Politics & Government

Need to get outside on the holiday weekend? State parks have two free days in January

Deep Lake at Millersylvania State Park in Thurston County. Washington State Parks is hosting a ranger-led hike around the park’s perimeter trail starting at 9 a.m. on Jan. 1. Hikers are to meet at Kitchen Shelter No. 1.
Deep Lake at Millersylvania State Park in Thurston County. Washington State Parks is hosting a ranger-led hike around the park’s perimeter trail starting at 9 a.m. on Jan. 1. Hikers are to meet at Kitchen Shelter No. 1. Olympian file photo

Maybe your New Year’s resolution is to hike more. Maybe you just need some fresh air after a raucous party to celebrate the start of 2018.

Either way, State Parks has your back.

Visitors to lands managed by Washington State Parks won’t need a Discover Pass for day-use visits on New Year’s Day, the first of 12 free days in 2018. The next is on Martin Luther King Day, Jan. 15.

Discover Passes are typically $10 for one-day use or $30 for a year, but access to parks won’t cost a thing on the 12 free days.

A pass is still needed on land run by the state Department of Natural Resources and Department of Fish and Wildlife.

The free day on Monday also coincides with a nationwide initiative to get more people outdoors on Jan. 1, according to the parks department. About 35 parks are hosting hiking events, which the department calls “First Day Hikes.”

In Thurston County, Millersylvania State Park is hosting a ranger-led hike around the park’s perimeter trail starting at 9 a.m. Hikers are to meet at Kitchen Shelter No. 1.

No First Day Hikes are listed in Pierce County, although nearby Saltwater State Park in South King County is hosting a two-mile hike and other activities beginning at 10 a.m.

Most of the hikes don’t need registration or much advanced planning.

The full list of First Day Hikes can be found here: https://goo.gl/vUGi6S

Walker Orenstein: 360-786-1826, @walkerorenstein

Free state parks days

No Discover Pass is needed for day use of lands managed by Washington State Parks on New Year’s Day. Here is a list of other free park days for 2018:

  • Monday, March 19
  • Saturday, April 14
  • Sunday, April 22
  • Saturday, June 2
  • Saturday, June 9
  • Sunday, June 10
  • Saturday, Aug. 25
  • Saturday, Sept. 29
  • Sunday, Nov. 11
  • Friday, Nov. 23

Source: Washington State Parks

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