Archive for the ‘Recreation’ Category

Gearing and saddling up for Great Gravel Pack-in April 9

April 2, 2016

Mark your calendars, our annual Great Gravel Pack-in is next Saturday, April 9 in Capitol State Forest, near Olympia. In partnership with the Back Country Horsemen of Washington, Washington ATV Association, and the Evergreen Sportsmen’s Club, DNR staff and volunteers will be hauling gravel, repairing trail tread, and maintaining recreation sites in the 100,000-acre forest.

To see more, watch our video from last year’s event, below.

Join us
8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Saturday, April 9
Evergreen Sportsmen’s Club
12736 Marksman Rd. SW
Olympia, WA 98512
Get directions

To learn more, visit our event listing.

Volunteers and DNR: An enduring partnership
Volunteers play a key role in keeping DNR recreation areas open and safe for the public. They help maintain trails and facilities, pick up litter, participate in work parties, provide visitor information, report suspicious activity and serve as camp hosts. The thousands of hours volunteers donate each year helps DNR to secure grants for future enhancements. In return, repeat volunteers can earn a complimentary Discover Pass. For more information, visit the DNR volunteer Web page.

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New mountain bike trail in Snoqualmie Corridor

April 1, 2016
The Master Link Trail, East Tiger Mountain's newest trail opens today. Photo/ DNR.

The Master Link Trail, East Tiger Mountain’s newest trail opens today. Photo/ DNR.

With the 1.8-mile Predator Trail opening  just last fall, you may be surprised to hear that it’s already time to celebrate again. Today we’re opening our 2.5-mile Master Link Trail.

This DNR-designed-and-built mountain bike climbing trail, also open to hiking, provides an alternative to forest roads for a more direct ascent to higher elevation trails within our East Tiger Mountain biking trail system. Click here for a trail map.

The trail, named after a link for a mountain bike chain, provides a convenient connection and wraps up the second phase in trail system construction on East Tiger Mountain, bringing the trail system to nearly 20 miles.

The connection trail is 2.8 miles, bringing East Tiger Mountain's trail system to nearly 20 miles. Photo/ DNR.

The connection trail is 2.5 miles, bringing East Tiger Mountain’s trail system to nearly 20 miles. Photo/ DNR.

DNR, in collaboration with Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance, is now onto phase three of trail construction. We’ll be building three new trails to bring about 5 miles of new trail connections that will provide loop opportunities with diverse difficulty levels.

Washington Conservation and Recreation Office’s Wildlife and Recreation Program funded trail construction. DNR’s professional trail builders, with assistance from a Department of Ecology crew, built the trail, complete with an 80-foot trail bridge.

Getting there
The entrance to the one-way climbing-only Master Link Trail, is from the south west end of Northwest Timber Trail. You can access Northwest Timber Trail from Tiger Summit Trailhead at the summit of Highway 18, near Issaquah. Get directions.

To learn more about recreation in Tiger Mountain State Forest, visit our website. For more information about recreation on DNR-managed lands, click here.

Take a walk, visit a DNR forest or natural area

March 30, 2016

It’s Take a Walk in the Park Day, and we’re celebrating with some of our picks for where to get outdoors for a walk in a DNR working forest or natural area.

View from the High Point day-use area. Photo/ DNR.

View from the High Point day-use area. Photo/ DNR.

High Point, Elbe Hills State Forest, near Eatonville
Enjoy a walk with views of Mount Rainier in our Elbe Hills State Forest. Access this day-use area from the North Point Trailhead.

Murdock Beach, near Port Angeles
Murdock Beach, located on the Strait of Juan de Fuca, gives visitors a view of Vancouver Island. The only public beach access for 12 miles between Camp Hayden and the East Twin River, Murdock Beach offers a short secluded trail with sweeping views.

Merrill Lake, Merrill Lake Natural Resources Conservation Area, near Longview
Located in the Merrill Lake Natural Resources Conservation Area, Merrill Lake Campground offers high-quality catch-and-release fly-fishing. The campground is also near a 1-mile interpretive trail that takes hikers through old-growth trees.

Eagle Nest Vista

Located in the Ahtanum State Forest, Eagle Nest Vista offers expansive views. Photo/ DNR.

Eagle Nest Vista, Ahtanum State Forest, near Yakima
Intuitive of its name, this site offers a bird’s eye view into the surrounding North Fork Ahtanum drainage, Dome Peak, and the Great Rocks Wilderness Area. You can access the site via a quick walk from the parking area.

