This Bud’s For You [Insert Favorite National Park Name Here]

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According to an article by Jason Blevins of The Denver Post, the National Park Service (NPS) has waived its restrictions on partnering with alcohol makers to raise money and awareness for the “Find Your Park” campaign. The NPS established a two-year, $2.5 million deal with Anheuser-Busch InBev that will allow the beer manufacturer to use NPS logos and park images (specifically the Statue of Liberty) on bottle wrappers and caps and to organize “Bud-branded events such as summer concerts inside yet-to-be-named park properties”. The NPS established a directive in 1998 that prohibited it from receiving donations with questionable product and service providers, such as beer and tobacco manufacturers.

Personally, I don’t have a problem with the NPS earning some advertising dollars from beer makers. I’d have a problem with the agency partnering with a tobacco business but not so much with a beer company. The NPS needs money badly to keep open and maintain national properties – this gives it some of the capital to do so. I just wish the NPS was partnering with a better beer maker, like Sierra Nevada or another, similarly outdoorsy brand. It seems to me that the only reason Budweiser wants to partner with NPS is to legally use the image of the Statue of Liberty on its beer cans. That seems far less promotional for our beautiful national parks and far more patronizing towards diehard nationalists.

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Expansions On the Way for Outdoor Rec Areas in WA’s Snoqualmie Corridor

The Seattle Times’ Mark Yuasa writes about some exciting future developments for state parks and natural areas east of Seattle in his recent article “Project in Snoqualmie Corridor will mean more outdoor opportunities”. The state’s development plan will focus on Raging River State Forest, Tiger Mountain State Forest, West Tiger Mountain Natural Resources Conservation Area (NRCA), and the Mount Si NRCA, among other areas. According to the article:

“A 10- to 15-year vision outlined in a massive project plan by the Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) puts forth development and preservation of 120 miles of hiking trails, whitewater rapids, climbing areas, picnic and camping sites, and other recreational areas covering 53,500 acres.”

 

Over the next five years, the state will specifically focus on:

  • Raging River (improving hiking and mountain biking accessibility)
  • Mount Si (expanding trailhead parking and developing Mt. Teneriffe trail)
  • Middle Fork Snoqualmie NRCA (expanding Mailbox Peak trailhead parking, adding new trailhead area for Granite Creek trail, adding several day-use areas)

Oregon Coastal Hikes

If you like coastal hikes, Oregon offers some amazing coastline. This article by BeachConnection.net lists just some of the state’s coastal hiking areas. As the article states, “If you’ve never seen the ocean, or if you live in a state near Oregon, it’s high time for you to head out to the beach and immerse yourself in the state’s most glorious attributes”. What makes Oregon beaches truly specially is that they are all public.

In 2008, my girlfriend (now my wife) and I drove up Route 101 from California to Lincoln City, where we headed inward toward Portland. Along the way, we explored part of the Oregon Dunes National Rec Area. More specifically we hiked along the John Dellenback Dunes Trail  for a few miles. It was great fun and the dunes there are amazing and massive. Someday soon I hope to go back and see more of Oregon’s pristine coastline.

If you like hiking along the coast, check out my recent review of Washington’s Cape Alava Trail, a top-rated outdoor destination in the state.

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Hiking Cape Alava.

 

Best Hiking in Thurston County: Capitol State Forest

Douglas Scott of Thurston Talk recently posted this article on hiking in Capitol State Forest. He does a great job of summing up all that Capitol SF and the surrounding area has to offer – from Mima Falls and Capitol Peak to the McLane Creek Nature Trail and Margaret McKenny Trail.

If you think you might like to explore Capitol SF, check out some of my trail reviews of the forest:
Fall Creek to Margaret McKenny Camp by Way of Lost Valley
Little Larch Mountain

Also, if you’re interested in exploring just a little farther away from the Olympia area, I recently posted about my trip to the Lower South Fork Skokomish River Trail near Shelton.

Finally, if you like what you see here, please either follow the Pacific Northwest Pathfinders blog or sign up for email delivery of posts. Or just comment on what you like, or add your thoughts to the Community Forum page. Thank you, and don’t forget to enjoy the view!

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Lake Cushman as seen from Mt. Rose.

Hiking the Cascades in Sky Valley, Wa.

Chris Hendrickson of The Monroe Monitor & Valley News recently posted about five hikes in Washington’s Sky Valley and the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, Skykomish Ranger District. Sky Valley in Washington includes the South Fork Skykomish River watershed between the cities of Monroe and Skykomish. I haven’t been hiking in this area but the images in his article show a beautiful and serene wilderness area. The hikes Hendrickson writes about include Lake Serene, Barclay Lake, Deception Falls, Wallace Falls, and Heybrook Ridge.

If you like hiking to waterfalls and live in the South Puget Sound, check out this video review of Pack Forest and the Little Mashel River Falls in Eatonville, Wa.

What’s Your National Park?

Recently the National Park Service rolled out with a neat and informative campaign called Find Your Park, which focuses on redefining the traditional definition of “national park”. I agree with the campaign purpose and its aim to reduce typical stereotypes of what qualifies as a national park. I do it too. National recreation areas include much more than just the big parks. For instance, check out this list of national recreation sites and trails in Washington alone. It includes way more properties than the three big parks (Mount Rainier, Olympic, and North Cascades) that immediately come to my mind. Based on just this list, I have a lot more exploring to do in the state. The NPS campaign is expected to last until the organization’s Centennial in 2016. Lastly, the NPS campaign nicely incorporates social media – and who doesn’t love that :).

Also, Bill Nye:

Article: Record-low snow levels in Washington mean early hiking season

Seattle Times writer Walker Orenstein just posted an article on how Washington’s minimal snow season means an early hiking season for some. According to Orenstein, the national parks and other hiking areas in the state are receiving more traffic due to the record-low snow. The article offers some great suggestions for those seeking snow-less hikes in the state, including in the Columbia River Gorge area, Mount Baker-Snoqualmie NF, and Okanogan-Wenatchee NF. While I prefer hiking without a lot of snow, sometimes a lot of snowpack makes for an exciting hike. I recommend a trip up to Paradise in Rainier National Park for some easy snow hiking: the road to Paradise above Longmire just opened a few days ago. I was up at Paradise a few months ago and hiked up to Panorama Point. At the time, I didn’t need snowshoes because the snow was packed so well. If you go on a nice weekend day, expect some crowds at Paradise. Crowds and all, though, it’s amazing to hike up this close to Rainier on a clear day and see this magnificent and massive mountain up close and personal.

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Looking up towards Mount Rainier.