Archive for the ‘Recreation’ Category

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

Better play: Projects underway

February 7, 2016
A hiking trail in the Raging River State Forest area. Photo/ DNR.

A hiking trail in the Raging River State Forest area. Photo/ DNR.

Want to know how we’re building opportunities to help you enjoy Washington’s outdoors? Visit our recently launched Web page to find out about our most notable recreation projects underway. Below is an example of just one of our current projects.

Raging River State Forest
Enjoy hiking and mountain biking? We’ve got good news for you. In collaboration with Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance, DNR is working on a new project that will provide design of Snoqualmie Point Trailhead expansion and development of about 14 miles of trail in the Raging River State Forest.

Directly across Highway 18 from Tiger Mountain and in the Mountains to Sound Greenway, this future trail system will provide one of the most popular destinations for hikers and bikers in the entire state. Future connector trails will link to our existing 17-mile mountain bike trail system in East Tiger Mountain, King County’s Taylor Mountain Forest, and the communities of Snoqualmie and North Bend.

For more information on this project, contact our Snoqualmie Corridor Recreation Manager Sam Jarrett by phone at 206-375-0448 or by email at Sam.jarrett@dnr.wa.gov.

To learn about 12 other projects underway across the state of Washington, visit our website: www.dnr.wa.gov/projects. Another way to get information is to sign up for our monthly recreation e-newsletter.

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Hiker safety tips for success

February 5, 2016
Last week, DNR Natural Resources Police officer Jason Bodine was able to assist five hikers to safety as night fell around them. It's a good reminder of how quickly a situation can become serious. Photo/ DNR.

Last week, DNR Natural Resources Police officer Jason Bodine was able to assist five hikers to safety as night fell around them. It’s a good reminder of how quickly a situation can become serious. Photo/ DNR.

Darkness is setting in as you start to try and orient yourself on the trail, miles away from your car. Unsure of where you are, and not prepared to spend the night outdoors, what do you do next?

As you enjoy 1,100 miles of trails on DNR-managed lands, stay safe by planning ahead. Here are some tips:

For more information about the best ways to keep your trips safe and fun, visit our recreation guide. For emergencies, dial 911.

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Love to camp? Live the dream and become a DNR camp host

February 3, 2016

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

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

You can help us serve the public by:

  • Providing information and rules to campers and visitors.
  • Registering overnight campers.
  • Patrolling campground and recreational areas.
  • Regularly inspecting campground restrooms, picnic shelters, campsites, campfire pits, and boat launch areas.
  • Reporting vandalism, illegal, or abusive behavior.

Pick your site today!

Ahtanum State Forest view

View of Mount St. Helens from Ahtanum State Forest. Photo: DNR

Ahtanum Campground, Ahtanum State Forest, near Yakima
Ahtanum Campground is a highly used recreation area for off-road vehicle riding, hiking, and horseback riding. Winter recreation is also popular for snowshoeing, sledding, cross country skiing, and snowmobiling.

Cold Creek Campground, Yacolt Burn State Forest, near Camas
Cold Creek Campground is open year-round and is a favorite for family tent camping, equestrian use, mountain biking, and hiking. For more information, check out our flier.

Dragoon2

The picturesque Dragoon Creek runs through Dragoon Creek Campground. Photo/ DNR.

Dragoon Creek Campground, Little Pend Oreille Forest, near Spokane, 
This 23-site campground is surrounded by more than 100 acres of forested state trust lands. Visitors can enjoy the sound of Dragoon Creek, which runs through the middle of the campground. Dragoon Creek Campground is popular for fishing and wildlife viewing.

For more information about campground hosting with DNR, including who to contact and how to apply, visit our volunteer Web page. To see a full list of vacant camp host positions, visit our Flickr album.

To stay in the loop with DNR’s Recreation program, subscribe to our monthly recreation e-newsletter.

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Can you help us to plan recreation from Baker to Bellingham?

January 25, 2016
Our first Baker to Bellingham Recreation Plan open house in Bellingham. Photo/ DNR.

Our first Baker to Bellingham Recreation Plan open house in Bellingham. Photo/ DNR.

