Outdoors

Adventure briefs for Dec. 20

Conservation

Agency purchases land near Mailbox Peak

Working with The Trust for Public Land, King County and the Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust, the state Department of Natural Resources has conserved 82 acres of forestland near the Mailbox Peak trailhead.

The land, which was headed expected to be developed, has been owned and harvested by local timber companies for more than 100 years.

After the purchase, the state agency will manage the land as part of the Middle Fork Natural Resources Conservation Area, which includes some of the state's most popular trailheads, like Mailbox Peak. The purchase allows department to provide better access and amenities for those coming to hike Mailbox Peak.

The purchase was funded in part from a state Recreation and Conservation Office grant awarded to the department.

Rockport State Park

Winter hikes offered at park

Rockport State Park is hosting a series of guided hikes and activities this winter.

The ‘Deep Forest Experience’ programs take place 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays through Feb. 14 at park off the North Cascades Highway 20 in Rockport. The hikes start at the Discovery Center at 10 a.m., 11 a.m., noon and 1 p.m. each day.

Park staff and volunteers provide 30- to 45-minute guided hikes through the forest of ancient fir, cedar, hemlock and maple trees, some more than 300 years old and towering 250 feet tall, including “Grandmother Cedar.”

At the Discovery Center, participants can enjoy refreshments while warming up by the wood stove, explore interactive displays, watch nature videos, read a book, make crafts and create a puppet show. Staff and volunteers also can provide information on where to see bald eagles in the area.

Dress for cold, wet winter weather with footwear suitable for very wet trails. For more information, contact Laura Busby at 360-853-8461 or rockport@parks.wa.gov.

A $10 day-use pass or $30 annual Discover Pass is required for parking and can be purchased at the office or Discovery Center.

Centennial

Park Service creates special stamp

In honor of its 100th anniversary in 2016, the National Park Service will offer a special centennial Passport cancellation stamps at national parks throughout the country. It is part of the popular Passport to Your National Parks program.

Developed by the Service’s longtime nonprofit educational partner, Eastern National, the stamp will print a round cancellation graphic with the name of the individual park around the top of the circle and “NPS Centennial” around the bottom. A middle line will read, “1916-2016.” The special stamps will be available starting Jan. 1 until the end of 2016.

You can see a sample of the stamp imprint at easternnational.org/what-we-do/passport.

A list of parks and programs participating in the passport program is available at eparks.com/store/content/863/Passport-Cancellation-Locations. Among them are multiple locations at Mount Rainer, North Cascades and Olympic national parks.

Compiled by Jeffrey P. Mayor, jeff.mayor@thenewstribune.com

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