Archive for the ‘Recreation’ Category

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.

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Project at beach recreation site helps restore healthy vegetation

March 9, 2015
Washington Conservation Crews help remove English Holly from Upright Channel. Photo: DNR

Washington Conservation Crews help remove English holly from Upright Channel. Photo: DNR

Ever visited Upright Channel Day-Use and Beach Access?

The popular DNR-managed site on Lopez Island is looking its best after DNR staff and Washington Conservation Corps crews completed a major invasive species removal to English holly growing there.

DNR's Upright Channel, a popular day-use recreation site on Lopez Island, includes trails, beach access and a picnic area. Photo: DNR

DNR’s Upright Channel, a popular day-use recreation site on Lopez Island, includes trails, beach access and a picnic area. Photo: DNR

The project, coordinated by DNR’s recreation and silviculture programs, will help provide access to the site for visitors to enjoy for years to come.

DNR’s silviculture (tree planting) program manages DNR forest landscapes, for products and ecosystem services, such as wildlife habitat and water quality.

Rob Crawford, a crew supervisor with Washington Conservation Corps, helps to remove holly from Upright Channel. Photo: DNR

Rob Crawford, a crew supervisor with Washington Conservation Corps, helps to remove holly from Upright Channel. Photo: DNR

This project follows efforts from DNR’s dedicated volunteers. Upright Channel work party volunteers have helped to remove rotting railroad ties, trim vegetation and do general site clean-up to the beach-access site.

Upright Channel is a 20-acre day-use park, which includes trails, beach access and a picnic area.

For more information, visit DNR’s recreation Web page.

To stay in the loop about all things DNR, sign up for all of our e-newsletters.

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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. http://bit.ly/DNRvolunteer

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