Monday, August 31, 2015

Flight 93 National Memorial Tours, PA


September 11, 2001 began as an ordinary, late summer day. With fair weather and blue skies over much of the country, thousands of commercial airliners prepared for flight. But in less than two hours' time, 19 terrorists transformed this ordinary day when they boarded four airplanes, hijacked them, and used them to attack the United States of America. The hijackers killed nearly 3,000 people when they flew the planes into the World Trade Center in New York City, the Pentagon near Washington, D.C., and crashed United Airlines Flight 93 in the Pennsylvania countryside.
Flight 93 National Memorial is a place to learn about the 40 passengers and crew whose actions thwarted the hijackers' plan to fly Flight 93 to a target in Washington, D.C., most likely the U.S. Capitol. It is a place to honor the extraordinary courage of those who fought back against the terrorists. Spanning over 2,200 acres, the memorial helps restore this once mined landscape and provides a quiet place of reflection.
At the Visitor Center Complex, visitors may observe the crash site from the Flight Path Overlook and explore the stories of Flight 93 through detailed text and audiovisual exhibits inside the Visitor Center. A small sales area is available inside the Visitor Center.
The Memorial Plaza offers visitors an opportunity to walk the boundary of the crash site, the final resting place of the passengers and crew.
Two formal trails offer the opportunity to explore more of the memorial landscape, with scenic views of the memorial.
To plan your visit or to learn more about the memorial,

Know Before You Go:

Visit is self-guided. Tickets are required for Visitor Center only; visitors may access Memorial Plaza any time during regular hours. Groups of 15 or more may make a reservation for the Memorial Plaza.
Parking: Parking is limited. Auxiliary parking is available. Tour leaders will need to make arrangements with driver to drop passengers in the designated area, park in an auxiliary lot and later return to pick passengers up.
Operating Hours:
Flight 93 National Memorial is open daily, excluding December 25 and January 1.
    Memorial hours:
  • May 1 - October 31: 9:00 A.M. to 7:00 P.M., with last entry at 6:30 P.M.
  • November 1 - April 30: 9:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M., with last entry at 4:30 P.M.
Visitor Center Hours are from 9:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M. daily. Last tour time is 4:00 P.M.
Unexpected Closure: The National Park Service may close or suspend access to the memorial due to inclement weather, safety concerns, or other unforeseen events. will do its best to reschedule your visit. Remember, there are no refunds for the reservation service fee.
Wait Area: Tickets may be picked up at the Learning Center at Visitor Center Complex. Ticket holders awaiting Visitor Center entry gather through the portal walls outside the Visitor Center entrance. Please prepare for potential exposure to the sun, wind, ambient temperatures, and storm precipitation.
Food and Beverage: A water fountain / water bottle filling station is available.
Restrooms: There are no restroom facilities available in the Visitor Center; visitors should use the facilities at the Learning Center before their tour. Restrooms are also available at the Memorial Plaza.
Accessibility: Flight 93 National Memorial is accessible to all.
Restricted Items: The National Park Service provides no storage facilities and prohibits the entry of the following items at the Visitor Center: animals (except service animals); food and drink (except clear bottled water and baby formula in clear plastic containers); suitcases and large backpacks; firearms, knives and explosive or highly flammable substances; strollers, mace, pepper spray, and other aerosol cans; and additional items as directed by the park law enforcement.
Tickets Facts:
  • Tickets: Entry tickets are required for all visitors five years of age and older. Visit is approximately 1 hour, not including wait time.
  • Reserved Tickets: Visitor Center tickets are free; reservations are available through for a fee; fee is NON-REFUNDABLE. All orders are final.
  • First-Come/First-Served Tickets: Daily tickets are issued on a first-come/first-served basis every morning starting at 9:00 a.m. Pick up tickets at Learning Center at Visitor Center Complex.
  • Arrival Time: Visitors must arrive 30 minutes prior to the specified time listed on ticket. If ticket holder is late, staff has discretion to limit or deny Visitor Center entry should such entry deny timely access to the succeeding time block ticket holders or interfere with Visitor Center closure.
  • Number of Tickets: Individuals may request a maximum of 6 tickets. Groups may request a maximum of 60 tickets.
  • Education institutions qualify for special group tour pricing, and must book reservations through the NRRS Group Sales Department to receive this pricing. Please call 877-559-6777 for more information. Educational institution group reservations made through do not qualify for the special pricing.