Do you enjoy working with a team of others with a passion for enjoying Washington’s great outdoors? Do you have ideas for recreation on state lands in Whatcom County? Can you attend 12 to 14 meetings in the Whatcom County area during the next two years?

You may be what we’re looking for in our volunteer-based recreation planning committee for our future Baker to Bellingham Recreation Plan.

Committee members will be creating draft recreation management recommendations and providing information and insight to DNR staff as they develop a plan to guide area recreation on DNR-managed lands for the next 10 to 15 years. For more information, view our committee charter. To apply, complete our PDF or Word document form. We’re accepting applications through Jan. 29.

Recreationists share their vision for recreation on DNR-managed lands in Whatcom County. Photo/ DNR.

Future recreationists share their vision for outdoor opportunities during one of two recent open houses. Photo/ DNR.

We kicked off our Baker to Bellingham Recreation Plan process last week with our first open houses. Thank you to more than 300 people in Bellingham and nearly 150 in Lynden who came out to share their thoughts.

DNR staff were available to speak one-on-one at five different stations, which included accessing the forests, recreating in the forest, partnerships and opportunities, other topics for consideration, and our recreation planning committee.

For more information about our Baker to Bellingham Recreation Plan, visit our website or email us. Look for recaps of our open house presentations and comment summaries soon. To hear more about the planning process and stay informed as additional input opportunities progress, subscribe to our Baker to Bellingham E-news.

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Hawks, deer and more on display in the wild today

January 10, 2016
The osprey is also known as a seahawk.

The osprey is also known as a seahawk.

After watching the Seahawks play this morning, you may want to get outdoors yourself to try and catch a glimpse of one of the real hawks of the sea.

Osprey, also known as sea hawks, are among the wildlife to watch for at West Tiger Mountain Natural Resources Conservation Area (NRCA). 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. This area, and neighboring Tiger Mountain State Forest — a working forest managed by DNR — are excellent outdoor classrooms and places to see native inhabitants including deer, elk, red-tailed hawks, osprey (aka sea hawk), owls, and woodpeckers. A good trail to try is West Tiger No. 1.

West Tiger Mountain is just one of 36 NRCAs across Washington that DNR manages to preserve high-quality ecosystems.

Learn more about where to visit or volunteer. Then, rain or shine, grab your Discover Pass and head out for some extra-curricular sea hawk-viewing activities!

Merry Geo Mapmas: 12 maps to use on your phone

December 25, 2015
Enjoy DNR-managed lands with the help of our maps available for your smartphone. Photo/ DNR.

Enjoy DNR-managed lands with the help of our maps available for your smartphone. Photo/ DNR.

Want to navigate your favorite trails right from your smartphone? For the 12 Days of Geo Mapmas DNR brings to you 12 new georeferenced maps to help you explore DNR landscapes.

Use the free Avenza PDF Maps app to find your location as you enjoy hundreds of miles of trails within 12 DNR-managed landscapes. Even without cell service the maps will continue to work using your phone’s GPS chip. We suggest also having a backup printed map with you.

For the 12 days of Geo Mapmas, DNR brings to you:

Ready to give it a try? Follow the steps below: 

  • Download the free Avenza PDF Maps app to your phone.
  • Open the app on your phone. Click on the icon in the lower left hand corner of your screen called ‘Maps.’ You will see a ‘+’ sign in the upper right of your screen.
  • After you click on the ‘+’ sign, it will ask you where you want to grab the PDF file from. Enter or copy the preferred links above into the box titled “From the Web.”
  • The map(s) will be copied into your app. This may take a moment depending on your connection speed. Pro tip: Do your data plan a favor and download when you have access to Wi-Fi.
  • After the map is copied into the app, it will load when you click on the ‘Maps’ icon. If you have your GPS turned on, it will automatically zoom to your position in the applicable map.

You can also purchase a printed version of several of our maps, like the Elbe Hills and Tahoma State Forest Map and the Capitol State Forest Map, for $9 online or in person, between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., from the Washington State Department of Printing, 7580 New Market Street St. SW, Tumwater, WA 98501. Otherwise, visit our website for trail maps you can download and print.

To receive more information like this right to your inbox, subscribe to our monthly recreation e-newsletter. Learn more about DNR’s recreation program on our website.

