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Hiker Headlines: Forest Service Trailheads Reopen, Tips to #RecreateResponsibly

Posted by Anna Roth at May 22, 2020 12:14 PM |

It’s May 22, nearly Memorial Day weekend. Most Forest Service developed trailheads will be open this weekend, but campgrounds remain closed. Parts of Mount Rainier National Park are reopening. Our volunteer trail maintenance is still temporarily suspended, but we've seen volunteers getting really creative with their free time. And WTA has helped create and share safety tips to keep everyone who loves the outdoors safe.

It’s May 22, nearly Memorial Day weekend. Most Forest Service developed trailheads will be open for the long weekend, but campgrounds remain closed. Parts of Mount Rainier National Park are reopening. Our volunteer trail maintenance is still temporarily suspended, but we've seen some dedicated volunteers are getting really creative with their free time. And WTA has helped create and share safety tips to keep everyone who loves the outdoors safe. 

A bridge with pink fireweed growing along the trail.
Trails and trailheads on many national forest lands are opening up this weekend. Photo by Weston Williams.

Forest Service trailheads reopen: For several weeks, developed trailheads on Forest Service land have been closed to the public. Effective today, most of those trailheads are open, meaning hikers will have hundreds more options for where to go hiking over Memorial Day weekend.
Two notable exceptions: The Eightmile and Stuart Lake trailheads, which both access the popular Enchantments area, remain closed for construction, and trails and trailheads in the Columbia River Gorge remain closed. Not sure what's open? Check WTA's Hiking Guide before you go

Campgrounds closed: Memorial Day weekend is usually big for camping, but most campgrounds across the state remain closed. Dispersed camping is allowed on Forest Service lands, but is prohibited on Department of Natural Resources land right now. Find out what dispersed camping means here. With all that in mind, the state is still under a stay home order, so WTA recommends you keep recreation to day-use only.

Mount Rainier: Highways 410 and 123, between Enumclaw and Packwood, have been reopened by the Washington Department of Transportation. Hikers can now park at trailheads along these roads and hike into the park. Additionally, hikers can walk into the Ohanapecosh area for day-use. Restroom facilities will be limited, and people need to pack out their trash. Highway 410 over Chinook Pass (to Yakima) is still closed. Some areas in park are still closed to vehicles, including the Nisqually entrance and the Paradise and Longmire areas.

#RecreateResponsibly: When public lands began to reopen to hikers, WTA came together with state agencies and other organizations to help shape recommendations about how to get outside safely in the time of coronavirus. Now, the Washington Recreate Responsibly Coalition — a group of more than 50 organizations — has condensed the advice into six quick tips to follow and share, and are helping everyone #RecreateResponsibly. The work of the Washington coalition has begun to help shape the national conversation.

Pledge to hike responsibly: The hiking community is a powerful force. And together (but 6 feet apart) we can keep each other safe. Join the movement and take our pledge, then go hiking, safely.

Keeping busy: WTA volunteers miss being out on trail, but they're finding ways to fill their time at home, including making new tools, birdwatching for science and embroidering a cross-cut saw. We miss you all so much, and are so happy to see what you've been up to!


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Comments

Amy Lynn on Hiker Headlines: Forest Service Trailheads Reopen, Tips to #RecreateResponsibly

Is it possible to overnight/backpack on FS trails at this time? Not sure where I'd go that is snow-free, but just curious.

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Amy Lynn on May 22, 2020 11:31 PM