Archive for the ‘Recreation’ Category

Celebrate Boy Scouts’ Day the Boy Scout way

February 21, 2014
boy scout volunteers

These little scouts spent the day picking up trash at Tarbell Campground for DNR.
Photo by Josh Riepe/DNR 2013

Just a few weeks past, was the celebration of Boy Scouts’ Day. Boy Scouts’ Day marks the day when Boy Scouts of America was officially incorporated.

There are many ways this day is observed all over the country. This day is also used by Cub Scouts to hold their banquets and award ceremonies where they can become Boy Scouts. This day has been celebrated since 1910 when the BSA was founded in America.

Boy Scouts help out DNR
Boy Scout troops often do community service and service projects with DNR, such as the campfire safety PSA (shown below) a troop created with DNR for Wildfire Awareness Week 2012.

They also build bridges, fix trails, and clean up recreation sites.

There are many troops who take the Boy Scouts’ Day as another day to help with cleaning up trails and keeping parks in tip top shape. These projects don’t just happen one day a year, but this day is a great reminder of what can still be done to help out.

Get involved
You can get involved just like the Boy Scouts by hopping over onto the DNR volunteer calendar. We look forward to seeing you out and about.

Special thanks to all the troops to lend a hand on DNR-managed recreation lands!

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Plan your V-Day getaway on DNR recreation lands

February 14, 2014

Happy Valentine’s Day!! Wait, did you forget…?

Plan a fun trip to DNR-managed recreation lands this Valentine's Day!

Plan a fun trip to DNR-managed recreation lands this Valentine’s Day!

Still scrambling to plan a romantic getaway? Or perhaps searching for a single’s adventure to escape all the hearts and flowers?

Plan your trip today at www.dnr.wa.gov/recreation.

Just because you forgot to plan Valentine’s Day, doesn’t mean you should go unprepared. 

Remember:

Have fun!

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Wish you were here?

February 13, 2014
High Hut at Mount Tahoma

Book your adventure to the Mount Tahoma Snow Huts on DNR-managed state trust lands today at http://www.skimtta.com/huts.htm

Winter recreation season is finally in full swing. The mountains are covered in snow and Eastern Washington’s trails are groomed and ready for snowmobiling, skiing, and snowshoeing.

Planning a trip to see the snow? We at DNR want you to have the opportunity to enjoy some winter outdoor adventures, but we want you to be safe.

mountain bikers riding a snowy trail

Winter outdoor recreation takes many shapes on DNR-managed lands.
Photo: Randy Warnock/DNR

Safety first for winter recreation
Whether you snowshoe, cross country ski, hike, or snowmobile, you should be prepared.

Here are some tips to follow for a safe and enjoyable trip:

Snow mobile

Don’t get out on the trails without proper permits! Make it a fun day and know before you go.
Photo: Chuck Lamica, DNR

Snowmobilers
Snowmobilers should follow all of the aforementioned as well as know their ability to ride on or off groomed trails.

Wear protective equipment with Washington Department of Transportation approved helmets. Never carry a passenger unless the snowmobile is designed for it. Always avoid alcohol while operating a snowmobile and ride responsibly.

Sno-Park Permit, Discover Pass, or both?
Don’t forget to grab your Sno-Park Permit or Discover Pass before you head out.

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Take the Reiter Foothills Forest ORV Trail Survey

February 7, 2014

Have you had a chance to ride the new 4×4, ATV, or single-track motorcycle trails at Reiter Foothills Forest?

Reiter 4x4

Tell us about your experience riding the new trails at Reiter Foothills Forest. Photo: DNR/Sue Jensen

DNR staff want to know what you think! In just five minutes, you can take the survey. Your input will help DNR staff to make informed decisions while shaping the future motorized trails.

Take the Survey
mouse graphicGo online and take the survey today at http://bit.ly/ReiterSurvey

Reiter dirt bike motorcycle

Trail construction at Reiter continues year-round.
Photo: DNR/Jessica Payne

Survey results will inform trail planners and land managers as they develop future recreation opportunities in the Reiter Foothills Forest.

Help us get the word out. Share the survey with your friends and family.

Reiter Foothills Forest Motorized Trail System
The motorized trail system at Reiter Foothills Forest is open to the public Saturdays and Sundays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Want to learn about the history and planning process? Need directions to Reiter? Or just want to know the nitty-gritty on the new trail systems?

Visit the Reiter Foothills Forest Recreation Planning webpage and get maps, trail guides, and details on the area.

Volunteer at Reiter
February kicks off a new series of volunteer work parties at Reiter Foothills Forest.