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Explore DNR-managed lands from backcountry huts

December 21, 2015

High Hut at Mount TahomaWhen winter wonderland seems too far away, escape to the Mount Tahoma Trails Assocation backcountry hunts in DNR’s Tahoma State Forest. Three hunts and one yurt provide unparalleled views of the Cascade Range and Mount Rainier. This time of year, enjoy cross-country skiing and snowshoeing on the 50-mile Tahoma State Forest trail system, which includes 20 miles of groomed trail. The trails transition to mountain biking and hiking in the summer.

Reserve your stay
The huts and yurt are open to the public throughout the day, though overnight stays require a reservation. Winter weekends are mostly booked up this year with most weekdays still available. To make a reservation, visit the Mount Tahoma Trails Association website.

New ways to explore
Still looking for last minute stocking stuffers? Consider giving the gift of the great outdoors with our newly released Elbe Hills and Tahoma State Forest Map. The Elbe Hills and Tahoma state forests offer recreation opportunities for camping, hiking, horseback riding, mountain biking, off-road-vehicle riding as well as winter activities like cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. This map shows the MTTA huts, as well as Elbe Hills ORV and Sahara Creek campgrounds, Nicholson Horse trail system, and picnic sites in the Elbe Hills State Forest.

Download the georeferenced map to your smartphone using the free Avenza PDF Maps Mobile app. For downloading instructions, visit DNR’s blog. Or, purchase the printed version for $9 online or in person, between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., from the Washington State Department of Printing, 7580 New Market Street St. SW, Tumwater, WA 98501.

For more information about recreation on DNR-managed lands, visit our website. For monthly recreation updates sent right to your inbox, subscribe to our recreation e-newsletter. View December’s issue.

Partnerships are our key to success: Thanks Cold Creek Mountain Bikers

December 19, 2015
The Cold Creek Mountain Bikers work on a trail kiosk for the Thrillium Trail. Photo courtesy Cold Creek Mountain Bikers.

The Cold Creek Mountain Bikers work on a trail kiosk for the Thrillium Trail. Photo courtesy Cold Creek Mountain Bikers.

Based in Battleground and Vancouver, Cold Creek Mountain Bikers has about 250 members who help care for trails in Yacolt Burn State Forest. Continuing a long history of partnering with DNR, this Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance chapter just finished marking a future connector trail from the new lower Yacolt Burn trailhead and parking area to the Thrillium trail exit.

The completed trail, scheduled for construction in early 2016, will allow riders to skip forest roads in favor of added single track. Started in 2006, the group has been integral to opening the Thrillium trail and trailheads specifically for mountain bike access.

They  continue to coordinate monthly work parties to care for these and other trails in Yacolt Burn State Forest.

The Cold Creek Mountain Bikers are one of a number of groups DNR is partnering with on its current plan to create trail connections in the Yacolt Burn State Forest. The plan calls for 17-miles of additional hiking, horseback riding, and mountain biking trail segments and loops. Learn more on our blog.

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

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Be aware of weather conditions, choose when to ride

December 10, 2015
Tiger Mountain

Mountain bikers enjoy the Predator Trail, 1.8 miles in length, on Tiger Mountain. Photo/ DNR.

With the opening of DNR’s Predator Trail in the Tiger Mountain State Forest and the Thrillium Trail in the Yacolt Burn State Forest, it’s no secret that mountain bikers are enjoying DNR-managed lands.

With colder temperatures, rain, and snow at higher elevations, it’s important to be aware of weather conditions and when the trails might be susceptible to damage.

If it’s storming, snowing, or trails are frozen or thawing, then it may be best to save your mountain bike ride for a day with nicer weather. Giving the trails some time to dry out helps to ensure they’re rideable year-round.

Explore East Tiger Mountain
We are able to keep trails, like those on Tiger Mountain, open year-round with the help of mountain bikers who generally exercise good judgement. East Tiger Mountain, located in the Snoqualmie Corridor, has about 17 miles of mountain biking trail. Its newest trail, the Predator Trail, offers an expert-only descent. View a trail map, or visit our website to learn more.

Other ideas
On days that enjoying mountain biking might not be the best idea, use our statewide recreation map to find other ways to get outdoors. For more information about recreation on DNR-managed lands, visit our website.

 

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