Posts Tagged ‘Recreation’

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.

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A look back: Official DNR Recreation stats from 2014

January 11, 2015

Were you one of almost 11 million people who visited DNR-managed recreation land in 2014? This past year DNR recreation was hard at work creating new recreation opportunities for you and your family to enjoy for years to come.

Now’s the time to look back at some of DNR’s biggest recreation accomplishments in 2014. We’ve got the official stats just for you.

Off-the-Grid Trail in Tiger Mountain State Forest.

Mountain biker enjoying the new Off-the-Grid Trail in Tiger Mountain State Forest. Photo: Robin Fay.

With a new 4.7-mile trail to the top of Mailbox Peak in the Middle Fork Snoqualmie Natural Resources Conservation Area and a new 3-mile mountain bike trail in the Tiger Mountain State Forest, some of DNR’s most popular recreation opportunities got a big facelift this year. In total, DNR installed 5 miles of new ORV trails and nearly 9 miles of non-motorized trails throughout the state!


View of Mount Hood from the beautiful Yacolt Burn State Forest. Photo by DNR.

In the Yacolt Burn State Forest DNR completed 2.3 miles of new motorized trails, which include 1.5 miles of 4×4, ATV and single trails and .8 miles of ATV/single track trail. DNR staff continues to work on motorized trails there.

Oyster Dome view

View from Oyster Dome on Blanchard Mountain



Helping to preserve DNR’s pristine camping opportunities, DNR staff rerouted 1,000 feet of Blanchard Forest trail, which provides access to an enhanced backcountry campsite, Lizard Lake.

Willoughby Creek and Upper Clearwater campgrounds in Washington’s Olympic Peninsula, as well as the Ahtanum Meadows campground in Ahtanum State Forest near Yakima, also received improvements.

In the Elbe Hills Nicholson Horse Trail system, popular among horseback riders, DNR completed 1 mile of re-routed trail.

volunteers building trails

Volunteers help keep DNR-managed recreation sites clean, safe, and healthy. Photo: DNR.

All of DNR’s biggest recreation accomplishment couldn’t be made possible without the dedicated support of our partner organizations and volunteers. In fact, in the 2013 – 2014 fiscal year volunteers donated about 65,000 hours to help maintain recreation opportunities they enjoy.

If you’re interested in being a part of your favorite recreation areas on DNR-managed land, visit DNR’s volunteer calendar today.

As you continue to have safe and fun adventures on DNR-managed recreation lands, we encourage you to stay connected by signing up for our Recreation e-newsletter.

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The annual Discover Pass is the gift that keeps on giving (fun, fresh air, exercise, and much more)

December 8, 2014
Discover Pass

Buy your loved one a gift that will last the whole year, an annual Discover Pass! Now you can choose the start date at the time of purchase.

Not sure what to give your friends and loved ones this holiday season? How about an Annual Discover Pass? For only $35 (if purchased online) it’s the perfect gift that keeps on giving… all year long!

Another reason it makes a great gift…

You can choose the date you want the new Discover Pass to begin – December 25? January 1? June1? – any day you want within the next year. Choose the activation date during purchase – activation must start within 365 days of your date of purchase. When purchasing online, you must allow 10 days for mailing when you select a future start date.

mountain bikers riding a snowy trail

Photo: Randy Warnock/DNR

The best part?

With your holiday shopping out of the way you can spend those remaining shopping days doing what you really want to do… enjoying yourself at state-managed recreation sites.

Ordering is quick and easy!

Just click here to easily order as many Discover Passes as you want from the comfort of your home! You should receive the Discover Pass(es) in the mail within 10 days.

A great gift for any occasion…

Already have your holiday gift list done? Not to worry: the Annual Discover Pass makes a great gift any time of year for birthdays, anniversaries, Father’s Day, graduations, weddings… the list goes on and on!

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8 reasons DNR is thankful for volunteers

November 27, 2014
volunteers building trails

Volunteers help keep DNR-managed recreation sites clean, safe, and healthy. Photo: DNR.

Each year, volunteers of all ages put in thousands of hours helping DNR.

Their dedicated efforts and skills help us maintain and improve recreational sites, trails, natural areas, and other outdoor volunteer opportunities on the state trust lands we manage.

Some volunteers devote time every month; others pitch in a few hours here and there. Either way, we’re happy to get the help.

At DNR, we’re thankful to all of those who:

  1. Spent countless hours battling blackberries and scotch broom to keep these invasive plants from overtaking trails and natural areas.
  2. Volunteered for the Forest Watch Program.
  3. Provided information and nature interpretation to school children and other forest visitors.
  4. Trekked out in the field to collect data or monitor plant species — providing valuable information to staff scientists.
  5. Helped us maintain and build recreational trails.
  6. Organized volunteer work parties.
  7. Helped DNR keep campgrounds open to the public by becoming a volunteer camp host.
  8. …. and the many, many other activities that rely on the efforts of volunteers.

Rain or shine, DNR’s volunteers are always happy to show up and lend a hand. Photo by: DNR

To all of you, our sincere thanks! And a Happy Thanksgiving.

Got some time this winter? Plan to do some good for the DNR-managed lands you love! Check the DNR Volunteer Calendar to find opportunities to give back.

Celebrate going back to school in nature’s classroom

September 8, 2014

Take kids out to play and learn on DNR-protected land. Photo by: DNR/Jennifer Allison

As your children return to school, why not stretch their learning beyond the classroom?

