Archive for the ‘Recreation’ Category

Use that extra hour to enjoy DNR-managed lands

November 1, 2015

We gain an hour of daylight this weekend with daylight saving time. Why not use that extra time to get out and explore DNR-managed lands? See our top pics for where to enjoy Washington’s great outdoors below, or visit our statewide interactive recreation map to get more ideas.

Kayaks on beach at Cypress Head campground.

Kayakers on beach at Cypress Head Campground. Photo/ DNR.

Cypress Head Campground, near Anacortes
This boat-access campground in the Cypress Island Natural Resources Conservation Area offers stunning views of the Bellingham Channel and Mount Baker. Enjoy camping all year long, as DNR returned Cypress Island campgrounds back to a year-round camping season this fall.

Little River Trail, near Port Angeles 
The Little River Trail offers hikers, horseback riders, and mountain bikers access to Hurricane Ridge and the northern end of Olympic National Park.

Elbe Hills ORV Trailhead, near Eatonville 
Enjoy off-road-vehicle driving at this year-round 14-mile system near Mount Rainier.

Rock Creek Campground, near Battle Ground 
Located in the Yacolt Burn State Forest, this campground is popular with horseback riders. Look for the nearby Tarbell Trail, open to hikers, horseback riders, and mountain bikers.

Eagle Nest Vista

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

Eagle Nest Vista, near Yakima 
Want a new perspective? Head to Eagle Nest Vista, located in the Ahtanum State Forest. It gives you a bird’s-eye view into the surrounding forest.

Dishman Hills Natural Resources Conservation Area, near Spokane
Enjoy hiking and wildlife viewing at Dishman Hills, a 518-acre natural area that contains sculpted terrain left by the floods from Glacial Lake Missoula. This site is co-managed by Spokane County, Dishman Hills Conservancy, and DNR.

Before you go, don’t forget your Discover Pass. The Discover Pass is your gateway to enjoying Washington’s great outdoors. For more information about DNR’s recreation program, visit our website.

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Explore DNR-managed lands from green dot roads

October 28, 2015

Enjoy forest drives, wildlife viewing, camping, or hunting? DNR has just the place for you – a network of green dot roads in southeastern Washington.

DNR manages a green dot road system in partnership with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) and private landowners to provide opportunities for dispersed recreation, or recreating outside of our designated trails, campgrounds, and picnic areas.

Whites Ridge Rd in Ahtanum S.F.

Off-road-vehicle riders from the All Wheelers Off Road Club follow Whites Ridge Road in the Ahtanum State Forest. Photo: Clay Graham

View our green dot road maps for: 

Background
The Green Dot Road Management System was established in the early 1980s as a means to provide connections across a landscape of checkerboard ownership made up of DNR land and WDFW land. You can locate green dot roads by using the maps above, and looking for reader boards and route markers with green dots when you’re out exploring.

Check out our forest road survival tips before you go hunting. For hunting information, visit the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife’s website. Remember to bring a Discover Pass, your gateway to exploring Washington’s great outdoors.

County burn bans may still be in effect in various locations throughout Washington.  Check with your community fire district for local information. Before having a campfire, check to see if there are any fire restrictions for your area.

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Enjoy thru-hiking? Check out DNR’s Pacific Northwest Trail connections

October 23, 2015

Did you know that when you recreate on DNR-managed lands, you also have access to a trail that starts in the jagged Rockies of Glacier National Park and traverses six mountain ranges before ending in the wilderness coast of Olympic National Park?

Samish Bay Overlook

View of Samish Bay from the Samish Overlook. Photo / DNR.

The, 1,200-mile Pacific Northwest Trail (PNT) is regarded as one of the most difficult of the United States’ 11 national scenic trails, yet visitors by the thousands flock to it and it’s many points of interest.

About 60 miles of the PNT cross DNR-managed land, including the Blanchard Forest near Bow, Harry Osborne Forest near Sedro-Woolley, and the Loomis State Forest near Loomis. By the beginning of the trail that leads to Oyster Dome, thru-hikers are nearly 900 miles into their journey from Montana when they catch their first glimpse of salt water.

The PNT
Rigorous yet scenic, REI has called the PNT, “arguably the most breathtaking thru-hike in the country.” The trail passes through three national parks, seven national forests, six Wilderness areas, and countless state lands before reaching the Pacific Ocean shoreline. Hikers may see wolves, bears, elk, caribou, and mountain lions; or visit quaint mountain towns that act as resupply stepping stones across Montana, Idaho, and Washington.

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Share your ideas for new Reiter Foothills Forest trail names

October 20, 2015
Reiter 4X4

Located near Gold Bar, Reiter Foothills Forest has many 4×4, ATV, and single-track riding opportunities. Photo/ DNR.

Have ideas about what to name DNR’s new motorized trails in the Reiter Foothills Forest? Share them before Nov. 15.

To submit suggestions, attend our October Reiter Foothills focus group meeting at 7 to 9 p.m., Oct. 28 in the Snohomish County Admin Building.

