Celebrate National Public Lands Day for free at Washington’s state parks

No Discover Pass required for day use on September 30th

On Saturday, Sept. 30, the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission invites people to celebrate National Public Lands Day with a free visit to Washington’s state parks. Day-use visitors will not need a Discover Pass to visit state parks. National Public Lands Day (NPLD), now in its 24th year, is coordinated by the National Environmental Education Foundation.

Public lands offer a great opportunity to get outside and get active. Research shows that getting young people and families to spend more time outdoors is a critical step toward preventing childhood obesity, diabetes and depression. For more information about NPLD, visit NEEFusa.org/NPLD. The public is encouraged to follow and participate in the environmental stewardship conversation on social media using the hashtags #NPLD and #WhyICare.

State Parks free days are in keeping with legislation that created the Discover Pass, a $30 annual or $10 one-day permit required on lands managed by Washington State Parks and the Washington departments of Natural Resources (DNR) and Fish & Wildlife (WDFW). The Discover Pass legislation provided that State Parks could designate up to 12 free days each year when the pass would not be required to visit state parks. The Discover Pass is still required to access lands managed by WDFW and DNR on these days. Free days apply only to day-use access by vehicle, not overnight stays or rented facilities.

Washington State Parks will have two more free days in 2017: Saturday, Nov. 11, in honor of Veterans Day and Friday, Nov. 24, a free day to celebrate autumn.

Sept. 30 is also Bike Your Park Day, and four state parks are offering ranger-led two-wheeled tours on this day. Learn more at: http://parks.state.wa.us/CivicAlerts.aspx?AID=335

About Washington State Parks: The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission manages more than 100 state parks and properties totaling approximately 120,000 acres. The Commission provides a variety of recreation opportunities for citizens and provides stewardship protection for a diverse array of natural, cultural and historic resources. State Parks’ statewide programs include long-distance trails, boating safety and winter recreation.

- Washington State Parks