Archive for the ‘Recreation’ Category

DNR’s Dry Hill gears up for the races

April 24, 2015

Need a thrill this weekend? Look no further than Dry Hill, a gravity – or downhill – mountain biker’s dream located on DNR-managed land near Port Angeles.

Riders gather at NW Cup, an annual downhill mountain biking race at DNR's Dry Hill.

Riders gather at NW Cup, an annual downhill mountain biking race at DNR’s Dry Hill.

Today through Sunday the large network of downhill mountain biking trails will be the setting for the first and second round of races in the nationally acclaimed NW Cup.

A downhill mountain biker races at Dry Hill.

A downhill mountain biker races at Dry Hill.

DNR manages Dry Hill in partnership with Olympic Dirt Society, which has a stewardship agreement with DNR to maintain the trails.

With this unique relationship, you’re more than welcome to ride Dry Hill, but vehicle access to the site is limited to trail maintenance and events.

Interested in riding Dry Hill? Send an email to olympicdirtsociety@yahoo.com.

Want to stay in-the-loop with DNR’s recreation program? Subscribe to our monthly e-newsletter.

Follow DNR on: Facebook Fan See us on Flickr Watch us YouTube Follow us on Twitter Follow DNR Fire Twitter Join in the DNR Forum

Celebrate National Picnic Day with DNR

April 23, 2015

Today is National Picnic Day and we’re celebrating with a roundup of recreation opportunities on DNR-managed land sure to be the perfect setting for a picnic. Read on to find a site near you.

Hikers enjoy the view from Samish Overlook, the gateway to Oyster Dome Trail. Photo: Diana Lofflin, DNR

Hikers enjoy the view from Samish Overlook, the gateway to Oyster Dome Trail. Photo: Diana Lofflin, DNR

Samish Overlook, Blanchard Forest, Skagit County 
At an elevation of 1,300 feet, Samish Overlook has stunning views of the San Juan Islands and Skagit Valley. Enjoy a picnic lunch as you watch hang gliders and paragliders take off and soar over Skagit Valley.

Murdock Beach, Olympic Region, near Port Angeles 
Murdock Beach, located on the Strait of Juan de Fuca, gives visitors a view of Vancouver Island. This is the only public beach access for 12 miles between Camp Hayden and the East Twin River.

Beaver Creek, Elbe Hills State Forest, near Elbe
Beaver Creek Trailhead, in the Elbe Hill State Forest, provides visitors with access to non-motorized trails. There are also high lines for horses. The forested setting is perfect for a picnic.

Douglas falls campground

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

Douglas Falls Grange Park and Campground, near Colville 
The 120-acre Douglas Falls Grange Park is surrounded by mountains of rocky bluffs and conifer forests. Mill Creek runs through the campground with a 60-foot waterfall. Enjoy a picnic at its day-use area.

Merrill Lake Campground, Merrill Lake Natural Resources Conservation Area, near Cougar 
Merrill Lake Campground includes a lake formed by a volcano. Merrill Lake also has catch-and-release fly-fishing, non-motorized boating and a 1-mile interpretive trail through mature trees.

Beverly Dunes Recreation Area,  near Beverly 
Beverly Sand Dunes offers ORV riders a dose of excitement.  Enjoy a picnic at one of its 11 campsites.

Have another area in mind? Before you make the drive, check our website to see what’s open and closed. Make sure to bring a Discover Pass to continue celebrating recreation on DNR-managed land all year long.

Want to stay in-the-loop with DNR’s recreation program? Subscribe to our monthly e-newsletter today.

Follow DNR on: Facebook Fan See us on Flickr Watch us YouTube Follow us on Twitter Follow DNR Fire Twitter Join in the DNR Forum

Get outside and give back this weekend

April 10, 2015
Samish Overlook

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

Coming up short on weekend plans? Consider giving back to recreation areas on DNR-managed lands.

Each year volunteers give their time to care for our 140-plus recreation sites. At 75,780 hours, last year our best year for volunteerism ever.

