3 special things to do in Olympic National Park this weekend
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Barbara Wise and her border terrier Josie sit on a huge cedar stump, the Elwha River behind them. Stumps were left behind from when loggers cleared the timber before the Elwha Dam was built in 1910.

By Peninsula Daily News staff

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1. Take free, ranger-guided exploration walk along the Elwha River on Saturday — see the dam-removal transformation yourself.

PORT ANGELES — Olympic National Park rangers are guiding free interpretive walks along the Elwha River where Lake Aldwell once existed at 1 p.m. each Saturday through Sept. 7.

Rangers guide visitors through the landscape being created by the river following the removal of Elwha Dam in March 2012.

Walks provide an up-close look at shifting sediments, old and new vegetation, giant stumps logged a century ago and the river re-establishing itself.

The walks begin at the former boat launch located at the end of Lake Aldwell Road.

To get there, take U.S. Highway 101 and drive about 8 miles west of Port Angeles.

Turn north — sharp right — off Highway 101 onto Lake Aldwell Road immediately after the Elwha River Bridge.

Visitors should wear sturdy walking shoes or boots and be prepared for windy conditions with no shade.

The guided portion of the walk last about an hour; visitors are then free to continue exploring the lakebed area.

For more information about Elwha Discovery Walks, phone the Elwha Ranger Station at 360-452-9191.

The land is controlled by ONP but technically not part of the national park. No park admission pass is needed.

For more information about Elwha River restoration, including links to the project webcams, weekly dam-removal blog and Elwha River restoration Facebook page, visit the Olympic National Park website at http://tinyurl.com/Elwha-Restoration.

2. Speak with our local congressman, Derek Kilmer.

PORT ANGELES — U.S. Rep. Derek Kilmer will help remove invasive weeds from the banks of Peabody Creek between the Olympic National Park Visitor Center and the park's administrative office from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday.

The Democratic congressman, a native of Port Angeles who lives in Gig Harbor, will meet with constituents from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. at the picnic tables outside the park's administrative office, 300 E. Park Ave.

Kilmer represents the 6th Congressional District, which includes the North Olympic Peninsula.

He will work to remove weeds with park Superintendent Sarah Creachbaum and members of the public.

The deadline to RSVP to participate in the service project was Tuesday.

The constituent meeting is open to the public, with no RSVP needed.

3. Enjoy the national park . . . for free.

PORT ANGELES — Olympic National Park, along with all other national park service areas, will waive entrance fees Sunday.

Other park fees, including wilderness camping and campground fees, will remain in effect.

The fee waiver is in recognition of the 97th anniversary of the National Park Service, which oversees 401 national parks.

This year also is the 75th anniversary of the creation of Olympic National Park.

It was June 29, 1938, that President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed a bill establishing Olympic National Park.

President Woodrow Wilson signed legislation that created the National Park Service on Aug. 25, 1916.

Last modified: August 23. 2013 11:37AM
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