire pits are allowed during burn bans.

Discover Pass
At this time, motorists do not need a Discover Pass or WA Department of Fish and Wildlife Vehicle Access Pass to use the Community Forest. Future access pass requirements will be addressed in the forest management plan, which will be completed by mid-2015.

For more information, go to the Teanaway Community Forest on DNR’s website.

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Water safety first as warm temperatures return

May 1, 2014
Blow-hole along the Strait of Juan De Fuca west of Neah Bay

Kayaker is sprayed by a blow-hole along the Strait of Juan De Fuca west of Neah Bay. Photo: DNR

This week’s warm temperatures are drawing large crowds to Washington State’s lakes, rivers, ocean beaches, and Puget Sound.

Safety first
Rafting, boating, and swimming can be great fun, but we want to make sure you make safety your first priority.

Washington’s cold waters can turn a sunny adventure into a scary situation in a matter of seconds.

Water excursions on DNR-managed land
Look on our Recreation web page to find out which waterside recreation sites on DNR-managed lands are open. Locate resources for safe and sustainable paddling here.

Boater Education Card required
Remember, if you operate a boat, you’ll need to get your Boater Education Card from State Parks and have one U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket available for each person aboard.

Additional water safety reminders come from the Washington State Department of Health.

National Boating Safety Week is May 17 through May 23. Teach your loved ones the essentials of water safety with tips from the Safe Boating Campaign.

Cypress Head camping

Sunrise at Cypress Head on Cypress Island — a DNR-managed Natural Resources Conservation Area. Photo: Jason Goldstein/DNR

Something to look forward to…
Cypress Island: rich in DNR’s most popular boat-in campgrounds and day-use recreation sites will open Memorial Day weekend.

Make sure you get your Discover Pass before you go! One $35* Annual Discover Pass grants you vehicle access to DNR recreation sites, campgrounds, trails, and 2.2 million acres of state trust lands.

Most importantly, be safe and have fun!

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*Annual Discover Pass is $35 including transaction and dealer fees if purchased at a license dealer, by phone or online. 

Rec Alerts: Harvest activities & road work might affect your visits to NW Washington

April 29, 2014

Timber harvests and road work are familiar hazards to DNR recreationists.

This blog will help keep you aware of forest activity on DNR land in Northwest Washington over the next month.

A truck loaded down with timber is driving down a forest road

Be aware of logging trucks and pull off to the side in a designated pull out if you see one coming your way. Photo by: DNR

Read more to find out about recreation alerts in the following areas:

  • Blanchard State Forest Road building and timber harvest activities will restrict access to the north end of Blanchard Mountain through August 31
  • Harry Osborne State Forest Read more to learn updates on the Wrangler Connection Trail and Mac Johnson Trail closures.
  • Stewart Mountain Heavy truck traffic continues on the Olsen Creek Road System.
  • North Fork Road System This road system will close July through mid-August.

Check back frequently, as we will post updates here as they become available. (more…)

DNR Adventure: Your outdoor gym: mountain biking

April 18, 2014

As spring gets rolling, so can you, on your mountain bike. There are many DNR trails that accommodate mountain bikes. Read on for some trip ideas to inspire you to pump up your tires and dig out the riding gear.

Abandon your stationary bike and take to the trails for some serious cardio action. Photo courtesy of Friends of Capitol Forest

Abandon your stationary bike and take to the trails for some serious cardio action. Photo courtesy of Friends of Capitol Forest

Grab your Discover Pass, strap the bike rack on your car, and enjoy the great outdoors from the comfort of your bike seat.

Capital Forest—Mima Falls
The Mima Falls trail is a great ride for all ages and skill levels. The trail is a 7 mile loop so you can decide if you want to roll through and take in the views or try a different line on each time around.

Take an afternoon and ride Capitol State Forest's outdoor gym. Photo by: DNR

Take an afternoon and ride Capitol State Forest’s outdoor gym. Photo by: DNR

This trail is not too technical, allowing you to relax and enjoy the scenery. Make sure you stop to take in the views when you pass by the breathtaking Mima Falls waterfall. Bring a lunch - the falls create musical natural soundtrack to accompany your picnic.

Get there: From I-5 South
Take exit 95 and make a slight left onto Maytown Road SW. Continue onto 128th Avenue. Turn left onto Mima Road SW and continue 1.3 miles, then turn right onto Bordeaux Road SW. Turn right onto Marksman Street SW. Keep left to stay on Marksman Street SW, then make a slight left to stay on Marksman St SW. The trailhead will be on your left.

Tiger Mountain Trail- Fully Rigid, Joy Ride, Silent Swamp
These new trails are now open to the public for hiking and mountain biking. You can be one of the firsts to take tread to the trail and enjoy the climb to a lovely picnic area set at the top. Whether you are looking for a short quick uphill route (Fully Rigid), a more pleasant flatter slower route (Silent Swamp), or something in between (Joy Ride) these three new trails have something for everyone.