Getting There:

Driving Directions.
For GPS users: 6424 Lincoln Highway, Stoystown, PA 15563
Please be aware that your GPS unit may recommend a different route than those noted below.
From the WEST:
  • Via the PA TURNPIKE (Interstate 70/76): follow signs for Rte. 281 north. Take Rte. 281 north 1.7 miles on US 30 east. Travel 8.5 miles north on US 219 to the Stoystown/Jennerstown/US 30 exit; turn right on US 30 east. Travel 8.5 miles on US 30 east. Turn right into the park entrance. The entrance is marked with official National Park Service signs.
  • Via ROUTE 30/Lincoln Highway: Travel east 8.5 miles past the US 219/US 30 interchange. Turn right into the park entrance. The entrance is marked with official National Park Service signs.
From the EAST: From the PA Turnpike (Interstate 70/76), exit Bedford (#146). At Turnpike light, turn left. Go to next light, turn left. Take 220 South. Follow 220 South to next exit. Exit US 30 west. Follow US 30 west approximately 25 miles. Turn left into the park entrance. The entrance is marked with official National Park Service signs.
From JOHNSTOWN, Pennsylvania: Take Rte. 219 South 9.6 miles. Exit onto US 30 east at the Stoystown/Jennerstown Exit. Travel 8.5 miles east on US rte. 30. Turn right into the park entrance which is marked with official National Park Service signs.

Contact Information:

Mailing Address:

P.O. Box 911
Shanksville,  PA  15560

Phone Number:

Information:  (814)893-6322

Bruton Motor Sports News
God Bless the fallen & families of 9/11

Friday, August 28, 2015

OHV Trails in the National Forests in Florida

Take a journey through unique Florida ecosystems

OHV Trails FloridaDiscover Florida's unique ecosystems by OHV (USFS)

What You’ll Find

Nearly 300 miles (482.8 km) of off-highway vehicle (OHV) trail for motorcycles, ATVs, UTVs or full-size vehicles. The National Forests in Florida offer OHV enthusiasts a multitude of adventures through ecosystems unique to this part of the country, like the Big Scrub and steeply rolling landscapes of longleaf pine and wiregrass along theLongleaf Trail.
The Apalachicola National Forest, just outside the state capital ofTallahassee, offers over 100 miles (160 km) of exploration in the hardwoods and pines of the Sandhills. Or discover the Ocala National Forest, just north of Orlando, with an expansive range of trails and experiences, from multi-day cruises around the forest to short afternoon spins.
Visitors wishing to ride and explore the Ocala and Apalachicola National Forests by OHV will need a National Forests in Florida OHV Trails Pass. The pass will be available for purchase on beginning September 1, 2015 at 10 a.m. ET.

Getting There

This extensive trail system offers many different access points. In the Apalachicola National Forest, you can park and access the trails at the Silver Lake OHV Trailhead or the Springhill Motorcycle Trailhead. The Ocala National Forest has seven different trailheads located on the north side of the forest, and accessed from the Delancy Loops OHV TrailheadDelancy West Campground and Trailhead, the Motorcycle Loops OHV Trailhead and the Rodman OHV Trailhead. For trails on the south side of the forest, park at the Big Scrub Campground or the Wandering Wiregrass OHV Trailhead.

Stay Here

For the full OHV experience in the Ocala National Forest, stay at Delancy West Campground or reserve a campsite at Big Scrub Campground. If you need full hookups, give Salt Springs Recreation Area a try. Juniper Springs and Alexander Springs are jewels as well, and are great for cooling down after a day of riding. If you need to stay near the southern end of the forest, Clearwater Lake might be just what you’re looking for.
The Apalachicola National Forest offers a more rustic camping experience, bringing you close to the unique sandhill, longleaf, and riverine ecosystems of “the Forgotten Coast.”