Reiter

Join DNR staff and other volunteers to build and maintain motorized and non-motorized trails at Reiter. Photo: DNR/Toni Droscher

These parties will focus on trail maintenance for the motorized trail system and trail construction for both the motorized and future non-motorized trail systems.

To get started, join DNR staff at the Deer Flats Mainline gate at 9 a.m. on Saturday, February 22, to work trail maintenance on the ATV and single-track motorcycle trails.

Learn more and get directions on the DNR Volunteer Calendar.

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Are You Ready to Discover #BeastMode?

February 2, 2014

Sasquatch family spotted buying Discover Pass – the vehicle access pass required on all Washington state-managed recreation lands including state parks.

Take a walk on ‘the wild side’ and discover Washington’s natural resources.

Sasquatch spotted using Discover Pass

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The 12th bird: See it live at West Tiger Mountain NRCA

January 17, 2014
osprey

Osprey diving with wings folded, head first and at the last second thrusting its talons downward into the water. The osprey is the only raptor that will plunge into the water to catch a fish. Photo: Rodney Cammauf/National Park Service.

If the anticipation of this Sunday’s NFC playoff game between the Seattle Seahawks and the San Francisco 49ers whets your curiosity about hawks, or you just want a good place to hike this weekend, consider one of the many recreation areas managed by DNR, such as West Tiger Mountain Natural Resources Conservation Area. This 4,430-acre site is 35 miles east of Seattle and protects a vast variety of rare ecosystems and many species of native western Washington wildlife. Children can delight in knowing they are walking through the habitat of deer, cougar, bobcats, black bear, coyote, elk, red-tailed hawks, osprey (AKA SEA HAWK), owl, and woodpecker. This area is an excellent outdoor classroom with an education shelter, interpretive displays, and accessible trails.

Head into nature today! Studies show that nature exposure and education can help students excel in classroom subjects as well. The trip can also teach kids about the importance of state-protected rare species and their habitat. So, grab your children (and their friends) and hit the trail. Rain or shine, grab your Discover Pass and head out for some extra-curricular activities!

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Winter winds can make recreation hazardous

January 10, 2014
storm damage

Use caution as the forest can be a hazardous place on windy days.
Photo by: DNR/Christine Redmond

Washington’s typical winter weather is finally upon us, and with it comes rain, wind, snow, and storms.

Use extra caution
This wild weather may inspire you to strap on your raincoat and hit the forest for a hike or recreation adventure, but DNR staff would like you to use caution and stay safe.

With winter storms rolling through our state, please be careful out in the forest during high winds. Windy weather can be very dangerous to recreationists in the woods when trees, limbs, and other debris fall.

Report hazards
If you come across windfall blocking roads or trails, please contact our region offices listed below to inform them so we can get folks out as quickly as possible to remedy the situation.

(more…)

Sno-Park Permit or Discover Pass: What you need to know to play in the snow

January 3, 2014
What you need for winter recreation on WA state lands

Click on the graphic for a larger view.

Before you head out to cross-country ski, snowshoe, snowmobile or just play in the snow on state-managed lands this winter, be sure you have the right permit or pass.

Sno-Park Pass or Discover Pass?
In some cases you’ll either need a Sno-Park Permit or a Discover Pass—or even both. (more…)

Thirteen ideas for fun recreation on DNR-managed lands for Friday the 13th (or whenever)

December 13, 2013
Discover Pass

Buy your loved one a gift that will last the whole year, an annual Discover Pass! Now you can choose the start date at the time of purchase. http://www.discoverpass.wa.gov/

Start off the holiday recreation season with a few of these 13 tips & ideas. Plan a winter adventure now!

1.       Hike
If we’re blessed with one of those brisk clear blue-skied days we sometimes get here in the Northwest grab your boots and hit the trails. DNR has trails for different skill levels. Head over to our recreation page and find a trail that’s right for you!

2.       Trail Run
Get some peace and quiet during the holiday season by spending a few hours running through some of our hundreds of miles of trails. Check which trails are open and make sure you wear something bright and reflective if you’re in an area with hunters.

3.       Cross Country Ski & Snowshoe
Enjoy the peace and quiet of non-motorized winter recreation. You can cross-country ski and snowshoe on nearly 50 miles of trails—20 miles of which are groomed—in the Tahoma and Elbe State Forests, east of Elbe on the way up to Mount Rainier. The Mount Tahoma Trails Association (MTTA) operates free ski huts there, but you do need reservations. Visit the MTTA website for more information. Don’t forget to purchase a Sno-Park permit for parking at any of these areas.