Or, email or mail your recommendations to Ben Hale, 919 N Township St, Sedro-Woolley, WA 98284.

Reference our 4×4 and ATV maps for your recommendations.

Avoid slang, intentional misspellings, and inappropriate language. For more information, contact our Reiter Foothills Forest recreation manager, Ben Hale.

About Reiter Foothills Forest
Popular among off-road-vehicle riders, Reiter Foothills Forest’s 10,000 acres are located between sub-alpine wilderness and the Skykomish River valley, surrounded by beautiful snow-capped mountain peaks. Reiter Foothills Forest trails are open 4 to 7 p.m. on Fridays and 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. View a map of recreation opportunities at Reiter.

Reiter

Views of the Reiter Foothills Forest. Photo/ DNR.

Want to get involved? Attend our Reiter Foothills Focus Group meetings to hear firsthand about the progress at Reiter and to provide your input on recreation planning. Meetings are from 7 to 9 p.m. every fourth Wednesday of the month at the address, above.

To stay connected with DNR’s recreation program, subscribe to our free monthly e-newsletter.

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Mark your calendars: DNR celebrates Predator Trail with Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance

October 17, 2015

DNR and Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance are celebrating a new 1.8-mile trail in Tiger Mountain State Forest on Oct. 24. Join us to share a pig roast BBQ and celebrate the official opening of Predator Trail, an expert-only technical and challenging descent.

Tiger Mountain

The Predator Trail, 1.8 miles in length, is Tiger Mountain’s newest trail. Photo/ DNR.

Celebration details 
10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 24
Tiger Summit Trailhead
Directions: From Issaquah, go east on I-90 to exit 25. Turn right to SR-18. Go 4.5 miles to Tiger Summit. Turn right. Take Westside Road left .3 miles to the site on the right.

About the trail
Named after the tiger, an apex predator at the top of the food chain, the Predator Trail is Tiger Mountain’s newest and most difficult trail.

The new trail addition boosts the east Tiger Mountain State Forest mountain bike trail system to nearly 17 miles in total length.

This one-way descent is full of rock-armored steeps, with some tight turns over fast and undulating terrain packed with obstacles that will keep even highly skilled riders challenged. View a map of the new trail.

Check back with us on our Facebook and Twitter pages for more information about the event. For more information about recreation on Tiger Mountain, visit our website. To start planning your next mountain bike ride, click on trailheads on our new statewide interactive recreation map.

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Shout out to Dirty Harry’s Peak trail volunteers

October 16, 2015
Dirty Harry's Peak trail

Dirty Harry’s Peak Trail, near North Bend, is popular for hiking and rock climbing. Photo/ DNR.

Big thanks to DNR volunteers and our partners from the Washington Trails Association who are helping DNR rebuild the Dirty Harry’s Peak Trail, located in the Snoqualmie Corridor near North Bend.

Volunteers have hand built about one-third of a mile of what will be a four-and-a-half-mile trail to Dirty Harry’s Peak, which provides breathtaking views of the Snoqualmie Valley.

The volunteers’ renovations will lessen the grade of the trail, which also passes some popular rock climbing areas. The project is expected to finish in spring of 2017.

Join the effort 
Want to get involved? DNR and Washington Trails Association have Dirty Harry’s Peak Trail work parties planned through December. Visit our calendar for upcoming events.

Dirty Harry's Peak

DNR and Washington Trails Association volunteers laid the foundation for the future Dirty Harry’s Peak trail. Photo/ DNR.

A recreation destination 
Dirty Harry’s Peak is located in DNR’s Middle Fork Snoqualmie Natural Resources Conservation Area, a 10,280-acre landscape on the western edge of the Cascade Mountains. The conservation area includes some of DNR’s other popular recreation sites, like the newly renovated Mailbox Peak trail and the Mine Creek picnic area, popular for whitewater kayaking.

Planning for high-quality recreation
To learn more about upcoming recreation opportunities in the Snoqualmie Corridor, visit our Snoqualmie Corridor Recreation Plan, which we published in March.

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Meet DNR’s new lead recreation planner: Glenn Glover

October 13, 2015
Glenn Glover

Glenn stops for a photo with his dogs Kota, left, and Scarry, right in the Okanogan Wenatchee National Forest. Photo courtesy Glenn Glover.

There’s a new talent helping DNR to reach its goals: Glenn Glover. Glenn joined the agency in September as a lead recreation planner that will help DNR’s recreation program continue to develop high quality recreation destinations.

Part of Glenn’s role will be working with organizations, tribes and communities across the state.

As an opportunity to let you get to know him a little better, we asked him a few questions.

What is it about serving the citizens of Washington and the work that you’ll be doing that attracted you to this position with DNR?
I wanted to take the experience and success that I had in serving and providing recreation to one user group, which was mountain bikers of Washington state, and turn that into an opportunity to support a broader range of recreation users, whether that be hiking, motorcycling, horseback riding, four wheel driving, trail running, climbing, mountain biking, fishing, boating, ATV – or a new emerging recreation.

