State parks remain open

October 11, 2013 

A great blue heron stalks the shallows along the beach at Tolmie State Park outside Lacey. The park is just one of 117 units in the Washington State Parks system.


If you are a fan of national parks, monuments and refuges, you’ve been locked on the outside looking in by the federal government shutdown.

If so, this is a good time to introduce yourself to Washington’s state parks. There are 117 units across the state, many within an easy drive of the South Sound.

There are nearby parks – Tolmie, Dash Point and Joemma Beach – that provide quick escapes to the shores of Puget Sound. Some, like Flaming Geyser on the Green River and Schafer on the Satsop River, provide opportunities to fish for salmon and steelhead. There are plenty of ocean destinations, such as Grayland Beach, Ocean City, Westhaven and Pacific Beach. The Iron Horse/John Wayne Pioneer Trail offers visitors a chance to stretch their legs by hiking or cycling along its more than 100-mile length. Places such as Kitsap Memorial, Dosewallips, Cama Beach and Ike Kinswa have cabins and yurts that make for good cool-weather getaways.

Remember, you need a Discover Pass ($10 daily, $30 a year) to enter a state park. Learn more about the park system at

Staff report

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