Make Sure You

Cool off in the Ocala National Forest’s springs. It’s easy to see why the springs are called “The Jewels of the Ocala.” The clear, azure waters of Florida's springs have long been a focus of daily life during the humid, hot months. Many Floridians have a lifetime of memories surrounding the springs. Millions of gallons of crystal clear water pour from the springs every day, providing fantastic swimming, snorkeling, and boating. Juniper Run, which flows from Juniper Springs to Lake George through Juniper Prairie Wilderness, has been ranked one of the best places in the United States to canoe and kayak in the National Forests.
If you’re interested in geology as well as OHV riding, visit Leon Sinks in the Apalachicola to see a showcase of sinkhole formations often found in the Karst geology of Florida. For a dose of local history, check out the Tallahassee Museum and the Museum of Florida History. To round out your visit to the area, be sure to take in St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge. Founded in 1931, it is one of the oldest national wildlife refuges in the country.

Try This

Along with your helmet, pack a swimsuit! In the Ocala, explore the Centennial Trail and make a stop at Blue Sink for lunch and a swim. On the Apalachicola, the Silver Lake Recreation Area, which contains Silver Lake OHV trailhead, also offers picnic tables and a sandy swimming area on spring-fed Silver Lake.

Eat This

The “Forgotten Coast” of Apalachicola Bay is known for being the home of some of United States’ premier oysters. But it’s not just shells. Enjoy a wide range of fresh seafood in local establishments all along the Big Bend Scenic Byway.

Don’t Forget

These trails have a dual purpose – to provide an enjoyable recreation opportunity for visitors and to protect the fragile ecosystems that surround them. For this reason, it is very important for OHVs to stay on designated trails. All cross-country travel is prohibited. Don’t forget to download your maps for the Ocala and the Apalachicola!
The state of Florida requires all riders to possess a copy of a Florida OHV registration and identification while riding. If you’re from out of state, you need to have proof of ownership. For more information, please contact the Florida Forest Service.

Fees at Work

Your fees provide for the maintenance and upkeep of OHV trails and facilities, and your state licensing revenues help fund grants that improve facilities, build infrastructure and purchase equipment to keep the trails looking their best.

Get Started

The National Forests in Florida are proud to host two National Scenic Byways for experiencing this great state. Try Big Bend Scenic Byway to “explore undiscovered North Florida” and the Black Bear Scenic Byway for a tour of “Wild Florida.”
Follow the National Forests in Florida on Facebook and Twitter for all the latest news and events on the Ocala and Apalachicola!

Bruton Motor Sports News

Tips for Fire Safety Camping

Be aware, prepare and douse the flames!

The keys for staying fire safe outdoors is to prepare for whatever conditions you may encounter, be aware of your surroundings and build and extinguish fires properly.
Some fires have natural causes, but people cause an overwhelming number of brush, grass and forest fires. Most of these fires are accidental and are due to the careless disposal of hot embers, ash or cigarettes. Do your part to stay fire safe!
As a start, you can use Smokey Bear’s App and watch this Smokey Bear video on how to properly build and extinguish a campfire.

Four Tips for Campfire Safety

You can also follow these simple steps:
  1. Pick Your Spot Wisely: Use existing fire circles or pits if available. Do not build a fire in dry or windy conditions, especially if there are fire restrictions in place (check with local authorities). Build fires at least 15 feet away from tent walls, shrubs, or other flammable materials.
  2. Prepare Your Pit: Choose a spot for your campfire that is downwind from your tent and gear, and protected from wind gusts. Clear a 10-foot-wide diameter area around your site, and make sure there are no limbs or branches hanging over your pit. Always circle the pit with rocks.
  3. Build A Campfire: Once you have a prepared pit, you are ready to build the campfire. It is recommended to use three types of wood. Tinder, which is made of small twigs, dry leaves or grass, will get the fire started initially. Kindling, consisting of twigs smaller than one inch around, will help to light the larger pieces of wood. Fuel—the large pieces of wood—will provide the heat and sustained flames once the tinder and kindling are consumed.
  4. This is the most important step! EXTINGUISH THE FIRE: Campers need to properly maintain and extinguish campfires when going to bed or leaving the area. If possible, let the campfire burn down to ashes. Pour water on the fire to drown all embers, not just the red ones. Once this is done, stir everything in the pit with a shovel and test for heat with the back of your hand.

