Hiker Headlines: Park Rx, New Public Lands Holiday, North Cascades Hwy Opens
It's April 18. The North Cascade Hwy opened today. King County's Trailhead Direct bus hiking service starts up this weekend. And, fresh out of Olympia, our state has a new Public Lands holiday.
It's April 18. The North Cascade Hwy opened today. The Trailhead Direct bus hiking service starts up tomorrow. And, fresh out of Olympia, our state has a new Public Lands holiday (but funding for those public lands is still uncertain).
Here’s some hiker news that you may have missed while out on trail this week.
North Cascades Hwy opens: Today, the North Cascades Hwy. was opened after four weeks of snow clearing. The northernmost east-west paved road through the Cascades was cleared of seasonal snow on the early side this year, but plenty of snow remains on trails and in the high country. Related: see how things are coming along on the seasonal pass clearing around Mount Rainier.
Prescription: parks: The nonprofit organization Park Rx America and Washington State Parks are working with healthcare providers across Washington to prescribe nature to patients as part of a healthcare regimen. More than a dozen state parks will participate by offering special activities in time for National Park Rx Day on April 28.
Trailhead parking woes? Nah: Trailhead Direct, the popular transit-to-trails service co-led by King County Metro and King County Parks returns this weekend (April 20) with more routes connecting convenient transit locations to popular trailheads.
A new state holiday: The state legislature in Olympia unanimously passed a bill that makes Sept. 28, 2019 the first state Public Lands Day! Now, it's just awaiting the governor's signature. WTA, and hikers, championed this bill every step of the way in Olympia. Besides celebrating places we love, this legislation is a formal recognition about the role and value that public lands have on our state's communities, local economies and people's physical and mental well-being.
What's still up in the air is if those state lands (which are home iconic spots like Gothic Basin, Mount Si, Mount Spokane and Beacon Rock) will be funded by the legislature. Read more about that situation, and how you can take action to help.