Experience the forest with guided hikes, Junior Ranger activities
OLYMPIA – Dec. 20, 2018 – Washington State Parks invites people of all ages to experience an ancient forest this winter at Rockport State Park through guided hikes, educational programming and interpretive activities.
The Deep Forest Experience programs and guided hikes take place between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays in January and February. The hikes depart 11 a.m., noon, 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. from the Discovery Center at Rockport State Park, 51905 State Route 20, Rockport. (Driving directions.)
Rockport State Park staff and volunteers will lead half-mile, 45-minute walks under a dense canopy of old growth fir, cedar, hemlock and maple trees. Many of the Rockport trees are 400 years old or older and top out at 250 feet. They include the 500-year old “Grandmother Cedar.”
During the walks, interpretive staff and guest speakers will discuss the unseen ecosystems that keep forests healthy, including salmon-bearing streams, animal scat and mycorrhizal fungi.
Participants should dress for cold, wet, winter weather, including suitable footwear.
Visitors can also duck into the family-friendly Discovery Center, enjoy free refreshments and hot cocoa by the woodstove, explore interactive displays, watch nature videos, read books and make crafts.
Rockport State Park will once again offer Junior Ranger programs for children age five and older. In addition to joining Parks staff on the Deep Forest Experience hikes, junior rangers are invited to the Discovery Center to identify animal tracks and pelts, make crafts with a nature theme and discover what “salmon trees” are. Junior Rangers can collect a special wooden badge when they complete the activity book, which is available at the Discovery Center.
Special events may be added to Rockport’s winter programming. These will be listed on the State Park’s online calendar and the agency’s Facebook page.
A $10 day-use pass or $30 annual Discover Pass is required for parking at Rockport State Park. Passes may be purchased online or at the park’s office or Discovery Center.
About Rockport State Park
Rockport State Park is a 632-acre day-use park on the Skagit River in the North Cascades foothills. The park stands at the foot of 5,400-foot Sauk Mountain and provides an extraordinary example of old-growth forest. Rockport offers 5 miles of trails, including a 1-mile ADA-accessible trail. For more information about the park, visit: http://parks.state.wa.us/574/Rockport
News media contacts:
Toni Droscher, Communications Office, (360) 902-8604
Melissa Wender, Rockport State Park, (360) 853-8461
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.
News release number: 18-083