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Hiker Headlines: Free Days, Grand Openings for Trails, Plans for Forests and Parks

Posted by cwakenshaw at Nov 05, 2020 12:49 PM |

It’s November 5. The final free days for State Parks are coming up in November. Two ribbon cutting ceremonies, one on the Olympic Peninsula and one in Spokane Valley, mark major accomplishments for trail access. Washington DNR released their 2020 Forest Action Plan. And, you can provide your input for recreation planning in the Blue Mountains. Here’s some news you might have missed while out on trail this week.

It’s November 5. The final free days for Washington State Parks are coming up in November. Two ribbon cutting ceremonies, one on the Olympic Peninsula and one in Spokane Valley, mark major accomplishments for trail access. Washington DNR released their 2020 Forest Action Plan. And, you can provide your input for recreation planning in the Blue Mountains. Here’s some news you might have missed while out on trail this week.

A hiker walking into the light at the end of an old railroad tunnel. Photo by maryvr.
After years of planning and construction, we can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel for the Spruce Railroad Trail. Photo by maryvr. 

Fee free days: The two final free days for State Parks in 2020 are coming up in November. You will be able to enjoy State Parks without a Discover Pass on November 11, in honor of Veteran’s Day, and November 27, the day after Thanksgiving. Head out to an old favorite with your family or try a new park this year. Washington State Parks host 12 free days every year— check out their dates for 2021.

New trailhead at Dishman Hills: A ribbon cutting ceremony was held last Friday, October 30, to celebrate the grand opening of the Phillips Creek Trailhead in the City of Spokane Valley that features 20 parking spots, native landscaping, and a webcam. This new addition to the Glenrose Unit of Dishman Hills connects to the new Flying L Trail, which was constructed by volunteers from several organizations including WTA! 

Spruce Railroad Trail to open soon: Another ribbon cutting ceremony was held on the Olympic Peninsula in anticipation of the opening of the Spruce Railroad Trail in mid-November. When finished, this paved, multi-use trail will provide a path around the northern shore of Lake Crescent that is accessible for pedestrians, cyclists, and folks in wheelchairs. It will also provide a critical connection along the Olympic Discovery Trail, which will eventually extend from Port Townsend all the way to La Push.

Forest Action Plan: The Washington State Department of Natural Resources recently released their 2020 Forest Action Plan, which lays out the vision for state managed forests for the next 10 years. The plan identifies 16 priority areas for improvement in Western Washington and includes state-wide goals such as reducing the impact of wildfires, connecting wildlife habitat and conserving forests from development.

Input for SE State Parks: Public input is now being accepted for recreation planning for three Blue Mountain area state parks Palouse Falls, Lyons Ferry and Lewis and Clark Trail. You can provide comments during a virtual meeting on November 17 at 6:00 p.m. or submit written comments until December 4. 


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