Combating Forest Fires and Suppression

How does the nation combat fires? The National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC) in Boise, Idaho, is the nation’s support and logisitcs center for wildland firefighting. NIFC is responsible for setting the National Preparedness Level. The preparedness level helps to assure that firefighting resources are ready to respond to new incidents. Fuel and weather conditions, fire activity and resource availability dictate the preparedness level.
Bruton Motor Sports News

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Wildlife and Bird Festivals

Picture a sky blanketed with birds erupting into flight, filling the air with calls and the sound of thousands of wings beating together. For a fun, inexpensive way to find out more about birds and other wildlife, experience a wildlife or birding festival at one of your National Wildlife Refuges or other federal lands.

Search by state: AlaskaLouisianaOklahomaOregonSouth CarolinaTexasUtahVirginia and Washington.


Kachemak Bay Shorebird Festival
Kachemak Bay Shorebird Festival
Kachemak Bay Shorebird
May 7-10, 2015, with a pre-festival Junior Birder event on May 6th.
Early in May each year Alaskans celebrate the Kachemak Bay Shorebird Festival with the return of huge flocks of migrating shorebirds flying "home" from Asia, Hawaii and South America. The birds stop for a feeding frenzy on the beaches of Homer, headquarters for the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge and co-sponsor of the annual festival. Festival participants can choose from different events, from advanced ornithology workshops, beginning birding presentations, field trips and boat tours, to arts events and children's activities.
The refuge was established to conserve marine mammals, seabirds and other migratory birds, and the marine resources they rely on. With 3.4 million acres (1.4 million ha), the refuge includes the spectacular volcanic islands of the Aleutian Islands chain, the seabird cliffs of the remote Pribilofs, and icebound lands washed by the Chukchi Sea, providing essential habitat for some 40 million seabirds, representing more than 30 species.

Alaska Hummingbird Festival
Rufous Hummingbird
Rufous Hummingbird (USFS)
April 2015
Through the month of April, the annual Alaska Hummingbird Festival celebrates the return of migratory birds back to Alaska. The most notable bird at this festival is the rufous hummingbird, which begins arriving in Ketchikan in mid-March. The festival includes guided hikes, art shows, activities for children and many other birding events in the town of Ketchikan.
Participation and enthusiasm grows throughout the month, as festival goers learn about these small, yet mighty birds and their impressive migration. Visitors and residents can observe the rufous hummingbirds up close as feeders are placed at several locations in the area. All programs and activities are free to the public and are hosted by the Southeast Alaska Discovery Center.
Copper River Delta Shorebird Festival
May 7-10, 2015
The Copper River Delta Shorebird Reserve Unit near Cordova has great diversity and offers essential habitats for shorebirds and other wildlife from early spring through late fall. The week-long festival usually held in early May is a memorable experience and a wonderful sight to see. As many as five million shorebirds rest and feed here during the spring migration. You can enjoy bird watching, hiking, presentations, community events and many more fun activities for all ages. Check out the Cordova Chamber of Commerce website for more information about the festival and area.


Bayou Teche Black Bear Festival
Black Bear
Black Bear
April 17-19, 2015
Bears in the bayou? Join neighbors, friends and area visitors of St. Mary Parish near Franklin, at the Bayou Teche Black Bear Festival. The bear festival educates visitors about the Louisiana black bear, an animal species listed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as "threatened." The festival features fun activities associated with typical Louisiana culture including regional music, great food and good company. Take a field trip, check out the educational exhibits and participate in children's activities relating to bears and other local wildlife.
The Black Bear Conservation Coalition, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and theBayou Teche National Wildlife Refuge organize the festival.


