Archive for the ‘Recreation’ Category

Get out and enjoy DNR-managed land this weekend

February 20, 2015
Lummi Island NRCA by Jason Goldstein/DNR

Lummi Island NRCA by Jason Goldstein/DNR


Mild winter weather and the sunshine over Presidents Day weekend is making February feel like the beginning of spring. With more than 2.2 million acres of state trust land open for recreation and public access opportunities, the possibilities are endless. The Lummi Island Natural Resource Conservation Area (NRCA), pictured above, is a 661-acre conservation area in northern Puget Sound. It includes forested shorelines with steep, rocky headlands, a forest dominated by old growth Douglas-fir, and a small marine park available for boaters. To find information on this and other sites, including any temporary closures, visit our recreation page.

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Rec alert: Temporary Monday – Thursday closure at McLane Creek for trail improvements

February 18, 2015
McLane Creek Washington Conservation Corps

Washington Conservation Corps (WCC) crews work on the boardwalk at McLane Creek. Photo: DNR

McLane Creek, a popular Capitol State Forest day-use site, will be closed Monday through Thursday for about three weeks as DNR staff and Washington Conservation Corps (WCC) crews are hard at work strengthening structures and improving trails there.

Aquatic Land Enhancement Account (ALEA) grants from the Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office (RCO) are funding these improvements, which will maintain access to this well-loved site for years to come.

McLane Creek

McLane Creek is a popular day-use site in the Capitol State Forest. Photo: DNR

We apologize for the inconvenience, and hope you will take time to visit other Capitol State Forest sites. During this time, McLane Creek is still open Fridays and weekends.

Before heading out, please check what sites are open and closed on DNR’s Web page.

We invite you to stay connected through DNR’s Recreation News e-newsletter.

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DNR honors volunteer stewardship

February 15, 2015

This week our friends the in the northeast region and partners at the Okanogan Valley Chapter of Back Country Horsemen of Washington lost a dear volunteer, David Swanberg.

Cold Springs, Loomis State Forest, Okanogan County

Loomis State Forest, near Loomis, offers many recreation opportunities in DNR’s Northeast Region. Photo: DNR

David dedicated much of his time caring for DNR trails, including those in the Loomis State Forest.

We honor David’s stewardship and the contributions so many volunteers make to maintain our state’s public lands and trails.

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Celebrate Valentine’s Day with DNR

February 13, 2015

This year, make lasting memories with quality time together at one of our most-loved recreation sites.

A gorgeous view from Tiger Mountain NRCA. Photo DNR

A gorgeous view from Tiger Mountain NRCA. Photo DNR

Tiger Summit, Tiger Mountain State Forest, near Issaquah
Tiger Mountain is a unique, multi-use destination located close to Seattle. It offers exciting mountain bike trails, diverse hiking experiences, paragliding launches and horseback riding opportunities.

DNR staff, Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance, and volunteers created new mountain bike trails in 2012 and have continued to add more since.

Samish Bay Overlook

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

Samish Overlook, Blanchard Forest, near Edison
At an elevation of 1,300 feet, Samish Overlook, offers stunning views of the San Juan Islands and Skagit Valley, and provides access for hikers, equestrian riders and mountain bikers to explore the Blanchard Forest Block.

The overlook is also a popular jumping-off spot for hang gliders and paragliders. Each year, an estimated 40,000 visitors come to Samish Overlook to picnic and enjoy the view. Visitors can catch a glimpse of the same view as they move north up the trail to Oyster Dome or east through the Chuckanut Mountains.

Washington State trust lands on the Olympic Peninsula. Photo: DNR

Washington State trust lands on the Olympic Peninsula. Photo: DNR

Coppermine Bottom, Olympic Peninsula
Along the Clearwater River, Coppermine Bottom Campground offers its visitors a secluded and primitive campground to enjoy the Olympic Peninsula.

Many of the sites have access or trails to the river, which is banked with cottonwood trees. The campground also offers visitors a hand-carried boat launching area for fishing.

Tunerville Campground, Pacific Cascade Region, near Naselle
Tunerville campground, located northeast of Naselle in Pacific County, is highly valued among equestrians.

This wooded campground has four camp sites, two spurs for parking, two corrals and one vault toilet.

Before you go, visit DNR’s guide to recreation to keep trips safe and fun. To stay in the know about all things DNR recreation, sign up for DNR Recreation News e-newsletters.

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DNR is taking applications for 2015 camp hosts

February 8, 2015

Are you a professional, friendly, and polite person who wishes you could go camping for weeks on end? Do you have a properly insured home, camper or travel trailer that supports comfortable camping in rustic, natural areas? DNR might have just the thing for you!

Merrill Lake

Become a camp host for DNR and enjoy a summer basking in nature. Photo by: DNR

We’re currently taking applications for campground hosts, who help provide a positive, safe, and informative experience for visitors to DNR campgrounds statewide.

