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State Parks’ Central Cascades Area offers great lineup of summer programs

  • Written by Woodinville Weekly Staff

The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission announces its summer schedule of entertaining programs for the whole family throughout the Central Cascades Area.

From Snoqualmie Pass in the Cascade Mountains to the shrub-steppe along the Columbia River, Central Cascades Area parks provide diverse habitats and offer a variety of recreational and educational opportunities. The area includes Ginkgo Petrified Forest, Olmstead Place, Lake Easton, Iron Horse and Yakima Sportsman state parks and the Wanapum Recreation Area.

Ginkgo Petrified Forest State Park and Wanapum Recreation Area
The Ginkgo Petrified Forest Interpretive Center sits in sagebrush habitat on a bluff overlooking the Columbia River — with spectacular views. Visitors will find petrified logs and informative displays on Washington’s impressive geology. Outdoor displays and nearby trails are accessible during park day use hours from 6:30 a.m. to dusk.

Interpretive Center Hours: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Summer Season: daily, May 16 to Sept. 15
Fall season: Friday through Sunday, Sept. 16 to Oct. 29
Interpretive Center Tours: Thursday through Monday afternoons (based on staff availability), May 27 through Sept. 3.
Wanapum Recreation Area Campground programs: 6 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday, July 1 and 2, Aug. 4 to 6 and Sept. 1 to 3
More information and directions: http://parks.state.wa.us/288/Ginkgo-Petrified-Forest

Olmstead Place Historical State Park
Visitors can wander the pastoral grounds of this historic park and immerse themselves in the life of early homesteaders. A stroll through the gardens, historic buildings and antique farm equipment is a stroll through the decades. The park property is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Children can become Junior Rangers through games and exploration.

Tours: Noon to 4 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, May 27 through Sept. 3
Junior Ranger programs: 9 a.m. Saturdays, June 17 through Aug. 19 
Adults are required to stay with their child during programs.
More information and directions: http://parks.state.wa.us/556/Olmstead-Place

Lake Easton State Park
The beautiful lake is nestled in the forest on the eastern side of the Cascade Mountains and is easily accessible from I-90 and Seattle. Children can become Junior Rangers in this lovely setting.

Campground programs: 6 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday, July 7 to 9, July 21 to 23, Aug.11 to 13 and Aug. 25 to 27.
Junior Ranger programs: 9 a.m. Sundays, June 18 through Aug. 20 
Adults are required to stay with their child during programs.
More information and directions: http://parks.state.wa.us/532/Lake-Easton

Yakima Sportsman State Park
A park ranger will present engaging programs about the abundant resources in this easily accessible park on the Yakima River.

Campground programs: 6 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday, July 14 to 16, July 28 to 30 and Aug. 18 to 20
More information and directions: http://parks.state.wa.us/278/Yakima-Sportsman

All programs are subject to cancellation due to inclement weather, staffing availability and attendance levels.

Central Cascades Area programs — and other state park events — are listed on the Washington State Parks calendar of events.

The Central Cascades Area programs are free. A Discover Pass is required for day use visits by vehicle, except for special State Parks “free days,” where no pass will be required: June 3, June 10, Aug. 25 and Sept. 30. For more information about State Parks free days, visit: http://parks.state.wa.us/CivicAlerts.aspx?AID=262.

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