New state parks guide, picnic suggestions, and ‘beach-friendly’ Fourth

Photos and descriptions of more than 120 Washington state parks are part of the first-ever “Washington State Parks Guide” now on sale now at many state parks as well as online.

The 364-page guide, which costs $6 (online $13.80), describes which parks offer popular activities, such as hiking, biking and boating, and also activities that fewer people relish, such as paragliding, geocaching and metal detecting, according to a news release about the guide.

The guide is published by the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission.

Special sections highlight:

  • Unique features and experiences, from lighthouses to long-distance trails to farm-to-table dining,
  • State parks in the San Juan Islands, including parks accessible by ferry and parks reachable only by private or charter boat, and
  • “Roofed accommodations” available for rent at state parks — cabins, yurts, vacation houses, a fire lookout and even a castle — for those who don’t wish to sleep in their own tents.

For information, go to the Washington State Parks’ webpage “2018 State Parks Guide.”

Another guide of sorts is the online description of “eight great parks for dining and more outdoors.”

Parks deemed to be great picnic spots by folks at Washington State Parks:

  • Manchester State Park and Deception Pass State Park, both on Puget Sound;
  • Twanoh State Park and Kitsap Memorial State Park, both on Hood Canal;
  • Battle Ground Lake State Park near Vancouver;
  • And, in Eastern Washington, Riverside State Park on the Spokane River, Yakima Sportsman State Park on the Yakima River and Lyons Ferry State Park at the confluence of the Snake and Palouse rivers.

And here’s some friendly advice from Washington State Parks about having a beach-friendly Fourth of July at Long Beach, which may also apply at other public beaches:

  • Use existing campgrounds and lodging. It is illegal to camp on the beach.
  • Respect any burn bans. If no ban is in place, fires must be 100 feet from dunes and vegetation and no larger than 4 feet by 4 feet.
  • Use only legal fireworks, and observe fireworks hours over the holiday.
  • Use restrooms. Please do not use dunes as a bathroom.
  • Respect neighborhoods and private property.
  • Pack out and appropriately dispose of all garbage.

I’m not sure where fireworks are allowed on publicly owned beaches in Kitsap County and other areas, but I’ve seen enough trash after the Fourth to know that it can be a problem. So I would like to issue a personal request that everyone clean up their area before leaving. Don’t assume that the tide will wash in and erase the mess, because all your trash just goes somewhere else.

And don’t forget to have a wonderful Fourth of July!

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