Olympic National Park sets special events for Wilderness Act anniversary

The staff of Olympic National Park invites park neighbors and visitors to join in celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act. Activities and events ranging from guided wilderness hikes to a panel discussion will be held throughout the weekend of Sept. 5-7.

Olympic National Park entrance fees will be waived on Saturday, Sept. 6. All programs are offered free of charge.

Here is a schedule of events:

Friday, Sept. 5 events

A Wilderness Speaking Panel is scheduled from 7-9 p.m. at Peninsula College’s Little Theater, 1502 E. Lauridsen Blvd., Port Angeles. Guest speakers include Sequim author/poet Tim McNulty; Shelley Spalding, Great Old Broads for Wilderness board member; David Louter, National Park Service Pacific West Region Cultural Resources director, and Erin Reading, Olympic National Park Wilderness ranger.

Saturday, Sept. 6 events

A Wilderness Photo display will be available from 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. at the Olympic National Park Visitor Center, 3002 Mount Angeles Road, Port Angeles, and a Wilderness Film Festival — with wilderness-themed films including the 1952 Disney classic “The Olympic Elk” shown — from 10 a.m.-3 p.m., also at the park’s visitor center.

From 10:30 a.m.-4 p.m., the Hurricane Ridge Visitor Center hosts Wilderness Talks and Walks. Ranger-guided wilderness programs also are available throughout the day.

From 7-9 p.m., a Wilderness Sing-Along and Evening Program is scheduled at the Heart O’ the Hills Campground Amphitheater, with “Mountain Music” by Dan Lieberman and Friends.

Finally, a Moon Walk is set for 7:45-10 p.m. as astronomer John Goar leads a 2.5-hour hike on Hurricane Hill Trail.

Sunday, Sept. 7 events

A variety of guided wilderness hikes will be offered by park volunteers and staff along the Elwha River Trail, Obstruction Point – Deer Park Trail, Hurricane Hill Trail and Third Beach Trail. Group size is limited to 12 persons and reservations are required by calling Olympic National Park wilderness specialist Ruth Scott at 565-3071.

Also, a wilderness photo display will be available from 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. at the visitor center.


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