Toni Droscher, (360) 902-8604
Virginia Painter, (360) 902-8562
OLYMPIA – Feb. 24, 2017 – 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.
Note: The free days do not apply to Sno-Parks. During the winter season, December through March, visitors to Sno-Parks will need Sno-Parks permits. For more information about winter recreation permit requirements, visit: http://parks.state.wa.us/winter
For a list of all the free days for 2017, visit: http://parks.state.wa.us/CivicAlerts.aspx?AID=262
About Washington State Parks
The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission manages more than 100 state parks and properties totaling approximately 120,000 acres. The Commission provides a variety of recreation opportunities for citizens and provides stewardship protection for a diverse array of natural, cultural and historic resources. State Parks’ statewide programs include long-distance trails, boating safety and winter recreation.
Follow Washington State Parks:
Share your favorite state park adventure on the State Parks’ blog site at http://adventureawaits.com/
Support state parks by purchasing your annual Discover Pass today, and enjoy a whole year of outdoor fun on Washington’s beautiful state-managed recreation lands. For more information, visit www.discoverpass.wa.gov.
Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission
1111 Israel Road S.W.
P.O. Box 42650
Olympia, WA 98504-2650
Washington Telecommunications Relay Service: (800) 833-6388