Ginkgo Petrified Forest State Park Guided Interpretive Hike (April 2022)

Trip report:

This popular educational hike drew an audience from many directions. Interpretive Specialist Kevin Lieske led our group on a hiking tour into the hills and valleys of the Ginkgo Petrified Forest State Park, one of Washington’s most popular state parks located just two hours from Seattle. The awe-inspiring tour focused on terrain, spring wildflowers, and the cataclysmic events that transformed the landscape of Central Washington. After the tour, everyone was treated to ice cream at the interpretive center that sits high above the Columbia River and offers a breathtaking 180 pano. After looking at all the fossils and the skull of a Sabertooth Cat that lived there 10,000 years ago, one lucky hiker won a signed copy of Craig Romano and Judy Bentley’s book Hiking Washington’s History. This hike supported our Black to the Park initiative.

Participant Praise:
“I was especially grateful for the history of the Wampanum nation/tribe and learning about historical uses of the river and how dramatically those changed due to damming the river. I had known about how much fishing opportunities were ruined by damming but being able to see where the river had natural narrowing creating prime fishing grounds (in the past) was impactful. It was also hopeful to hear about the tribe’s commitment to seeing the river restored in the future.”

“I learned the term “glacial erratics” and what that means, that cheatgrass is an introduced species and prevents other plants from getting water after a wildfire, and that sagebrush can be up to 200-years-old!

“I gained a greater appreciation for the arid beauty of the central Washington highland desert.”

Gratitude to Washington State Parks. Justice Outside. Interpretive Specialist Kevin Lieske. Craig Romano. You supported Black, Indigenous, and Communities of Color in the movement towards a more racially-just outdoors.