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Posted on: May 29, 2019

Central Washington state parks host activities all summer long

Lineup of programs includes history, geology, ecology and fir

OLYMPIA – May 29, 2019 – Washington State Parks announces a multitude of active, fun learning programs in six Central Washington state parks this summer.

The state parks of the Central Cascades Area are located east of Snoqualmie Pass, to the shrub-steppe along the Columbia River. These parks showcase unique landscapes with diverse habitats and are rich in culture, history and geology and recreation opportunities.

Park rangers encourage visitors to check park kiosks for weekly campground program topics and to attend the informal programs to handle animal pelts, look at fossils through microscopes and see and touch other specimens from the parks. Aspiring Junior Rangers — and their adults — may take steps to complete their booklet and earn a Junior Ranger badge.

The programs schedules, listed by park, are as follows:

Fort Simcoe Historical State Park 
5150 Fort Simcoe Rd., White Swan
(Driving directions.)
Fort Simcoe Interpretive Center and Commander’s Officer Quarters
Open 1 – 4 p.m. Saturdays, through Oct. 26, or by appointment (509-925-1943 or 509-874-2372)

Ginkgo Petrified Forest State Park
630 Ginkgo Ave. Vantage
(Driving directions) 

Ginkgo Interpretive Center
Open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day through Sept. 15, or by appointment (call 509-925-1943)
Informal programs: 10:30 to noon, Saturdays: Aug. 3 – 31

Ginkgo Interpretive Trail and Trailside Museum
Driving directions: From I-90 take Exit 136. Go left on Vantage Highway for 2.5 miles. Trailhead parking is on the right.
Open every day from 6:30 a.m. to dusk
Visit the newly restored indoor exhibit gallery, and hike the trail to see petrified logs in the ancient lava bed where they formed.

Wanapum Recreation Area 
4511 Huntzinger Road, Vantage
(Driving directions)
Evening programs: 7 - 7:45 p.m. near the host site and bathroom in the campground.
Fridays: June 14, July 5, July 26, and Aug. 16
Saturdays: June 15 – Aug. 31

Informal programs: 10:30 a.m. to noon in the day-use area
Saturdays: July 6 – 27
Sunday, June 9 – Free Fishing Day

Lake Easton State Park 
150 Lake Easton State Park Rd., Easton
(Driving directions.)
Evening programs: 7- 7:45 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays: June 28-29, July 19-20, Aug. 9 - 10, Aug. 31, Amphitheater
Late evening programs: 9:30 -10 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays: June 28 - 29 and Aug. 9 - 10, Amphitheater
Junior Ranger programs: 9– 10 a.m., Sundays: June 16 – Aug. 25, Amphitheater
Informal programs: 10:30 a.m. to noon, Sundays, June 16 – Aug. 26, day-use area

Olmstead Place Historical State Park
921 Ferguson Rd., Ellensburg
(Driving directions.)
Log Cabin and Smith House Museum
Tours by appointment only (call 509-925-1943 to schedule)

Living with Wildfire, 6 – 8:30 p.m., Saturday, June 22, red hay barn.
This event includes local fire-related booths, family-friendly games, activities and kids’ obstacle course. The 20-minute film, Era of Megafires, will show at 8:10 p.m., and refreshments will be provided.

Palouse to Cascades State Park Trail
Bike the Tunnel: Guided Bike Tour on National Get Outdoors Day – a State Parks free day (no Discover Pass required) 10-11:30 a.m., Saturday, June 8
Meet at the Hyak parking lot off I-90, Exit 54. Follow the park signs.
Bring a bike and light or headlamp for this 4.5-mile (round-trip) excursion through the 2-mile long Snoqualmie Tunnel.

Yakima Sportsman State Park
904 University Parkway, Yakima
(Driving directions.)
Evening programs:
7 - 7:45 p.m., Fridays, June 21, July 12, Aug. 2 and 23; Saturdays: June 15 to Aug. 31, near the campgrounds’ entrance
Informal programs: 10:30 a.m. to noon, Saturdays, June 15 and 29, in the day-use area..

All programs are subject to cancellation due to inclement weather, staffing availability and attendance levels. Programs will be advertised at each park. For details and updates, visit the State Parks online calendar of events.

News media contacts:
Laura Busby, Parks Interpretive Specialist, (509) 925-1943
Meryl Lassen, Parks Communications Consultant, (360) 902-8557


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.

 News release number: 19-034

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