Improvements liftoff thanks to paragliding, hangliding volunteers

With the help of DNR, North Cascade Soaring Club volunteers and a crew with Washington Conservation Corps joined together to add fill to the west launch at Samish Overlook, a popular paragliding and hangliding launch near Bellingham. Thanks to their efforts, launching pilots will have safer, smoother takeoffs via a short trail from DNR’s day-use area, which also provides access to a network of hiking trails on Blanchard Mountain.

The project came about when trees down below grew tall enough to impact wind patterns and begin concerning the gliders taking off above them. While the initial thought was to cut the trees down, a better solution soon emerged. With funds provided by North Cascade Soaring Club, DNR worked with the group to raise the launch, which allows the trees to continue growing to maturity.

As is true for most state forests, the revenue from these trees supports public services, in this case Skagit County, Medic One, the Port of Skagit, and United General Hospital as well as the Burlington-Edison School District. Finding creative solutions like this is one of the ways DNR works to fulfill its responsibility to beneficiaries of Washington while providing fun and varied recreation opportunities.

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This continues a lasting partnership with North Cascade Soaring Club volunteers, who have an adopt-a-site agreement for the Samish Overlook and work with DNR to care for recreation opportunities at Samish Overlook.

Learn more
At an elevation of 1,300 feet, DNR’s Samish Overlook provides sweeping views of the San Juan Islands and Skagit Valley. Located near Bow, the overlook offers opportunities for hikers, paragliders, hang gliders, horseback riders, and mountain bikers — and makes for a nice picnic spot, too. It provides northern access to Oyster Dome, a popular hike with tough elevation gain and views of the ocean.

For more information about giving back to DNR-managed lands, visit our website. View our calendar to find an event near you that suits what you’d like to do.

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