In celebration of its 101st birthday, Washington State Parks is throwing open its gates and allowing free access on Wednesday.
No Discover Pass or other entry other fees will be required on March 19 at the state’s more than 100 parks.
For a guide and map of Kitsap-area state parks, head over here.
“We’re hoping that you’ll get out on Wednesday to a state park in your area and just remind yourself of the treasures we have in our state,” parks commission chairwoman Lucinda Whaley said in a statement. “The state parks free days give people a chance to sample some of the beauty of the park system – and then we hope you’ll support your state park system and buy your Discover Pass. Revenues from the pass are very important because they allow us to keep operating parks and services.”
Free days are in keeping with legislation that created the Discover Pass, a $30 annual or $10 one-day permit required on recreation lands managed by Washington State Parks, the Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife and the Department of Natural Resources. The Discover Pass legislation provided that state parks could designate up to 12 “free days” each year.
The remaining free days in 2014 are:
· April 19 – A spring Saturday “free day”
· April 22 – Earth Day
· May 11 – A spring Sunday “free day”
· June 7 and 8 – National Trails Day and Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife Free Fishing Weekend
· June 14 – National Get Outdoors Day
· August 25 – National Park Service birthday
· September 27 – National Public Lands Day
· November 11 – Veterans Day
The Discover Pass covers daytime access only. Overnight visitors are charged fees for camping and other accommodations.
Photo: Fort Worden State Park in Port Townsend. Tristan Baurick/Kitsap Sun