Mountain Bike Rider on East Tiger Mountain

Enjoy the natural and rugged terrain at East Tiger Mountain this summer. Photo: Sam Jarrett, DNR

No matter what trail you choose going up, they all share the same hilltop destination. Go ahead out and be the first of your friends to conquer these new tails and try all the different combinations.

Get there: From I-90
Take exit 25 and drive south on State Route 18 to the Tiger Mountain summit. At the summit, turn right (west) into the large parking lot. Drive through the first lot, and turn left onto a gravel road. Continue about 0.25 mile to a second, larger parking lot on the right. The road is gated just past this lot.

Before you go:
As fun as mountain biking can be, make sure you take the following precautions to play safely:

  • Always wear a helmet and personal protective gear.
  • Never recreate alone on DNR-managed lands. Taking a buddy not only makes the ride more fun, but it also provides someone to help you if you get into trouble.
  • Know the trails, and check to see if they’re open.
  • Practice proper trail etiquette.
  • Read tips for safe and sustainable mountain biking.

So take your spin class outdoors and get some fresh air in your lungs as you enjoy great trails and great scenery.

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Join the 9th Annual Great Gravel Pack-In

March 18, 2014
Great Gravel Pack-In

Great Gravel Pack-In volunteers are happy to help, rain or shine!
Photo by: Diana Lofflin/DNR

Join DNR staff and volunteers from a variety of recreation interests for the 9th Annual Great Gravel Pack-In, March 29 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m..

The Great Gravel Pack-In has become an annual tradition that showcases and celebrates the value of volunteers and importance of cooperative efforts. See photos from past events on the DNR Flickr page.

This Year’s Activities
Volunteers will help spread gravel and repair damaged sections of trails in Capitol State Forest. Some may also help clear storm debris and make basic improvements to Middle Waddell and Margaret McKenney campgrounds.

Join the Event

What 9th Annual Great Gravel Pack-In
When March 29, 2014
9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Where Capitol State Forest
Tacoma Trail Cruisers’ Property

 

 

Ron Downing at the 8th Annual Great Gravel Pack-In. Photo: Diana Lofflin, DNR.

Ron Downing at the 8th Annual Great Gravel Pack-In. Photo: Diana Lofflin, DNR.

Learn more about the Great Gravel Pack-In and other volunteer events on the DNR Volunteer Calendar.

Invite your friends on Facebook. Come volunteer and be a hero for a day!

What to Expect
Volunteers should bring work gloves, water, and rain gear to this event. A barbeque lunch will be provided by the Tacoma Trail Cruisers.

We ask that children under the age of 18 are accompanied by a parent or guardian. Also, for the safety of horses and pack stock, please do not bring dogs.

Event Partners
A special thanks to the following groups for partnering with DNR on this event:

Discover Pass logoVolunteers can get rewards
Did you know that volunteers can earn vouchers toward a complimentary Discover Pass for their service?

Get details.

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Plan your weekend adventure with DNR

March 7, 2014

Looking for something to do this weekend? Plan an outdoor adventure on DNR-managed lands.

Try Something New
Don’t let cool weather hold you back. This time of year you can go hiking, mountain biking, trail running, snowshoeing, snowmobiling, horseback riding, off-road vehicle riding, camping, bird watching, free flying (hang gliding and paragliding), and many other activities.

Ahtanum

The 67 miles of groomed snow trails at Ahtanum Winter Recreation Area are waiting to be explored. Click to learn more. Photo: Ken Dean/DNR

If you can dream up a fun outdoor activity, you can probably find a group doing it on state-trust lands.

Plan Ahead
The key to a good trip out into nature is to make sure you’re prepared. Here are some things to consider before striking out into the great outdoors:

Explore some DNR recreation photos on our Flickr site to get inspired for your next outdoor adventure.

Most importantly, have fun on your trip.

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Rec Alert: Murdock Beach access road open after brief closure for soil testing

March 6, 2014

Ruby Beach, located on the Washington Coast. Photo: Jane Chavey/ DNR

All work has been completed and the Murdock Beach access forest road is once again open to the public.

Thank you for your patience!

Original article posted February 27, 2014:

Rec Alert: Murdock Beach access road to close for soil testing
The forest road that accesses Murdock Beach will be closed Tuesday, March 4 and Wednesday, March 5 for soil testing.

Murdock Beach, located on the Strait of Juan de Fuca, will not be accessible during this time.

The temporary closure will be at the junction of US Highway 112 and forest road PA-S-2500. This will block access to the PA-S-2510 beach access road and the PA-S-2600 forest access road.

Why will the road be closed?
The DNR Timber Sales program will be taking core samples of the forest road to determine soil suitability. This is a step in preparing for a fish barrier culvert removal.

Murdock Beach access road closure

The forest road that accesses Murdock Beach will be closed March 4 – 5. Click image to enlarge.

For updates on the closure, please visit DNR’s recreation updates page. Closure updates will also be posted on DNR’s Facebook and Twitter sites.

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