We’d like to give a big thank you to our volunteers. To get involved, find a volunteer event near you this weekend:

Yacolt Burn Motorized Trail Building, near Vancouver
9 a.m. to 5 p.m. April 10 – April 19

Little Pend Oreille ORV Annual Trail Clean-up, near Colville
9 a.m. to 4 p.m. April 10 and April 11

Rock Creek Spring Clean-up, near Vancouver
8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. April 11

Oyster Dome Work Party, in Skagit County
8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. April 11

Walker Valley Public Outreach Party and Annual Garbage Clean-up, near Mount Vernon
9 a.m. to 3 p.m. April 11

Tiger Mountain Trail Maintenance, near Issaquah
9 a.m. to 3 p.m. April 11

Wildfire Awareness and Campground Clean-up, near Yakima
11 a.m. to 3 p.m. April 11

Oyster Dome Work Party, in Skagit County
8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. April 12

Head to our volunteer calendar for more information. Want to stay in-the-loop with DNR’s recreation program? Subscribe to our e-newsletter today.

Follow DNR on: Facebook Fan See us on Flickr Watch us YouTube Follow us on Twitter Follow DNR Fire Twitter Join in the DNR Forum

Check out DNR’s newest trail map: Walker Valley ORV Area

April 9, 2015

Headed to Walker Valley ORV Area near Mount Vernon? Check out our brand new trail map of the 36-mile system. Walker Valley is a hub for ORV recreation. It has opportunities for 4×4, ATV, motorcycles, and even mountain bikers and hikers.

Walker Valley ORV Area, near Mount Vernon, is a 36-mile trail system with 4x4, motorcycle, and even mountain biking and hiking opportunities. Photo/ DNR.

Walker Valley ORV Area, near Mount Vernon, is a 36-mile trail system with 4×4, motorcycle, and even mountain biking and hiking opportunities. Photo/ DNR.

Walker Valley also has regional views of north Puget Sound and the San Juan Islands.

Walker Valley ORV Area, near Mount Vernon, is a 36-mile trail system with 4x4, motorcycle, and even mountain biking and hiking opportunities. Photo/ DNR.

Walker Valley ORV Area, in Skagit County, is a multi-use recreation destination. Photo/ DNR.

Check out our trail maps Web page for other DNR recreation areas near you. Have another site in mind? Before making the drive, check our website to see what’s open and closed.

To stay in the loop with DNR’s recreation program, sign up for our e-newsletter.

Follow DNR on: Facebook Fan See us on Flickr Watch us YouTube Follow us on Twitter Follow DNR Fire Twitter Join in the DNR Forum

The Great Gravel Pack-In by horse or horsepower

April 1, 2015

Ever wondered what it’s like to participate in the Capitol State Forest’s Great Gravel Pack-In? Check out the following clips and become part of a pack train with Ruby, a 7-year-old quarter horse ridden by Cherri Wright. Or, take a spin atop a Yamaha Grizzly 700 with Troy Braley.

Both Ruby and the Grizzly were Great Gravel Pack-In first-timers, though this year marks the event’s 10-year anniversary. Through their efforts, and with the help of sponsors Back Country Horsemen of Washington, the Washington ATV Association and Evergreen Sportsmen’s Club, volunteers and their chosen beasts of burden moved nearly 15,000 pounds of gravel to repair a mile-and-a-half section of trail on Saturday.

The event showcases the combined efforts of all-terrain vehicle riders, horseback riders, mountain bikers, and hikers, who come together to care for the trails they love most. Over the last 10 years Great Gravel Pack-In volunteers have reinforced more than 13 miles of trail in Capitol State Forest.

If it looks like fun, we hope you’ll be like Ruby and the Grizzly and join us next year for your first Great Gravel Pack-In, too.

