Posts Tagged ‘DNR’

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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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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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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