What are you bringing to DNR’s efforts that will help the agency to be successful in its mission?
One of the strengths that I bring is a strong attention to the user experience – the reasons why people recreate – and how to make that as satisfying as possible while still meeting our trust obligations.  I can provide a new perspective, which can be helpful in seeing opportunities to do things in new ways.

Glenn Glover

Glenn mountain biking in the Colville National Forest near Sherman Pass. Photo courtesy Glenn Glover.

What motivates you to get outdoors?
The ways that I personally recreate and experience the outdoors is very diverse.  At times it is for peace and quiet, solitude, and slowing my mind.  At other times it will include excitement, the chance to challenge my limits, and comradery with friends and partners.   The common element through all of it is connecting with nature and coming away feeling recharged.

Watch our blog, social media, and e-newsletter to hear more about DNR’s recreation planning projects, developments, and upcoming events. For more information about recreation planning, visit our website.

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Rec alert: Infectious trees cause Capitol State Forest temporary closures

October 11, 2015
DNR scientists helped identify infected trees at two Capitol State Forest campgrounds. Photo/ DNR.

To help ensure public safety, DNR is temporarily closing two Capitol State Forest campgrounds. Photo/ DNR.

DNR’s tree experts help spot forest health issues before large problems arise. On Monday, one such discovery is being managed to protect campers and recreationists from potentially hazardous trees with an infectious root disease.

Rec alert: Know before you go 
To ensure public safety, Middle Waddell campground, day-use area, and surrounding trails will be closed from Oct. 12 until further notice so DNR can remove the infected trees. DNR will also be removing other trees in the area to facilitate future campgrounds and trailhead improvements. Margaret McKenny campground, day-use area, and surrounding trails will close later this fall following the Middle Waddell closures.

It’s not typical for timber harvests to occur within established DNR campgrounds, unless there are trees that pose a danger to campers.

Like many of the forests DNR manages, the lands in Capitol State Forest are trust lands managed to provide sustainable revenue in support of schools, state universities and local county public services. In this case, the trees DNR harvests to improve recreation sites will benefit Thurston County.

New plantings 
To begin forest regeneration, DNR has planted Western Red Cedar trees, which are not susceptible to the infectious root rot disease.

For updates on the project, visit our Capitol State Forest web page.

For other ideas of where to get outdoors on DNR-managed lands, visit our statewide recreation map.

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Progress climbs on new mountain bike trail

October 9, 2015
mountain biking

Tyler Salvage, left, and Kevin Schmuck, right, continue construction on a climbing trail in the Tiger Mountain State Forest. Photo/ DNR.

DNR recently opened the new Predator Trail on East Tiger Mountain, and we’re not stopping there.

Two of DNR’s professional trail builders, Tyler Salvage and Kevin Schmuck, have been leading trail construction on a new climbing trail in East Tiger Mountain’s growing mountain bike trail system.

In September, we reached a new milestone on the climbing trail: the halfway mark.

The trail, which will be four miles when finished, is expected to open in Spring of 2016.

This primarily mountain biking trail provides a more direct ascent to higher elevation trails within the 17-mile East Tiger Mountain biking trail system. With the new trail, mountain bikers won’t need to navigate forest roads to make the climb.

mountain biking

A preview of a climbing trail, which is expected to open in spring of 2016. Photo/ DNR.

Funding the trail 
The trail is largely made possible through a Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office grant awarded to DNR’s recreation program.

Learn more
To see more about the climbing trail’s construction, visit our Youtube channel. To learn more about our plans for fun and safe recreation in the Snoqualmie Corridor, check out our Snoqualmie Corridor Recreation Plan, which we published in March.

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Welcoming new conservation crews to DNR-managed lands

October 5, 2015

Today marks the first day of crew deployments for new Washington Conservation Corps and Puget Sound Corps teams. Every year crews gain valuable work skills on DNR-managed lands before beginning careers in Washington’s workforce or pursuing higher education. Corps members gain experience while helping to fill a variety of needs – from working on DNR trails and campgrounds to caring for wild spaces by removing invasive species and fostering the growth of native plants.

Where they’ll be 
In the next year about 10 crews will spend some time on DNR-managed lands all across Washington state. They’ll be doing valuable work:

Watch our video, below, to see the kind of valuable work these crews perform. When you run into WCC or PSC crews, say hello and let them share with you how they’re helping to improve these lands.

Background
The Corps, founded in 1983, is a multi-agency effort with DNR, AmeriCorps, the Department of Ecology, Veterans Affairs, and others that invests in future generations by building their professional skills as they perform stewardship for the state’s natural landscapeshigh-quality recreation opportunities, and the Puget Sound. For more information, visit the Department of Ecology’s website.

To hear more about how these projects develop, stay connected with our monthly recreation e-newsletter.


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