Tag Archives: Washington State Parks

National Get Outdoors Day

Want an excuse to have an outdoor adventure? Well, to be honest, you really don’t need an excuse—if anything, you probably need a reason not to get out there instead! Whether you’re looking for a reason or an excuse, though, it is now here in the form of National Get Outdoors Day.

Saturday, June 11 is this year’s National Get Outdoors Day, and you can partake in some amazing outdoor adventures at a local state or national park. Here are just some of specific events that you can enjoy with your loved ones!

People outdoors.

It’s time to explore the great outdoors! [Image: http://theadventureblog.blogspot.com/]

Upper Kern Cleanup, California

The Sequoia Recreation, which is a division of the California Land Management within the U.S. Forest Service, meets every year on the second weekend of June (this year, they’ll be meeting on June 11) to join together and clean the Upper Kern area. The Kern River is a valuable resource as a clean and safe waterway, and volunteers work relentlessly each year to ensure that its remains as such.

Learn more information here.

Get Outdoors Family Fishing Picnic, Pennsylvania

Bring your whole family out for a relaxing fishing trip on Sunday, June 12 at the Tussey Mountain Pond. They’ll provide the tackle for anyone who wants to join in on this idyllic Sunday afternoon. So bring your rods and see what you can hook!

Learn more information here.

Kid in a log.

Peek-a-boo! [Image: http://www.getoutdoorscolorado.org/]

Loop Lake Shelbyville Bike Ride, Illinois

If you’re searching for an end of spring bike-venture, then look no further than Loop Lake Shelbyville ride! There are three options for cyclists of all levels: a short 22-mile ride, a medium length 46-miles, and a longer 65-mile trek. So whether this is your first time around the lake, so to speak, or you’re a seasoned bike tourer, this is a great way to get outside and enjoy yourself!

Learn more information here.

Family biking.

Nothing like a family bike ride! [Image: https://totalwomenscycling.com/]

Get Outdoors Adventure Awaits Expo, Washington

Looking to try a new outdoor activity? Then look no further than the National Get Outdoors Day Outdoor Expo at Millersylvania State Park on June 11! It’s a fun day for the whole family, filled with prizes, demos, kid activities, and the chance to learn about (or even try!) a new outdoor activity. It’s the perfect place to be if you’re looking to fill your summer up with outdoor fun.

Learn more information here.

This is just a sample of all the many parks that will be holding events this weekend for National Get Outdoors Day. You can find more participating areas here. And before you go, don’t forget to make sure you download your state’s Pocket Ranger® mobile app so you can make the best of your adventure. Happy travels!

Spring Whitewater Rafting

For many of us the arrival of spring brings with it blooming flowers, the year’s first warm rays of sunlight, and that ache to be outside. But for others the warmth in the air conjures images of mountain snowpack melt-off and engorged rivers coursing with fury and speed where at other times of the year they seem to merely trickle, tame and listless. Spring marks the start of whitewater rafting season across much of the U.S. Here are a few parks that offer adventures that range in difficulty but are all certain to delight thrill-seekers of all skill levels.

Hiwassee/Ocoee Scenic River State Park, Tennessee

[Image: tnstateparks.com]

Kayakers and rafters should be watchful for each other while taking a trip on the river, though sometimes they can seem to be swallowed from view. [Image: tnstateparks.com/]

This park is a well-known site for whitewater rafting and for having been the site of the canoe and kayak slalom races during the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. The two rivers in the park’s name are scenic and rife with adventure, and there is access to whitewater that ranges from Class I to Class IV.

You can find out how to get on the water by contacting the park.

Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area, Colorado

[Image: wikipedia.org]

The Arkansas River is giving these recreationists a run for their money. [Image: wikipedia.org/]

This area spans a swath of the Arkansas River, the upper portion of which is one of the most popular whitewater runs in the U.S. In the spring and summer, hundreds of rafters take on the challenges of the Arkansas, which range from Class II to Class V in difficulty.

If you’re interested in taking on the river, the recreation area has compiled a list of outfitters for you to peruse.

Kanaskat-Palmer State Park, Washington

[Image: www.raftingamerica.com]

Lush moss and seductive green hues can be a distraction from the dangers at hand. It’s probably best to make a week-long trip of it and take lots of hikes to get used to the mesmerizing scenery. [Image: www.raftingamerica.com/]

The whitewater at Green River Gorge is best usually during spring and fall and is for expert enthusiasts only, but the incredible sights and challenges are worthy of note and aspiration. If you’re equal to the risks in the gorge, you can embark or land your boat at the park by hand. If the gorge is a bit too risky for you, there are two miles of Green River shoreline to explore, and you can at least admire the daredevils in their rafts and kayaks while you take in a stunningly beautiful hike.