4.       Geocaching
Enjoy a state-wide scavenger hunt with your holiday visitors and take them geocaching! There are many caches hidden on trails on DNR land. Bring a holiday trinket to leave behind for the next geo-explorer.

5.       Dirt biking & ATV
Winter is the best time to take your bike out and get muddy! Although some trails are closed in the winter, there are plenty of places to head out and blow off some of your holiday stress.

6.       Sledding
It’s not winter without sledding! Take your holiday visitors for an adventure the whole family can enjoy! Head out to the mountains and hills to find a snowy bank and sled all day.

7.       Winter Camping
Just because it’s not summer doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the perks of getting away for the weekend. Become a true Northwestern, weekend warrior by enjoying some off-season tent, car, or RV camping on DNR state land. Just make sure you check what sites are open during the winter before you head out for a frosty adventure.

8.       Snowmobiling
You’ll find groomed trails for snowmobiling, cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing on state trust lands managed by DNR. Many of these trails originate on DNR-managed lands; others hook up with trails from other public and private lands.

9.       Bird Watching & Nature Observing        
Winter is a great time for locating animal tracks and watching waterfowl. Many birds that spend summer months in Alaska and Canada migrate down to Washington during the cold season. Coastal inlets, estuaries, and freshwater wetlands are some of the best places to go birding in winter. Learn about DNR’s Natural Areas Program and find protected natural areas nearest you to spend a day at peace with nature.

10.   Razor Clamming
It’s razor clamming time! Check out this post on the current razor clamming season from our friends at Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. Right now is one of the best times to get out and dig your own delicious dinner.

11.   Pleasure Drive
Need to get away from the holiday rush? Clear your head on a weekend drive like this one that made National Geographic’s 500 Scenic Drives of a Lifetime. Stop along the way for a picnic at one of DNR’s protected Natural Areas such as Kennedy Creek NAP, Shipwreck Point NRCA, or the Chehalis River Surge Plain NAP. You could also camp for the night at Bear Creek Campground (milepost 206), Hoh Oxbow Campground (milepost 176 -177), or Cottonwood Campground (milepost 177 – 178). For more road trip ideas, visit DNR’s recreation page. If your trip takes you off the highway, remember the safety rules of navigating any of DNR’s working forest roads from our Forest Road Survival Guide.

12.   Meet Washington’s Other First Family
The Squatches are a fun-loving, outdoorsy family that moved to the ‘burbs to escape the hustle and bustle of modern day life. These weekend warriors love the millions of acres of Washington state-managed lands where they can fit all their outdoor activities into one, action-packed trip. Must-view fun videos.

13.   Discover Pass
Nothing says holidays like giving the gift of the great outdoors! Now you can choose your start date, so you can give it as a present to your family outdoor enthusiast or pick one up for yourself and start your own winter adventure.

Happy holidays from DNR!

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Eight reasons DNR is thankful for volunteers

November 28, 2013

Samish Overlook

Year-round, volunteers help keep DNR-managed rec sites clean, safe, and healthy. Photo by: DNR/Rick Foster

Each year, volunteers of all ages put in hundreds of thousands of hours helping DNR.

Their dedicated efforts and skills help us maintain and improve recreational sites, trails, natural areas, and other outdoor volunteer opportunities on the state trust lands we manage.

Some volunteers devote time every month; others pitch in a few hours here and there.

At DNR, we’re thankful to all of those who:

  1. Spent countless hours battling blackberries and scotch broom from overtaking trails and natural areas.
  2. Volunteered for the Forest Watch Program.
  3. Provided information and nature interpretation to school children and other forest visitors.
  4. Trekked out in the field to collect data or monitor plant species — providing valuable information to staff scientists.
  5. Helped us maintain and build recreational trails.
  6. Organized volunteer work parties.
  7. Provided clerical assistance.
  8. Helped DNR keep campgrounds open to the public by becoming a volunteer camp host.

Reiter

Rain or shine, DNR’s volunteers are always happy to show up and lend a hand. Photo by: DNR

…and the many other activities that relied on volunteer efforts in the past year.

To all of you, our sincere thanks! And a Happy Thanksgiving.

The gift that gives back
Did you know that volunteers can earn vouchers toward a complimentary Discover Pass for their service?

By putting in 24 hours of time working on eligible projects on recreation lands managed by DNR, Washington State Parks, or Washington Department of Fish and WildlifeGet details.

Check out our Volunteer Calendar to learn about opportunities for you to get involved.

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