Host responsibilities include:

  • Be professional, friendly, and polite when interacting with the public.
  • Provide rules and information and rules to campers and visitors.
  • Register overnight campers.
  • Patrol campground and recreational areas.
  • Regularly inspect campground restrooms, picnic shelters, campsites, campfire pits and boat launch areas.
  • Report vandalism, illegal or abusive behavior.

Pick your site today!

Douglas falls campground

Douglas Falls Campground offers a volunteer camp host site, campsites and a day-use area. Photo: DNR

Douglas Falls Campground, Northeast Region
This 120-acre park site was deeded to DNR by the Stevens County Pomona Grange in 1975. The park offers day use areas, a group shelter with ball fields, a viewing area of Douglas Falls, and walking trails with a foot bridge across Mill Creek.

Starvation Lake Campground

Starvation Lake Campground is located just 15 miles from Colville in Stevens County and is managed by the Washington State Department of Natural Resources. Photo: DNR

Starvation Lake, Northeast Region
A quiet, 15-acre campground adjacent to Starvation Lake. Enjoy this select fishing lake nestled between private and state trust lands within close proximity of the Little Pend Oreille Wildlife Area. Activities in the area include hiking, bicycling, boating, fishing, hunting, bird watching, and other wildlife viewing.

Ahtanum State Forest view

View of Mount Rainier from Ahtanum State Forest. Photo: DNR

Ahtanum Campground, Ahtanum State Forest, Southeast Region
Located in the Ahtanum State Forest and nestled next to the pristine North Fork River, the Ahtanum campground is a highly used recreation area hosting off-road recreation, hiking, and horseback trails during the recreation season. Winter recreation opportunities include snowshoeing, sledding, cross country skiing, and snowmobiling.

Want to apply? Visit DNR’s campground host Web page for more information and a list of available camp host sites.

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Take a look at DNR’s weekend work party line-up

February 6, 2015

Want to head outdoors this weekend? Lend a hand at the DNR recreation areas you love most! Find an event in your area:

Capitol State Forest

Volunteers clear brush on a trail in Capitol State Forest. Photo: DNR/Christine Redmond

Friends of Capitol Forest Work Party, Capitol State Forest near Olympia
9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 7
Join DNR staff and Friends of Capitol Forest to perform drainage work and trail shaping on the Porter Trail from Wedekind to the Porter Creek Trail entrance.

Bradley ORV Work Party, near Longview
8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 7
Join DNR staff and Dirt Church ATV for rock hauling, rock placement and trail hardening.

Volunteers work on trails in the Jones Creek Off-road Trail System in the Yacolt Burn State Forest.

Volunteers work on trails in the Jones Creek Off-road Trail System in the Yacolt Burn State Forest. Photo:Jessica Kimmick

Tarbell Thrillium Work Party, Yacolt Burn State Forest, near Vancouver, WA
8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 7
Join DNR staff and partners from Cold Creek Mountain Bikers for trail maintenance and water management. Chainsaw training for volunteers will also be conducted.

Larch Mountain Trail Work Party, Capitol State Forest, near Olympia
8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 7
Join DNR staff and partners from Washington ATV for trail maintenance and evaluating.

Tiger Mountain and Poo Poo Point Work Party, Tiger Mountain State Forest near Issaquah
8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 8
Join DNR staff and Washington Trails Association for trail repair and drainage maintenance on Poo Poo Point and Section Line trails.

For more information, visit DNR’s Volunteer Calendar. Be the first to know about upcoming recreation events and developments by subscribing to DNR Recreation’s e-newsletter!


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Volunteers are key players in DNR’s recreation programs

January 28, 2015
Tiger Mountain State Forest recreation trail maintenance

While not “fun” exactly, these volunteers had a good experience creating future fun times by helping DNR maintain recreational trails at Tiger Mountain State Forest near Issasquah. Photo DNR.

As the recently published DNR 2014 Annual Report explains, 2014 was a productive year for our recreation program. DNR installed 5 miles of new motorized off-road vehicle trails and challenge areas, built nearly 9 miles of non-motorized trails, completed the new 4.7 mile Mailbox Peak hiking trail, and opened 3 miles of new mountain bike trails in Tiger Mountain State Forest.

Volunteers were critical in 2014, both to DNR’s major recreation projects as well as to many smaller-but-still-important projects, such as litter removal and trail maintenance. During fiscal year 2014 (which ended June 30, 2014), DNR hosted about 65,000 hours of volunteer efforts and successfully competed for grants to provide more than 40 percent of its recreation funds. These efficiencies aid DNR in enabling more than 11 million diverse recreation visits across 3,400 square miles of state-managed lands, each year.

Got some time this winter? How about doing some good for the DNR-managed lands you love! Check the DNR Volunteer Calendar to find opportunities to give back.

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A look back: Official DNR Recreation stats from 2014

January 11, 2015

Were you one of almost 11 million people who visited DNR-managed recreation land in 2014? This past year DNR recreation was hard at work creating new recreation opportunities for you and your family to enjoy for years to come.

Now’s the time to look back at some of DNR’s biggest recreation accomplishments in 2014. We’ve got the official stats just for you.