For more information you can contact the park here.

[Image: advgamer.blogspot.com]

Little did we know that this would become true, brought to you through the power of Google image search. [Image: advgamer.blogspot.com/]

Rivers have kept us connected since the advent of the boat, and for just as long it’s been true that there’s rarely a better bonding experience than a trip with your team in a watercraft and the nature that surrounds you. The important things to remember, as always with extreme sports, are to know your limits and to do your homework. And as always you’ll find plenty of rivers to tackle, take in, and appreciate with our Pocket Ranger® mobile apps, even if a barbecue spatula is more your speed than an oar!

Exploring Discovery Park – Seattle

Contributed by Michael Restivo, Mike off the Map

The lush pine forest of Discovery Park

The lush pine forest of Discovery Park

Finding a beautiful, easy, and interesting hike doesn’t take long trips into the rainforests, or multi-day treks into the mountains. Seattle is graced by being surrounded by spectacular scenery with the Olympics to the north and the Cascades to the south. Just in the neighborhood of Magnolia is the 534-acre Discovery Park featuring a trail that spans a lush pine forest, a wide meadow, and the shores of Puget Sound before culminating at a 132-year-old lighthouse that gazes spectacularly at Mt. Rainier in the south and Mt. Baker to the north. The park offers a numerous amount of side trails for hiking, running, and watching for wildlife such as sea lions, seals, and the occasional orca passing through Puget Sound.

Mt. Rainier seen from the beach

Built originally as an Army base, Discovery Park is Seattle’s largest city park. Although there are multiple points of entry, the main trail begins from Government Way and West 36th Street from the visitor’s center. Free maps are available from the kiosk in the parking lot. After ascending a small set of wooden stairs, the dirt trail opens into a lush pine forest very typical of the Pacific Northwest. The trail is a birdwatchers dream as hundreds of distinct calls are heard and the path follows deeper into the forest. After about half a mile, the trail takes a turn and backtracks towards Puget Sound, crossing through the northern parking lot before opening into a spacious meadow flanked by the first spectacular look through Puget Sound. The clearest days display the Olympic range in all its snowcapped beauty dominating the waters. Looking back towards the city has Mt. Rainier overshadowing the landscape with its over fourteen thousand foot volcanic peak.

The Olympic Mountains from the South Beach trail

The Olympic Mountains from the South Beach trail

After the first viewpoint, the trail joins with the South Beach trail, which runs up a set of wooden stairs, and meanders along a large cliff face with the mud flats down below. The trail offers numerous secluded look out points, places to rest, and mesmerizing views of the mountains and the water. After walking parallel to the coast, the trail falls back into the forest where moss covered branches guide the pathway while the cascading branches overhead create a shady canopy which makes walking the path a delight even on the hottest days.

Moss Covered Trees

Once the trail comes back alongside the water, it follows along the sandy South Beach where the path can be continued via the trail or walking along the sand. It is very common for seals and the occasional sea lion to wander close to the shore here and the area makes a great look out point for wildlife headed out into the open waters away from the city. The apex of the trail is at the West Point, under the guiding light of the 132-year-old lighthouse, one of the oldest in the state. The lighthouse is still operational, abet now automated, but it can be explored as well as the historic lighthouse keepers cabin just behind it. The lighthouse has several tables and makes an excellent rest point as well as providing jaw-dropping views of Rainier and the surrounding peaks as well as Mt. Baker in the north and a large swath of the sound with it’s surrounding landscapes. On the clearest days, this view is nothing but unbelievably picturesque.

The famed historic lighthouse

The famed historic lighthouse

After leaving the lighthouse, there are two options: double back on the South Beach trail or continue the loop through the far more interesting Hidden Valley Trail which continues from the northern side of the beach. The Hidden Valley trail contrasts from the South Beach trail by lying lower as well as passing through a series of dandelion meadows before falling into a series of low hills that meander through the mossy forest. A series of wooden bridges run over small brooks before a set of hills take the trail back up towards the starting point. While the southern trail offers spectacular views of the coast, the hidden valley trail displays Discovery Park’s diverse fauna.

The wooden bridges on the Hidden Valley trail

The wooden bridges on the Hidden Valley trail

The complete loop trail runs about 2.8 miles and is well marked the entire way. The park has had its share of wildlife encounters including having coyote, cougars, and even a black bear seen roaming the grounds, however these are not common. The trails make for excellent trail running, walking, and exploring the tidal pools while not venturing too far from the city. Discovery Park is an oasis away from the bustle of metropolitan Seattle and makes for an easy, enjoyable, and spectacular hike that can be enjoyed by any age.