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Portions of Lake Wenatchee State Park reopen

Post by Jeff Mayor / The News Tribune on Aug. 30, 2010 at 1:16 pm |
August 30, 2010 1:16 pm

After a thorough assessment and taking down diseased trees, the Lake Wenatchee State Park day-use area reopened at noon today. Areas of the park reopened include the watercraft launch, swim beach, group picnic area, equestrian area and concessions, including the horse concession and the food and snack concession on the swim beach.

The park, located 18 miles northwest of Leavenworth, was closed last week due to forest health issues and safety concerns for visitors after two seemingly healthy trees fell over.

Park visitors are asked to stay out of all other areas of the park, as tree assessments and work continues.

State Parks arbor crews and a pathologist from the Department of Natural Resources are working to correct problems in a limited camping area at the park early this week. Campsites 101 through 148 are expected to reopen Thursday, in time for Labor Day weekend. Those campsites are currently reserved; campers with reservations for those sites may make use of their reservations beginning Thursday, according to their current reservation dates.

All other camping areas in the park remain closed at least through the end of the reservation camping season, Sept. 15, while tree work continues.

State Parks staffers last week contacted all reservation campers by e-mail and telephone to notify them about the closure and to offer free alternative accommodations at parks in the greater region. Displaced campers with reservations will receive a full refund by calling toll free 1-888-226-7688. Those who make alternate reservations on their own will pay regular camping fees, minus the “change reservations fee” usually required. An emergency response center has been activated and displaced campers may call 360-902-8560 for additional information.

Parks staff and a DNR pathologist have concluded the tree fells over because of root rot that was not evident from outward appearances. Staff also conducted assessments on trees in the north and south campgrounds and found additional trees infected with root rot. These trees were immediately removed. The root rot has been identified in grand fir and Douglas fir trees.

The park is a 489-acre camping park with 12,623 feet of waterfront on glacier-fed Lake Wenatchee and the Wenatchee River. The park is bisected by the Wenatchee River, creating two distinct areas: South Park, with areas for camping, swimming and horseback riding; and North Park, in a less developed, forested section, a quarter-mile walk from the lake. The park has nearly 200 campsites (with a majority available for reservations), a group camp, equestrian area and hiking trails.

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