Off-the-Grid Trail in Tiger Mountain State Forest.

Mountain biker enjoying the new Off-the-Grid Trail in Tiger Mountain State Forest. Photo: Robin Fay.

With a new 4.7-mile trail to the top of Mailbox Peak in the Middle Fork Snoqualmie Natural Resources Conservation Area and a new 3-mile mountain bike trail in the Tiger Mountain State Forest, some of DNR’s most popular recreation opportunities got a big facelift this year. In total, DNR installed 5 miles of new ORV trails and nearly 9 miles of non-motorized trails throughout the state!


View of Mount Hood from the beautiful Yacolt Burn State Forest. Photo by DNR.

In the Yacolt Burn State Forest DNR completed 2.3 miles of new motorized trails, which include 1.5 miles of 4×4, ATV and single trails and .8 miles of ATV/single track trail. DNR staff continues to work on motorized trails there.

Oyster Dome view

View from Oyster Dome on Blanchard Mountain



Helping to preserve DNR’s pristine camping opportunities, DNR staff rerouted 1,000 feet of Blanchard Forest trail, which provides access to an enhanced backcountry campsite, Lizard Lake.

Willoughby Creek and Upper Clearwater campgrounds in Washington’s Olympic Peninsula, as well as the Ahtanum Meadows campground in Ahtanum State Forest near Yakima, also received improvements.

In the Elbe Hills Nicholson Horse Trail system, popular among horseback riders, DNR completed 1 mile of re-routed trail.

volunteers building trails

Volunteers help keep DNR-managed recreation sites clean, safe, and healthy. Photo: DNR.

All of DNR’s biggest recreation accomplishment couldn’t be made possible without the dedicated support of our partner organizations and volunteers. In fact, in the 2013 – 2014 fiscal year volunteers donated about 65,000 hours to help maintain recreation opportunities they enjoy.

If you’re interested in being a part of your favorite recreation areas on DNR-managed land, visit DNR’s volunteer calendar today.

As you continue to have safe and fun adventures on DNR-managed recreation lands, we encourage you to stay connected by signing up for our Recreation e-newsletter.

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Oh the weather outside is getting frightful – and to snow-lovers that’s so delightful!

January 2, 2015

With skiing, snowshoeing and snowmobiling just around the snowbank, now’s the time to start planning and preparing. Use our graphic (below) for tips to help you enjoy your favorite winter adventure on DNR-managed lands while preserving both Washington’s landscapes and yourself!

Safe and sustainable winter recreation

Follow these steps for safe and fun winter recreation on DNR-managed land.

One important winter tip is to plan in advance to keep from getting stymied by winter closures. Closures serve to protect trails and roads for summertime fun and/or to give wildlife a chance to eat without the presence of people stressing them out.

Darland Mountain

Snow-plastered white bark pines at Darland Mountain in Ahtanum State Forest. Photo: Donn Rasmusson/DNR


Check online or contact your region’s DNR office for closure info. (Hint: If you call, do so ahead of the weekend as we’re closed Saturdays and Sundays. And, use the opportunity to ask region staff for their recommended areas too.)



Northwest Region (Bellingham, Everett, Sedro Woolley) 360-856-3500

South Puget Sound Region (Olympia, Enumclaw, Seattle) 360-825-1631

Olympic Region (Olympic Peninsula, Forks, Ocean Shores) 360-374-2800

Pacific Cascade Region (Long Beach, Vancouver, Castle Rock) 360-577-2025

Southeast Region (Ellensburg, North Bend, Yakima) 509-925-8510

Northeast Region (Okanogan, Colville, Methow) 509-684-7474


DNR sustainably manages 3 million acres of state trust lands to earn revenue for trust beneficiaries (i.e. money for schools, hospitals, emergency services, and lots of other services Washingtonians need), provide wildlife habitat and help you access winter (and summer) outdoor adventures.


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Is someone getting BBQ this holiday?

December 15, 2014

Yes – you are! BBQ Flats that is!

Meadow and spread out pine trees

Back Country Horsemen of Washington representatives say that spring and fall riding in the unique BBQ Flats landscape is a favorite for locals, people from across Washington, and visitors from nearby states,

If you ride horses near Ellensburg, it could be that we (and the state legislature) are making your Christmas wish come true this holiday.

DNR announced last week that BBQ Flats, in the Wenas, will be open to the public by July of 2015. Through a series of land trades and purchases, DNR is taking possession of a road that will serve as a public access to a new BBQ Flats recreation site.

If that announcement is the main dish, the sides aren’t bad either. As part of the deal DNR will also add toilets and a recreation site for parking, horse trailers, camping and cross-country horse riding and hiking.

Yet, it takes more than wishful thinking to get flat, open pine forests like this one available for you to enjoy. In this case it took the 2013 State Legislature – and $500,000 – to allow DNR the ability to make it happen.

And for those who ride horses in the backcountry, for whom this area has long been popular, the announcement is, well, good enough to eat.

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