Douglas Falls Campground, Little Pond Oreille Forest, near Colville
Located on 120-acres, Douglas Falls Grange Park has walking trails in and around the campground, located near a 60-foot waterfall on Mills Creek.

Mount Baker seen from Blanchard Forest

A view of Mount Baker from the upper reaches of Blanchard Forest. Photo: DNR.

North Butte, Blanchard Forest, near Bow
A lesser-crowded option that Blanchard’s popular Oyster Dome, North Butte offers similar sweeping views of the San Juan Islands and Mount Baker.

Have other trails in mind? Use our statewide recreation map to find photos, directions, and more information. To learn more about recreation on DNR-managed lands, visit our website.

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Leader Lake campsites restored, able to open following wildfire damage

March 25, 2016
Leader Lake Campground, Loup Loup State Forest, Okanogan County

Leader Lake pictured in the Okanogan Valley. Photo/ DNR.

This week, DNR was able to open eight campsites earlier than expected along the north shore of Leader Lake, a popular fishing lake near Okanogan. The 25-site campground, which surrounds Leader Lake in DNR’s Loup Loup State Forest, was damaged in 2015’s harsh fire season. DNR anticipates the lake’s south shore campsites will open this spring or summer.

A Washington Conservation Corps crew member removes hazardous trees. Photo/ DNR.

A Washington Conservation Corps crew member removes hazardous trees. Photo/ DNR.

Conservation corps effort
Thanks to help from an Ellensburg-based Washington Conservation Corps crew, funded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, DNR removed hazard trees in portions of the campground to improve public safety. Other conservation corps crews will return next week to begin general maintenance of Loomis and Loup Loup state forests’ other campgrounds.

Another plus, just this week the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife planted about 4,000 rainbow trout in Leader Lake, open to motorized and non-motorized boating, like kayaking and canoeing. Spiny rays and rainbow trout make Leader Lake popular for local anglers. To see more of Leader Lake, visit our Flickr page.

Getting there
Start from junction with US Highway-97 at Okanogan. Go west on SR-20 for 8.4 miles. Turn right on Leader Lake Road (paved, one lane) and go .4 miles to site. Get directions.

Before you go, don’t forget your Discover Pass, the ticket to exploring Washington’s great outdoors. With the purchase of a $30 annual Discover Pass, camping with your vehicle at Leader Lake, and any of DNR’s 70+ campgrounds, is free. To purchase the pass online or find a vendor near you, click here.

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A wet start to spring doesn’t dampen trail stewardship

March 24, 2016
Samish Bay Overlook

Volunteer on the Samish Bay trail with views of the San Juan Islands. Photo/ DNR.

If you have a few hours to spare this weekend, consider giving back to the recreation experiences you enjoy on DNR-managed lands. We’re joining efforts with some of our volunteer partners to maintain sites and trails statewide, and there’s still space for you. Remember to dress in layers and wear clothing appropriate for working outside come rain or shine.

Friday, March 25
Tarbell Trail Work Party, Yacolt Burn State Forest, near Vancouver
Join us and partners from Washington Trails Association to build a short reroute of the Tarbell Trail. The reroute will help avoid water issues and provide access to a scenic overlook.

Samish Bay Trail Reconstruction, Blanchard Forest Block, near Bellingham
We’ll be with Washington Trails Association again, near Bellingham this time. Join us to rebuild steep sections of the Samish Bay Trail, which accesses Oyster Dome.
Note: We’ll be here same time, same place Saturday, March 26 and Sunday, March 27. Saturday’s work party is already full, but you can sign up for Washington Trails Association’s waitlist.

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/ DNR.

Saturday, March 26
Jones Creek ORV Trail Work Party, Yacolt Burn State Forest, near Vancouver
Join DNR staff and partners with the Jones Creek Trail Riders Association to harden trails, haul rocks, manage drainage, brush trails, and repair tread.

Reiter Foothills Forest Work Party, Reiter Foothills Forest, near Gold Bar
A monthly event, DNR staff and volunteers will be caring for 4×4 and ATV trails in Reiter. We’ll be moving rock to prepare for trail construction.

Sunday, March 27
Tiger Mountain Work Party, West Tiger Mountain Natural Resources Conservation Area, near Issaquah
We’re partnering with Washington Trails Association to maintain the Sunset Trail on Tiger Mountain. Note: This work party is full, but you can get on WTA’s waitlist. Visit our calendar for future events on Tiger Mountain.

To learn more about volunteering on DNR-managed lands, visit our website. Remember, you can use your hours volunteering toward a voucher for a free Discover Pass.

