Gov. Jay Inslee on Monday (April 27) announced a partial reopening of some outdoor recreation activities, including golf, fishing, hunting, boat ramps, and day-use at state parks and other public lands.
Those activities had been largely shut down since Inslee imposed his “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” guidelines in March as part of the state’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.
As of next Tuesday (May 5), re-opened outdoor rec opportunities will include playing golf, fishing and hunting, and using lands managed by State Parks, the Department of Natural Resources and the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife. However, access is limited to day use only; camping is not yet permitted.
Rick Lewis, head ranger at Pearrygin Lake State Park near Winthrop, said that the Lake Creek Trailhead will be open, and that the boat launch and day-use area at the east campground will also be open. The west campground will be closed, and restroom facilities will be limited, he said.
All activities must be conducted with appropriate social distancing protocols and other safety measures, the governor said.
“If we see a sharp uptake in the number of people who are getting sick or are not following appropriate steps, then we won’t hesitate to scale this back again,” Inslee said. “This is not a return to normal. This is only the beginning phase of relaxing outdoor recreation restrictions.”
Still prohibited, in addition to camping, are public gatherings, events, and team sports. People passing each other on trails should still give 6 feet of leeway. Golfing will be limited to twosomes unless all golfers are in the same household.
The governor urged that before you venture outside, you should check what’s open, pick day trips close to home and avoid overnight stays, travel with immediate household members only, and take soap, sanitizer, masks, toilet paper, and other appropriate materials.
The U.S. Forest Service has closed developed recreational sites at all national forests in Washington and Oregon. Trailheads, campgrounds, and restrooms are closed indefinitely. But the forest and trails are open. If you can get to a Forest Service trail without using the trailhead — and without blocking a road or a gate — that’s acceptable. In North Cascades National Park, campgrounds and boat launches are closed.