Happy birthday, Washington State Parks!
One hundred years ago, on March 19, 1913, Washington’s Legislature created the commission that put together our state parks system, which now includes 117 developed parks and other properties totaling more than 110,000 acres, including 7,000 campsites, 35 interpretive centers and 400 miles of cross-state trails.
State parks play a big part in my personal story, from my family’s 1960s camping trips to Moran State Park on Orcas Island — in Dad’s old Army surplus tent — to the annual picnics at Deception Pass when my folks retired on Whidbey Island. (The Heavenly Lime Jell-O salad complemented the view of roiling, jade-green waters.)
Memory-making in state parks is part of being a Washingtonian. To mark the milestone, starting this Sunday and continuing into July The Seattle Times will spotlight five “Gems of Our Washington State Parks,” representing some of the best in our state’s natural history, cultural history and recreation.
You’ll see our choices soon enough. But we also want to hear about yours. In honor of the centennial, give us your picks of Washington State Parks: the best and (hey, nobody’s perfect) the worst.
In coming weeks, we’ll ask for more of your feedback — best park to kiss? worst park for raccoons? — and share the results. Stay tuned.