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Tips to enjoy DNR-managed lands with your dog

March 23, 2016
DNR-managed lands make great dog destinations, such as Little Si, pictured. Photo/ DNR.

DNR-managed lands make great dog destinations, such as Little Si, pictured. Photo/ DNR.

It’s National Puppy Day, a perfect time to explore Washington’s great outdoors with your dog. We’ve got a few tips to keep trips with your pooch safe and fun.

Check before you go
Most DNR-managed lands allow leashed dogs. Some of our natural areas, which protect Washington’s best examples of native ecosystems and sensitive habitat, are best visited without dogs. Help us preserve these sensitive sites and look for other places on DNR-managed lands to bring Fido along with you.

Remember to keep your dog on a leash on DNR-managed lands. Photo/ DNR.

Remember to keep your dog on a leash on DNR-managed lands. Photo/ DNR.

Use a leash
Whether you’re out enjoying DNR’s 1,100 miles of trail, a picnic area, or a campsite, always have your furry friend on a leash no longer than eight feet. If you’re on horseback, you can have dogs off leash when they’ll be able to hear and respond to voice direction. Having your dog on a leash helps keep your dog safe from wildlife, straying too far, and away from yucky stuff that smells lovely to them, but means trouble for you.

It’s also a good way to be courteous of other recreationists, children, and dogs you may encounter on the trail.

Pack it in, pack it out
Leave sites and trails better than when you found them. Removing your pet’s waste, either by bag or burying it off trail, helps keep the trails and places you visit most welcoming for years to come.

For more information, visit our guide to safe and fun recreation. To find a place to go with your pet, visit our statewide interactive recreation map. To learn more about DNR’s recreation program, visit our website.

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Learn now about future temporary closure, reroute on Rattlesnake Mountain Trail

February 26, 2016
A 10-mile hike on Rattlesnake Mountain Trail provides views of Rattlesnake Lake, pictured. Photo courtesy Pixabay.

Access to popular destinations, including Rattlesnake Lake, Grand Prospect, East Peak and Rattlesnake Ledge, will remain open. Photo courtesy Pixabay.

Update: Starting Monday, April 4, the Rattlesnake Mountain Trail will be temporarily closed from Grand Prospect to Windy Landing due to timber harvest activities. View a map of the temporary closure.  Check back here and on our website for updates.

Original post: With spring adventures right around the corner, here’s a temporary change hikers will want to know as they plan this year’s outings. A section of the Rattlesnake Mountain Trail in our Raging River State Forest will be temporarily closed sometime between March – September 2016 due to timber harvest activities.

After the timber harvest, DNR will reroute a minor section of the Rattlesnake Mountain Trail in fall 2016 to improve hikers’ trail experience. We’ll keep you updated here, and on our Facebook and Twitter pages with more detailed information on specific closure and reroute dates. See a map of the section of trail that will be temporarily closed.

Generating revenue
Generating $415,223 in revenue to support King County services, the harvest will preserve longstanding trees to protect unique Rattlesnake Mountain ecology, wildlife habitat, and hikers’ trail experience. DNR will replant the 82-acre harvest area with noble fir in 2017.

Rattlesnake Mountain Trail
The Rattlesnake Mountain Trail, which crosses DNR’s Rattlesnake Mountain Scenic Area and Raging River State Forest just outside North Bend, reaches an elevation of 3,500 feet where it connects with City of Seattle’s 2-mile Rattlesnake Ledge Trail, overlooking the Cedar River Watershed.

Getting there
From the Seattle metro area, travel east on Interstate 90 past the Highway 18 interchange; take Exit 27 and travel a short distance south on Winery Road to the trailhead (at Snoqualmie Point Park). Remember to bring your Discover Pass for your vehicle.

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Meet your community members guiding DNR’s Baker to Bellingham Recreation Plan

February 25, 2016
The Nooksack River runs near many DNR forest blocks in Whatcom County. Courtesy photo.

The Nooksack River runs near many DNR forest blocks in Whatcom County. Courtesy photo.

After receiving more than 50 applicants for our Baker to Bellingham Recreation Planning Committee, we’ve made tough decisions and have chosen 17 volunteer members to guide development of our Baker to Bellingham Recreation Plan. We selected members based on their previous experience volunteering and planning, knowledge of the recreation planning area, and to represent the rich and diverse recreation opportunities that exist in Whatcom County.

We thank our new committee members, and all who applied, for being willing to dedicate their time and attention to this exciting effort.

