outdoors

EATONVILLE, Wash. - Apparently Northwesterners are not afraid of heights and have a yen for adventure. We draw that conclusion because the industry of zip line tours and aerial adventure parks is booming in the Northwest right now.

Within the past couple years, fully a dozen commercial zip line attractions have opened in Oregon, Washington and Idaho... not counting at least twelve more in British Columbia and Alaska. The revenue potential has some municipal parks departments looking to add spendy zip line attractions in public parks.

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Washington’s new Discover Pass for state parks might end up being a temporary budget fix, rather than a long-term solution. At least that’s the hope of one, key statehouse Democrat.

Representative Larry Seaquist remembers well when two of the state parks in his district were on the chopping block. That was a few years ago.

So far, Washington has managed to avoid closing parks despite the after-effects of the Great Recession. That’s largely because of the new $30 annual Discover Pass. But sales did not meet early projections.

Museum of History & Industry and Charla Bear

In the Pacific Northwest, we know that yoga pants, polar fleece and hiking shoes are great for grocery shopping. But when we head into the great outdoors, we love to pile on the high-tech gear.

Sure, the weather here demands a certain level of protection from the elements. But what is it that compels people in the Pacific Northwest to want every piece of equipment out there?

Read more on I Wonder Why ... ?

Maria M / Flickr

A national initiative to improve access to the outdoors will focus on expanding two trails in Washington state.

President Barack Obama's Great Outdoors Initiative includes efforts to extend the Pacific Northwest Trail on the Olympic Peninsula and create a water trail along the entire length of the Columbia River through Washington.