Get in free to state parks, hike free in national forests, or visit a new county park in Issaquah
In celebration of National Trails Day, Saturday, June 6, is a fee-free day at Washington state parks and all national forests. No Discover Pass will be required at state parks, and no Forest Pass will be required at National Forest fee sites.
King County will observe the day with the grand opening of the Cougar/Squak Corridor Park, at 10610 Renton Issaquah Road S.E., Issaquah.
Festivities begin at 9:30 a.m., and include an open house, plus a guided tour of a new hiking trail.
King County purchased 226 acres in the valley between Cougar and Squak mountains in 2014, with the help of The Trust for Public Land. The new acreage has been added to existing public lands and creates a 730-acre park that protects the headwaters of a salmon-bearing stream and features forest, hiking trails and more.
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King County Parks employees and volunteers have worked to prepare the new acreage for public use, including removing invasive vegetation and building new trails. Help came from Washington Trails Association, Student Conservation Association and AmeriCorps.
Visitors will be invited to explore the lower portion of the park, tour Cougar/Squak Lodge in the park, and join guides from the Issaquah Alps Trails Club on a hike along the new Margaret’s Way Trail – a 2.5-mile trail that connects to trails in Squak Mountain State Park. The new trail honors Margaret MacLeod, a park planner for local, state and federal agencies.
The park opening will feature representatives from Washington Trails Association (WTA), Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust, The Nature Conservancy, The Trust for Public Land, and REI.
Other activities include two “Ivy Out” events to dig out invasive ivy, plus an opportunity to help WTA volunteers build trails.
Washington’s state parks and national forests will also offer fee-free days the following Saturday, June 13, in observance of National Get Outdoors Day.