Committee members:

  • Ari Bezona of Bellingham, Mount Baker Motorcycle Club
  • Arlen Bogaards of Deming, Washington Trails Association
  • Becky Peace of Bellingham, North Cascades Soaring Club
  • Bert Isaacson of Marysville, Northwest Quad Association, North Central ATV Club
  • Bill Lawrence of Bellingham, Around the Sound Jeep Club
  • Carole MacDonald of Maple Falls, Mount Baker Chamber of Commerce and Whatcom Tourism Board
  • Dana Johnson of Lynden, Mount Baker Motorcycle Club
  • Douglas Huddle of Bellingham, Citizens for Forest Roads
  • Eric Brown of Bellingham, Whatcom Mountain Bike Coalition
  • Eric Jacoby of Deming, the sportsmen community
  • Glenn Gervais of Bellingham, Whatcom Mountain Bike Coalition
  • Kevin Vanderhorst of Bellingham, Rainier Ridge Rams 4×4 Club
  • Lance Hansen of Sedro-Woolley, Northwest Quad Association, Upper Skagit ORV Club
  • Mark Harding of Bellingham, Bellingham Trail Running Club
  • Mike McGlenn of Bellingham, Whatcom Chapter Back Country Horsemen
  • Walden Haines of Bellingham, Whatcom Chapter Back Country Horsemen
  • Wendy McDermott of Ferndale, American Rivers and American Whitewater

The first committee meeting is 6-9 p.m. Tuesday, March 8 at the Rome Grange Hall on Mount Baker Highway. The public is welcome to attend. To learn more, visit our project Web page.

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Explore back country huts with Mount Tahoma Trails Association tour

February 14, 2016
Snowshoers enjoy Tahoma State Forest. Photo courtesy of MTTA.

Snowshoers enjoy Tahoma State Forest. Photo courtesy of MTTA.

An upcoming event with the Mount Tahoma Trails Association (MTTA) may be a great way to learn about one of the coolest ways to enjoy winter, via three backcountry huts and a yurt in DNR’s Tahoma State Forest, near Mount Rainier.

Based in Ashford near Mount Rainier, the MTTA is hosting a Tour de Huts event, on Saturday, Feb. 27. Participants can snowshoe or cross-country ski to High Hut, Bruni’s Snow Bowl Hut, and the Yurt.

Since MTTA’s start in 1991, they’ve helped more than 150,000 visitors use the huts, yurt, and 50-mile trail system they care for in Tahoma State Forest.

MTTA has three to four work parties each summer to upkeep the huts and trails, but their volunteers are working hard year-round. Volunteers groom trails during their winter months and also staff their Ashford location on Saturdays and Sundays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. to answer questions.

Mtts_backcountry

Sledders in Tahoma State Forest. Photo courtesy of MTTA.

If you go
If you go to the MTTA’s Tour de Huts, remember to bring the Ten Essentials, and chains for your vehicle. You will need either an annual Sno-Park Permit; or a one-day Sno-Park Permit AND either an annual or one-day Discover Pass to park at the Sno-Park. Aid stations will be available.

Visit their Facebook page or website to learn more, or reserve your overnight stay.

For more information about volunteering with DNR’s recreation program, visit our volunteer page. Use our calendar to find an event near you.

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Foothills land exchange continues to pay off

February 12, 2016
View of Port Angeles

View of the Strait of Juan de Fuca and the City of Port Angeles –- an important tourism city for those visiting the Olympic Peninsula -– as seen from DNR-managed trust lands that were consolidated in the Foothills Exchange. Photo: Robert Winslow/DNR

A 2011 land exchange between DNR and a private landowner continues to pay dividends for the agency, recreationalists and the environment. In the Foothills Exchange, DNR traded about 6,400 acres of forested state trust lands scattered across the Olympic Peninsula for 9,351 acres of forestland, much of it in large consolidated blocks adjacent to other tracts of state trust land near Hoodsport, Hood Canal and Lake Cushman.

For recreationalists, the DNR acquisitions protect large blocks of working forestland from encroaching residential development while complementing several recent federal land purchases and dam removals along the Elwha River. In addition to improving water quality in the Elwha River and the Strait of Juan de Fuca, the land exchange helps assure public access to more of the popular cross-peninsula Discovery Trail.

The properties acquired by DNR in the transaction include 5,171 acres in Clallam County; 2,600 acres in Jefferson County and 1,520 acres in Mason County. DNR will manage properties for natural resources production and wildlife habitat in a manner consistent with its multi-decade Habitat Conservation Plan agreement with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

This consolidation of state trust lands also improves DNR’s access to thousands of acres of forestland it manages on the Olympic Peninsula for trust beneficiaries such as local county services, K-12 public schools statewide, and Washington State University construction projects


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