It's not the first place people might think of for outdoor recreation, but officials at Fort Lewis want you to know the 86,000-acre installation does have opportunities for hiking, hunting, boating, horseback riding and other activities.

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It’s not the first place people might think of for outdoor recreation, but officials at Fort Lewis want you to know the 86,000-acre installation does have opportunities for hiking, hunting, boating, horseback riding and other activities.

There are, of course, conditions. The fort is a closed installation and access without proper permits is a violation of federal law. Areas open to visitor use may change day by day, depending on which sites are being used for military training.

The first stop for recreational users is the Fort Lewis Visitors Center, off Interstate 5 at Exit 120. To obtain a visitor’s pass, be sure to have a valid driver’s license, vehicle registration and proof of insurance.

Hunters must then register at the fort’s Northwest Adventure Center, 253-967-6263, on the north part of the base, where information on hunting opportunities is available.

Other activities in wilderness-training areas are permitted through the Fort Lewis Range Control Area Access Office, 253-967-6277.