Birding and Crystal Festival
An Ibis fishing
April 24-25, 2015
The Salt Plains National Wildlife Refuge hosts a full weekend of family fun at the Annual Birding and Crystal Festival. The entire family can enjoy guided bird watching, tours and selenite crystal digging. Kids can give wings to their wild sides with archery and casting contests, crystal digging contests, tomahawk throwing and much more. Stargaze, take a nature tour, photograph wildlife and enjoy a wealth of other outdoor activities and demonstrations.
Established in 1930, the refuge is a key breeding ground for birds. The refuge is a designated Important Bird Area and a member of the Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network, providing habitat for approximately 300 species of birds and 30 species of mammals. Salt flats, open water, marsh, woods, grasslands and croplands make up the 32,030-acre (12,962 ha) refuge.
Find out more by calling the national wildlife refuge at (580) 626-4794 or email: Refuge Staff or the Great Salt Plains State Park at (580) 626-4731.


Harney County Migratory Bird Festival
Birdwatching in Malheur NWR
(George Gentry)
April 9-12, 2015
Spend an amazing weekend at the Harney County Migratory Bird Festival witnessing the spring migration in the Harney Basin of southeast Oregon near Burns. View thousands of migratory birds as they rest and feed in the wide open spaces of Oregon’s high desert. From waterfowl to shorebirds, cranes to raptors, wading birds to songbirds, you’ll see them all! The festival offers non-stop birding activities as well as historical and cultural information sure to entertain the entire family – from beginner birders to life-long wildlife enthusiasts.
One of the crown jewels of the National Wildlife Refuge System, nearby Malheur National Wildlife Refuge protects a vast complex of wetlands in southeastern Oregon's high desert. The refuge is famous for its tremendous diversity and spectacular concentrations of wildlife. Boasting over 320 bird species and 58 mammal species, Malheur is a mecca for birdwatchers and wildlife enthusiasts.

South Carolina

Santee Birding and Nature Festival
Painted Bunting
April 11-12, 2015
Visitors flock to Santee National Wildlife Refuge and surrounding areas to take part in this South Carolina nature festival. At the festival, take a field trip through the midlands of South Carolina and spend the day or whole weekend learning about these wonderful natural places and their inhabitants. From open water to closed hardwood canopies, freshwater marshes to cultivated fields, cypress swamps to upland pines—and practically everything in between–Santee National Wildlife Refuge has them all. With such habitat diversity, it’s easy to see why so many different species call Santee home.


Attwater Prairie Chicken Festival
Prairie Chicken
Prairie Chicken
April 11-12, 2015
What’s booming out there on the prairie? The annualAttwater Prairie Chicken Festival is one of your few chances to see the critically endangered birds during booming season–a time when the males gather to perform their elaborate courtship ritual. Refuge staff take you on guided tours to the “booming” grounds for your best chance to see the elusive birds. All events are free of charge.
Attwater Prairie Chicken National Wildlife Refuge, approximately 60 miles (96.5 km) west of Houston is home to one of the last populations of Attwater's prairie chicken, a ground-dwelling grouse of the coastal prairie ecosystem. Occupying some six million acres (2.5 million ha) of coastal prairie habitat, the Attwater's prairie chicken was once one of the most abundant resident birds of Texas and Louisiana’s tall-grass prairie ecosystem. Today, less than 200,000 acres (81,000 ha) of this habitat remains, leaving the birds scattered in only two Texas counties.
Balcones Songbird Nature Festival
Black-capped Vireo
April 24–27, 2015
Balcones Songbird Nature Festival near Austin celebrates both birds and nature through a collection of interpretive events to learn more about local birds and their habitat. Bring your friends and enjoy wildlife tours with experts who will enlighten you about endangered songbirds, and unique native plants and wildlife in the Balcones Canyonlands National Wildlife Refuge.
The refuge offers some of the best bird watching and habitat left in Texas for two endangered songbirds—the black-capped vireo and the golden-cheeked warbler. You may have an opportunity to add to your birding checklist with other special Texas Hill Country birds such as painted bunting, canyon towhee, vermilion flycatcher, black-throated sparrow and grasshopper sparrow.
Birdfest Texoma
White Pelicans (USFWS)
Spring 2015
This is a birding and nature festival, north Texas-style, sponsored by the Friends of Hagerman National Wildlife Refuge. Festival activities include a variety of field trips, bird talks, photography workshops, bird banding, children’s programs, wine and honey tastings, and shorebird tram tours.
Hagerman National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1946 on lands originally purchased by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for the Denison Dam Project, known today as Lake Texoma. Located in the Central Flyway, one of four migratory bird “super highways,” was an important factor in deciding to create a refuge here. The refuge lies on the Texas side of the Red River, which divides the Lone Star State from Oklahoma. This diversity of habitat creates ideal conditions for a wide variety of wildlife and plants.


