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Hiker Headlines: Spruce Railroad Trail, Winter Recreation, Christmas Tree Permits, Land Transfers

Posted by cwakenshaw at Dec 03, 2020 12:28 PM |

It’s December 3. The Spruce Railroad Trail has reopened. A permit is required to park at the many Sno-Parks around the state. We explain the rules and regulations around Christmas tree permits. The Department of Natural Resources announced two land transfers. And, Baker Lake Dam Road will be closed for two full days. Here’s some news you may have missed while out on trail this week.

It’s December 3. Thank you for your support during Giving Tuesday. The Spruce Railroad Trail has reopened. A permit is required to park at the many Sno-Parks around the state. We lay out the rules and regulations around Christmas tree permits. The Department of Natural Resources announced two land transfers. And, Baker Lake Dam Road will be closed for two full days. Here’s some news you may have missed while out on trail this week.

A bridge crosses over an aquamarine inlet on the shore of Lake Crescent. Photo by Marissa Edwards.
A bridge on Lake Crescent along the recently reopened Spruce Railroad Trail. Photo by Marissa Edwards. 

A moment of gratitude: Thank you to everyone who donated to WTA during #GivingTuesday this week. We exceed our goal and were blown away by your support! Your donations will help us continue our work towards creating trails for everyone, forever.

Spruce Railroad Trail reopens: After many years of construction, this crucial segment of the Olympic Discovery Trail is open to the public. The trail is paved and accessible for multiple user groups. It parallels the northern shore of Lake Crescent and passes through two historic railroad tunnels, which were restored as part of this project.  

Winter permits and prep: From December 1 through March 31, visitors to Sno-Parks will need a permit, which can be purchased online. And this year, your favorite winter recreation spots may be operating a bit differently. Certain facilities you might be used to, such as restrooms, warming huts and visitor centers, may be closed or have limited capacity due to COVID-19 safety precautions, so do your research and plan accordingly.  

Christmas tree permits: Many national forests in Washington are issuing Christmas tree permits this winter. Harvesting a tree is only allowed in specific areas of certain national forests, and a permit must be purchased in advance. We’ve explained the rules and regulations to help you plan your outing.  

DNR land transfers: The Washington State Department of Natural Resources announced two important land transfers this week. The first moved the final 26-acre parcel in the Middle Fork Snoqualmie NRCA into permanent conservation status, effectively completing this important area. The second moved four large parcels from DNR to WDFW to expand the Big Bend Wildlife Area near the Columbia River.

Baker Lake dam closure: The Baker Lake Dam Road will be closed at the dam between December 8, 7:00 a.m. and December 9, 4:30 p.m. due to maintenance on the spill gates.


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