Follow DNR on: Facebook Fan See us on Flickr Watch us YouTube Follow us on Twitter Follow DNR Fire Twitter Join in the DNR Forum

Ten recreation sites to visit on National Walking Day

April 1, 2015

Spend National Walking Day strolling through DNR’s recreation sites around the state. Choose from a variety of terrain including colorful forest floors and rocky mountain peaks. DNR offers over 1,100 miles of trails to explore. Take a look at the video below for a list of ten recreation sites to enjoy on National Walking Day. For more information regarding recreation on state lands, including site closures, visit our recreation page.

 

Follow DNR on: Facebook Fan See us on Flickr Watch us YouTube Follow us on Twitter Follow DNR Fire Twitter Join in the DNR Forum

Walk away those Monday blues

March 30, 2015
Klickitat Canyon RMCA

A view of the Klickitat river as seen from Klickitat Canyon Natural Resource Conservation Area in Yakima County. Photo: DNR

Are you feeling that 3 p.m. energy crash? Reenergize by viewing some flowers and breathing fresh air. Along with a sunny Monday, today is National Take a Walk in the Park Day. It’s the perfect chance to stretch those leg muscles, grab a buddy, and visit your favorite park.

Walking isn’t just good for the body. In fact, many people believe it provides therapeutic benefits. Leisurely walks outside offer low-impact exercise and give tired eyes a reprieve from florescent lights and back-lit screens, relieving the body and mind of tension. Even if it’s just for ten minutes, walking outside on a trail or near a stream can leave you feeling rejuvenated and ready to face the rest of your day. DNR natural areas include some beautiful trails and walking grounds that are open to the public.

Mima Mounds Natural Area Preserve 

Located in western Washington, the mysterious Mima Mounds Natural Area Preserve (NAP) has roughly 637 acres of grassland and a diverse trail system including a paved, ADA-accessible loop and gravel paths branching out from paved loop. Visitors can schedule a group tour or explore the mounds on their own. A trip to the site’s interpretive center gives guests access to full color signs with information on geology, ecology, fire, and Native American use of the prairie.

Camas Mima Mounds

Blue camas growing at Mima Mounds Natural Area Preserve. Photo: DNR

Visitors can also learn about different hypotheses regarding the formation of the mounds.

Protected features:

  • Roemer’s fescue
  • Mima Mounds topography
  • Garry oak woodland and savannah
  • Prairie dependent butterflies and birds
  • Douglas-fir forest

Klickitat Canyon Natural Resources Conservation Area 

For those interested in a more riparian atmosphere, consider heading to the Klickitat Canyon Natural Resources Conservation Area (NRCA), located near Yakima and Klickitat counties. This 1,516 acre conservation area, made up of a coniferous forest mixed with ponderosa pine and Douglas-fir, provides stunning views of the free-flowing Klickitat River. Take a walk along the river canyon or picnic on the shore while enjoying the view of Mount Adams rising in the distance.

Visitors can see a number of plant and animal species, including seven rare plant species and the endangered greater sandhill crane. The conservation area also houses black bears, bobcats, deer, and many species of bird including, occasionally, bald eagles.

For more information on these and other natural areas on DNR-managed land, visit our website. And remember, when visiting any site on state lands, it is important to bring your Discover Pass.

Follow DNR on: Facebook Fan See us on Flickr Watch us YouTube Follow us on Twitter Follow DNR Fire Twitter Join in the DNR Forum

Snoqualmie Corridor: Many ways to play

March 25, 2015

Ever taken a hike up Mount Si, mountain biked on Tiger Mountain, or watched hang gliders launch from Poo Poo Point?

Mt Si NRCA

Mt. Si Natural Resources Conservation Area in eastern King County is one of the many accessible areas managed by DNR. Photo: Tom Werner

Millions of people live within 30 minutes of the Snoqualmie Corridor, a recreation haven that includes 120 miles of trails, class III whitewater, class 5 rock climbing, and pristine hiking and picnicking areas.

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

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

All of these opportunities — and more — just got a lot better with DNR’s adoption of the Snoqualmie Corridor Recreation Plan, which will enable DNR to further develop recreation opportunities in the corridor’s 53,500 acres of DNR-managed natural areas and state trust lands.