Tundra Swan
Tundra Swan (USFWS)
Swan Day Festival
March 14, 2015
The deeper waters along the northwest boundary of theBear River Migratory Bird Refuge and surrounding area near Brigham City provides important stopover feeding habitat for flocks of migrating tundra swan. These flocks sometimes number upwards of 60,000. Celebrate theSwan Day Festival and check out the refuge's Facebook page for other wildlife events during the year. Take an auto loop tour to view the return of these magnificent migratory birds. Enjoy swan-themed crafts, games and movies inside the Wildlife Education Center.


Great Dismal Swamp Birding Festival
Wood Duck
Wood Duck (USFWS)
April 23-25, 2015
The free annual Great Dismal Swamp Birding Festival is open to the public and offers family-fun activities, such as guided bird walks, owl prowls, bus tours and photography workshops. Bird lovers will delight in catching a glimpse of the Swainson's warbler and the Wayne's warbler (a subspecies of the black-throated green warbler), two of the most secretive and least observed of all North American birds. Lucky visitors will likely catch a "peep" of the white-throated sparrow, the graceful great egret and even the regal bald eagle.
The Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge is located in southeastern Virginia and northeastern North Carolina. It has long been considered a place of natural beauty, mystery and legend. The swamp is an integral part of the cultural history of the region and remains a place of refuge for both wildlife and people.


Grays Harbor Shorebird Festival
Black-Bellied Plover
Black-bellied Plover (USFWS)
May 1-3, 2015
Grays Harbor Audubon Society, Grays Harbor National Wildlife Refuge, and the City of Hoquiam work with a host of other local sponsors to host the Grays Harbor Shorebird Festival. This event is timed to match the annual migration of hundreds of thousands of shorebirds as they pause at the Grays Harbor Estuary to feed and rest before departing for their nesting grounds in the Arctic.
Grays Harbor NWR was established in 1990 and is located in the northeast corner of Grays Harbor Estuary. It encompasses about 1,500 acres (607 ha) of intertidal mudflats, salt marsh and uplands. In 1996, Grays Harbor Estuary was designated a hemispheric reserve by the Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network as a site of international significance.

Bruton Motor Sports News

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Destination Seattle

The Emerald City’s mild, wet winters and warm, dry summers offer a wealth of recreation possibilities. Seattle’sCity Center is a popular destination, hosting historic Pike Place Market (home to the first Starbucks), the waterfront and the iconic Space Needle. The area that is now Seattle has been inhabited at least 4,000 years, white settlers came to the area in 1851. Lumber, coal, the Klondike Gold Rush and subsequent shipbuilding industry helped the area grow. Within a few hours’ drive, Seattle’s backyard is teaming with diverse landscapes and quiet beauty. Here’s a guide to great destinations in and around the Gateway to the Pacific Northwest.

Outdoor Adventures: Inside the Perimeter

Klondike Gold Rush National Historic Park

Klondike Gold Rush Seattle gold panning demonstration (NPS)
“Gold!” is what the headlines read in 1897, starting theKlondike Gold Rush. Thousands, hoping to ease the woes of economic depression, sold farms, dropped businesses and boarded ships to follow their dreams north. The Klondike Gold Rush National Historic Park – Seattle Unitcommemorates the significant role the city of Seattle played in the Klondike Gold Rush – 70,000 of the 100,000 people who journeyed toward the Klondike passed through Seattle, transforming the city into the gateway to the gold fields.

Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience

This unique museum, housed in the very hotel that provided countless Asian immigrants with their first home in America, tells the story of the challenges they faced as they sought opportunities in the Pacific Northwest and America. TheWing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience is located in the heart of Seattle's lively Chinatown International District and profiles stories of survival in the face of discrimination. An affiliate of the Smithsonian and the National Park Service, the museum offers tours, events and exhibits illustrating the adversities and triumphs of Asian Americans.

U.S. Coast Guard Museum Northwest

The U.S. Coast Guard Museum Northwest, located just south of Seattle on Pier 36, opened August 4, 1976, on Coast Guard Day. The museum has more than 15,000 photographs dating back to the mid 1800's. There are several large-scale finely-crafted models of Revenue Cutter Service, Coast Guard Cutters and Icebreakers. Base access is restricted, and the public can visit by contacting the Museumand making arrangements for an escort. Groups and school classes are welcome.

Hiram M. Chittenden Locks

Hiram M. Chittenden Locks(Civil Air Patrol/USACE)
The nearly 100-year-old Hiram M. Chittenden Locks, locally known as the Ballard locks, create a waterway connecting fresh water Lakes Washington and Union with the Puget Sound. Each year more than a million visitors watch pleasure craft and commercial vessels pass within feet, providing an unforgettable, up-close experience. Operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the locks also host one of our nation’s first fish ladders, giving wild Pacific salmon access to freshwater spawning areas during their June to October runs.

Carl S. English Jr. Botanical Garden

The only U.S. Army Corps of Engineers-maintained botanical garden, the Carl S. English Jr. Botanical Garden is the brainchild and life-long endeavor of horticulturist Carl English. He almost single-handedly designed and built the gardens during his 43-year tenure with the Corps starting in 1931 until he retired in 1974. The seven-acre gardens are co-located with the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks and feature plants from around the world. English received many of the plants sent by world-wide horticulturists and delivered by vessels traversing the Locks.

Outdoor Adventures: Outside the Perimeter

Puget Sound Navy Museum

The Puget Sound Navy Museum is a great way for people of all ages to experience the U.S. Navy. The museum is conveniently located off base and next door to the ferry terminal in Bremerton. The museum is full of fun and informative exhibits about the history of, life in, and work of the U.S. Navy. This Puget Sound attraction is hands-on, family-friendly, and best of all – free! Housed in historic Building 50, it’s just a one-hour, scenic ferry ride from downtown Seattle.

Naval Undersea Museum

Greenling Control Room Exhibit(Civil Air Patrol/U.S. Navy, Naval Undersea Museum)
Dive in! The Naval Undersea Museum brings to life the world under the sea for visitors of all ages. The U.S. Navy does much more than send submarines full of sailors to the oceans deep. Learn how Navy divers explore the seas, discover how remotely operated vehicles and submersibles go farther and deeper than ever before, and learn about the challenges of working underwater! Best of all, parking and admission are always free.

Mud Mountain Dam

Enjoy a day of picnicking, hiking, biking, playing in the splash pool or riding your horses in a scenic woodland setting at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Mud Mountain Dam recreation facility near Mount Rainier. Built on the White River by the Corps in the 1940s, the flood control dam protects the lower White and Puyallup River valleys from flooding. The White River flows through the reservoir which is usually empty, except when holding back heavy rains and melting snow.

Olympic National Forest

Olympic National Forest Cedar(Larry Workman/USFS)
Olympic National Forest’s 633,000 acres encompass the varied landscape of Washington’s Olympic Peninsula from lush rain forests to deep canyons to high mountain ridges to ocean beaches. This diverse and scenic forest reaches the mid elevations of the Olympic Mountains and surrounds Olympic National Park. It is easily accessible from Seattle by scenic drive or a beautiful ferry ride.

Olympic National Park

Olympic National Park is a land of beauty and variety. A day's exploration can take you from breathtaking mountain vistas with meadows of wildflowers to colorful ocean tide pools. This diverse park encompasses three distinctly different ecosystems - rugged glacier-capped mountains, wild Pacific coast, and magnificent old-growth temperate rain forest. Interwoven throughout these diverse landscapes are cultural and historic sites that document over 12,000 years of human history. The park offers advance reservations for camping at Kalaloch. This is a park filled with opportunities to explore!

