Governor Inslee and his health advisors have been working hard at formulating a plan for reopening the state using a phased approach. The idea is to restart activities and businesses that carry low risk as soon as possible, and then stagger subsequent reopenings based on the best advice from disease experts.
Starting on May 5th several options will be available to state residents for enjoying the outdoors that have been shut down for the last month or more.
Starting today all state parks, wildlife areas, and water access sites are completely closed.
Mount Rainier, North Cascades, and Olympic National Parks are completely closed.
The National Forests have not announced specific trail closures, but all facilities such as trailhead bathrooms and visitor centers are closed.
Too many people who are flocking to Seattle area parks and other places like Snoqualmie Falls to avoid going stir crazy are ignoring social distancing precautions.
Police have been forced to disband large groups at places like Cal Anderson Park on Capitol Hill and Alki Beach. People are also ignoring the closure of all active recreation facilities like playgrounds and basketball courts.
The city is already discussing the possibility of completely closing all parks if people continue to disregard distancing safety measures. Stiff fines and potentially jail time would be imposed on anyone ignoring park closures if they are shut down.
We need to maintain access to parks so we have a place to get outside in these stressful times! Don’t ruin it for everyone. Keep your distance from other people at all times.
What you can do:
One of the wonderful things about living in the Seattle area is that you never have to go more than a few miles to see spectacular scenery or interesting wildlife. But we all get a hankering at times for something a bit more wild, or just a different vista. To make things a little easier on the pocketbook, both Washington State Parks and National Parks offer free days each year. Both park systems also offer free or reduced rates to the disabled, military, and senior citizens.
Free days remaining in 2015:
August 25th – National Park Service Birthday
September 26th – National Public Lands Day
November 11th – Veterans Day
Park pass information – including how to get a free pass for those eligible.
List of parks in Washington
Free days remaining in 2015 are the same as national parks.
Discover Pass information – the pass is needed for day use in state parks.
Free and discount pass information
List of state parks