Washington - As autumn settles in, the Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) wants the public to know about upcoming changes to some of the recreation areas the agency manages. Some areas will be closing for the season starting October 15 and through the fall. Other areas will be reducing services due to cuts in the current budget.
“Fall is a great time to get outside and enjoy recreating on DNR-managed lands,” said Mark Mauren, DNR’s Recreation Program Manager. “We just want to make sure the public knows to check the status of our areas before they head out.”
One of the best ways to find out if an area is open or has reduced services is to check DNR’s web pages, starting with the main recreation page: www.dnr.wa.gov/RecreationEduca ... es/amr_statewide_rec.aspx
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From this page, you can link to major recreation areas, counties, or DNR regions—not only for the status of an area, but also for contact information such as staff name, number, or email address.
Some areas may have locked gates and fewer or no amenities, such as toilets. However, the public can still access areas beyond locked gates by foot. DNR asks the public to pack out what they pack in.
Seasonal closures or reduced services will take place in the following counties:
Clark and Skamania counties — Yacolt Burn State Forest
Dougan Creek Campground will close for the season November 1.
Jones Creek ORV trail system and all trails in Yacolt are closed to ORV/motorized use from December 1 through March 31.
Cowlitz County — Merrill Lake
Closes November 15. Reopens around April 15, depending on snow.
Grant County — Beverly Sand Dunes
Closes for the season November 15 and re-opens March 15, 2010.
Grays Harbor and Thurston counties — Capitol Forest
The following will close for the season from December 1 – May 1:
Margaret McKenny, Middle Waddell Off-road Vehicle (ORV), Mima Falls, Sherman Valley, North Creek, Fall Creek, and Porter Creek campgrounds. Middle Waddell ORV, Rock Candy, and Fall Creek trailheads.
King County — Tiger Mountain
Tiger Summit Trailhead closes October 15. DNR is considering leaving the multi-use, non-motorized trails open until November 1, depending on weather and trail conditions. Be sure to check the website for closure information.
Kitsap County — Green Mountain State Forest
Green Mountain Campground gate (GM-1) generally closes from October 16 – May 31. Area is open year-round for walk-in access.
Mason County — Tahuya State Forest
Camp Spillman and Kammenga Campground closes October 15. (These campgrounds will be closed indefinitely due to budget cuts.)
Snohomish County — Morningstar Natural Resources Conservation Area
Starting this month, DNR staff will be removing amenities such as toilets due to budget cuts. Road access will change as well. Please be sure to check the Northwest Region recreation web page for details.
Yakima County — Ahtanum State Forest
Effective November 15, Snow Cabin and Ahtanum Meadows campgrounds will be closed indefinitely due to budget cuts.