DNR has many recreation opportunities in Washington’s great outdoors to connect your child with nature as their learning environment grows.

Why do kids need nature?
Lack of nature education and outdoor exposure is called Nature Deficit Disorder, coined by the writer Richard Louv in his 2005 book, “Last Child in the Woods.”

Studies have found that connecting children with nature improves their ability to perform in school subjects such as math, reading, and science.

Check out some of the outdoor education opportunities DNR has to offer below, and help give your kid an extra edge. (more…)

Take a trip to visit a mystic mounded prairie

August 14, 2014

Looking for something kid-friendly to do on DNR-managed conservation lands? Let their imaginations run wild on 637 acres of grassland mounds at the DNR Mima Mounds Natural Area Preserve (NAP).

Mima Mounds

Camas blooms at the unique Mima Mounds Natural Area Preserve managed by DNR. Photo: DNR/Birdie Davenport

Located next to Capitol State Forest near Olympia, Washington, Mima Mounds NAP protects the mounded Puget prairie landscape. Scientists differ on how the mounds formed; ice age flood deposits, earthquakes — even gophers — are among the formation theories offered.

Mima Mounds

Unique topography is one of the features of DNR’s Mima Mounds Natural Area Preserve south of Olympia. Photo: DNR.

Rising to landmark status
In 1966, the National Park Service designated Mima Mounds a National Natural Landmark for its outstanding condition, illustrative value of a landform, rarity, and value to science and education. The site is one of 17 National Natural Landmarks in Washington state.

The NAP, established in 1976, includes native grasslands, a small Garry oak woodland, savannah (widely spaced oak trees with grass understory), Douglas-fir forest, and habitat for prairie-dependent butterflies and birds.

Unearthing site information and education

Mima Mounds Interpretive Center

Mima Mounds NAP has a lot of informational material for visitors to read while they’re there. DNR photo

Visitors to the site can stop at its interpretive center before stepping onto the trail that skirts around the mounds. The center provides historical and educational information about the site.

For those looking to get a better view of the area, a short set of stairs to the rooftop of the interpretive center provides a look from above.

Discover Pass logoDiscover Pass required
Don’t forget to grab your Discover Pass before heading out on this prairie
adventure. The Discover Pass is required to park a car at Mima Mounds NAP or anywhere in Capitol State Forest. This $30 annual access pass (or $10 day pass) is your ticket to Washington state great outdoors. All proceeds directly support state-managed outdoor recreation.

Adventure on!
Learn more about Mima Mounds NAP and other DNR adventures on our website at

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DNR has many volunteer opportunities planned in August

July 31, 2014
DNR volunteer event

Popular trails get worn and become more susceptible to erosion. Volunteers help DNR stretch its scarce maintenance dollars to keep trails safe. Photo: DNR

Interested in recreation on DNR managed land, but not sure how to get involved? Luckily, DNR has all sorts of volunteer opportunities on deck for August and we would love to see you there.

DNR volunteers are vital to maintaining a safe and enjoyable outdoor experience for visitors to DNR’s recreation facilities and trails. This isn’t an easy feat, and DNR is blessed with many dedicated volunteers. In 2013, volunteers totaled 61,300 volunteer hours on recreation projects.

If you’d like to join in on the fun, check out some of DNR’s volunteer opportunities below. For more details and updates on all DNR recreation volunteer opportunities, visit our volunteer calendar.

August 2
Friends of Capitol Forest Monthly Work Party
Capitol State Forest
Time: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
What: Join DNR staff and volunteers from Friends of Capitol Forest for a work party to improve road crossing areas, remove wood supports on berms, and drainage. Kids are welcome! There is often a mountain bike ride after the work party.
Directions: (Map) Meet at the “Y” intersection of Waddell Creek Road and Sherman Valley Road.
Contact: Nick Cronquist, 360-480-2700

August 9
Walker Valley ORV Area Work
Where: Walker Valley
Time: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
What: Join DNR staff and other volunteers to help work on trails, clean ditches, haul gravel, brush trails, paint, pick up garbage, and more! No need to call first.
Directions: (Map) Meet at the Walker Valley Trailhead Information Kiosk: 18652 Peter Burns Rd., Mount Vernon, WA
Contact: Jim Cahill, 360-854-2874

August 16
Nicholson Horse Trails Work Party
Where: Sahara Creek Campground
Time: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
What: Please join DNR staff and Pierce County Chapter Back Country Horsemen to work on the Nicholson Horse Trails.
Directions: Start at Elbe. Go 5.3 miles on Hwy 706. Turn left into the site.
Contact: Nancy Barker, 253-312-4301

August 23
Reiter Foothills ORV Work Party
Where: Reiter Foothills Forest
Time: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
What: Join DNR staff to enhance the Motorcycle Trials trail area and work other ORV trail projects.
Directions: Drive East on Hwy 2 through the town of Gold Bar. Turn left onto Reiter Road. Continue for 3.8 miles. Deer Flats Mainline Road will be on your left. Meet at the Deer Flats Mainline Gate.
Contact: Daniel Christian, 360-333-7846

Need a Discover Pass?
If you don’t have a Discover Pass, DNR staff can provide you with one for the day you volunteer. These volunteer events are eligible toward a complimentary Discover Pass.

Before you go, make sure to check our open and closure notices page.

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