Washington State Parks turns 104 years old on Sunday, March 19, and visitors are invited to help celebrate by enjoying a state park for free that day.
With the 2017 spring and summer seasons just around the corner, the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission reminds the public that recreation opportunities abound in more than 100 parks, trails and recreation sites statewide. March 19 is the third of 12 State Parks “free days” in 2017, when visitors are not required to display the Discover Pass for day use visits to a park.
“I hope these free days will inspire people to get outdoors and explore some of Washington’s most scenic and iconic places,” said State Parks Commission Chair Mark Brown. “With state parks located in such diverse landscapes—deserts, prairies, forests, rivers, lakes and the seashore—there’s something to draw out the adventurer in nearly everyone.”
The free days are in keeping with legislation that created the Discover Pass. The pass costs $30 for an annual pass or $10 for a one-day permit and is required for vehicle access to state recreation lands managed by Washington State Parks, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) and the Department of Natural Resources (DNR). The Discover Pass legislation provided that State Parks could designate up to 12 “free days” when the pass would not be required to visit state parks. The free days apply only at state parks; the Discover Pass is still required on WDFW and DNR lands.
The remaining 2016 State Parks free days are as follows:
- April 15 (Saturday) — Springtime free day
- April 22 (Saturday) — Earth Day
- June 3 (Saturday) — National Trails Day
- June 10 (Saturday) — National Get Outdoors Day
- Aug. 25 (Friday) — National Park Service 101st Birthday
- Sept. 30 (Saturday) — National Public Lands Day
- Nov. 11 (Saturday) — Veterans Day
- Nov. 24 (Friday) — Autumn free day
The Discover Pass provides daytime access to parks. Overnight visitors in state parks are charged fees for camping and other overnight accommodations; day access is included in the overnight fee. For information about Discover Pass, visit www.DiscoverPass.wa.gov.
For a list of all the free days for 2017, visit: http://parks.state.wa.us/CivicAlerts.aspx?AID=262.
(Provided by Washington State Parks)