In partnership with volunteers, partners, and local communities, DNR will use this plan to guide recreation in the corridor for the next 10 to 15 years.

For more information, take a look at the Snoqualmie Corridor Recreation Plan.

To stay up-to-date with DNR’s recreation program, subscribe to our e-newsletter.

Follow DNR on: Facebook Fan See us on Flickr Watch us YouTube Follow us on Twitter Follow DNR Fire Twitter Join in the DNR Forum

Mark your calendars: Join us for the 10th annual Great Gravel Pack-In

March 21, 2015
Gravel Pack-in

Volunteers, horses, and mules pack in gravel to repair trails in Capitol State Forest at the Great Gravel Pack-In in 2009. Photo: DNR/Randy Warnock.

This year marks the 10th annual Great Gravel Pack-In, which draws volunteers from many recreation groups, including horseback riders, ORV riders, mountain bikers, and hikers to give back and care for Capitol State Forest trails.

Join DNR and partners from the Back Country Horsemen of Washington, Washington ATV Association, and Evergreen Sportsmen’s Club to help care for Capitol State Forest trails Saturday, March 28.

The Back Country Horsemen of Washington first started the event in 2005 as a way to train and showcase their animals’ abilities.

Volunteer efforts from ATV riders followed, and what started as an 18-person party has grown to an average of 150 people annually.

With the combined efforts from hikers, horseback riders, mountain bikers and ATV riders, about 12 miles of trail have been graveled in this event’s 10-year history.

Ed Haefliger, one of the founders of the of the Great Gravel Pack-In announces the tasks to the equestrian group. Photo: Diana Lofflin

Ed Haefliger, one of the founders of the of the Great Gravel Pack-In announces the tasks to the equestrian group. Photo: Diana Lofflin

Want to join the fun?
8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, March 28
Mima Falls Campground, Capitol State Forest

Directions
From I-5, turn onto WA-121 / Maytown Road SW going west toward Littlerock.
In 3.6 miles turn left onto Mima Road SW.
In 1.3 miles turn right onto Bordeaux Road SW.
In .7 miles turn right onto Marksman Street SW.
In .9 mi arrive at Mima Falls Campground near Marksman Street SW, Olympia, WA 98512.

For more information check out a flier for the event, or contact Nick Cronquist by phone at 360-480-2700 or by email at nick.cronquist@dnr.wa.gov.

To stay up-to-date with DNR’s recreation program, subscribe to our e-newsletter.

Rec alert: Temporary closure at Lower Trailhead parking lot in Blanchard Forest

March 19, 2015

Heading to the Blanchard Forest near Bellingham? The Lower Trailhead parking lot will be temporarily closed starting 8 a.m. Monday, March 23 through 3 p.m. Thursday, March 26 as DNR staff re-gravel the parking area.

Hikers enjoy the view from Samish Overlook, the gateway to Oyster Dome Trail. Photo: Diana Lofflin, DNR

Hikers enjoy the view from Samish Overlook, the gateway to Oyster Dome Trail. Photo: Diana Lofflin, DNR


During the closure, please head to the Upper Trailhead parking lot to explore DNR recreation opportunities in the Blanchard Forest Block.

Lily Lake campground is a backcountry campground with six campsites in  the Blanchard Forest. Photo: DNR

Lily Lake campground is a backcountry campground with six campsites in the Blanchard Forest. Photo: DNR

The Upper Trailhead provides the main access for non-motorized recreation in the southern portion of the Chuckanut Mountains.

The trailhead ascends to backcountry campgrounds at Lilly and Lizard Lakes, as well as much of the largely connected non-motorized trail system in Blanchard Forest.

Trails provide views of Samish Bay, the San Juans, and pristine forest lakes.

For more information about the temporary closure, contact the DNR’s Northwest Region office at 360-856-3500.

To stay up-to-date with DNR’s recreation program, subscribe to our e-newsletter.

Follow DNR on: Facebook Fan See us on Flickr Watch us YouTube Follow us on Twitter Follow DNR Fire Twitter Join in the DNR Forum

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 248 other followers