Mount Rainier National Park

Mt. Rainier Magenta Paintbrush(Chris Roundtree)
On a clear day magnificent glacier-clad Mount Rainier is visible southeast of Seattle. From its 14,410-foot alpine peak to the old-growth forests growing at its base, Mount Rainier National Park offers spectacular scenery and recreational opportunities from auto touring to mountaineering. Enjoy views of glaciers and subalpine wildflower meadows in summer, colorful foliage in fall, and snowshoeing and cross-country skiing in winter. Spend a few hours browsing through interpretive exhibits in the visitor center. Stay in a historic inn or reserve a campsite at one of Mount Rainier’s four reservable campgrounds.

Olympic Coast Discovery Center

Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary on the spectacular outer coast of the Olympic Peninsula is one of North America's most productive marine ecosystems. The Olympic Coast Discovery Center in Port Angeles is a great place to learn about efforts to study and protect the area’s wildlife and marine ecosystems. Investigate ocean science; explore captivating shipwrecks and maritime heritage; discover a magnificent cultural heritage; or enjoy tide pooling, wildlife viewing, kayaking and fishing. Launch your own journey of discovery.

Padilla Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve

Padilla Bay is located on the upper reaches of Puget Sound, north of Seattle in Skagit County. The Padilla Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve protects one of the largest continuous eelgrass beds in the United States and provides a variety of recreational activities including, hiking, boating and bird watching. Don’t miss their free Olympic Coast Discovery Center that captures the history and ecology of the area through engaging exhibits and fish tanks.

Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest

Mt. Shuksan(Gary Paull/USFS)
Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest is one of the most visited forests in the nation. The forest is located east of Seattle on the west side of the Cascade Mountains between the Canadian border and Mount Rainier National Park. Here you will find glacier-covered peaks, spectacular mountain meadows and old-growth forests, rich in history and outdoor opportunities. The forest offers reservable camping in the summer and recreational possibilities year-round - tour the forest, go fishing, river rafting, bird watching, or for a change of pace try snowshoeing or skiing.

North Cascades National Park

North Cascades Goat(Karlie Roland/NPS)
Along the North Cascades Highway an alpine landscape beckons. About three hours from Seattle, North Cascades National Park spans the cascade crest from the temperate rainforest of the wet west-side to the dry ponderosa pine ecosystem of the east. Stay overnight in one of thereservable campsites, then discover the two communities of life adapted to persistent moisture in the west and recurrent fire in the east. Explore jagged peaks crowned by more than 300 glaciers and contemplate waterfalls cascading into deep valleys. These mountains are calling you.

Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest

"Mountains to See, Places to Be" sums up the abundance and variety of recreation opportunities found in the incredibleOkanogan-Wenatchee National Forest. Summers are hot and dry, and winters are famous for brilliant skies and plenty of snow. Stretching from the high Cascade Crest to the lowlands of the Columbia River, the 4-million acre forest has vast wilderness areas, while thousands of miles of trails and roads offer easy access to one of the most heavily visited western United States national forests. Make a reservation at one of the Forest’s campgrounds or cabins.

National Wildlife Refuges

Dungeness National Wildlife Refuge(Dow Lambert/USFWS)
Craving adventure, or the smell of the ocean, the sound of birds in the forest or the view at the top of the trail? Then get out and onto one of Washington State’s national wildlife refuges within a few hours’ drive of Seattle. Hiking, bird watching, boating, wildlife viewing, camping, interpretative programs and more await your arrival. Visit Nisqually NWR,Dungeness NWRSan Juan Islands NWRWillapa NWR and all the rest!

National Fish Hatcheries

Experience the best of the Northwest at a national fish hatchery. Whether you are seeking recreation, conservation or relaxation, these facilities offer something for everyone and are all within driving distance of the Seattle-Metro area. Catch a glimpse of spawning steelhead at Quilcene NFH, snag a salmon of your own at Quinault NFH, take a winter snowshoe tour at Leavenworth NFH, or get in touch with your inner child during Kids Fishing Day at Entiat NFH.  

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