Campsites at Fort Townsend are empty and waiting as the state parks in Jefferson County opened for camping on Tuesday. County campgrounds will be opening Thursday. (Zach Jablonski/Peninsula Daily News)

Campsites at Fort Townsend are empty and waiting as the state parks in Jefferson County opened for camping on Tuesday. County campgrounds will be opening Thursday. (Zach Jablonski/Peninsula Daily News)

Campgrounds opening in Jefferson County

State park campgrounds now ready; county parks opening Thursday

PORT TOWNSEND — Overnight camping at state parks in Jefferson County resumed Tuesday, and camping at county parks will open at noon Thursday.

The Jefferson County Board of Health approved opening overnight camping during its meeting last Thursday, and the individual campgrounds since then had been getting prepared.

Parks had been closed since March because of COVID-19 restrictions.

State park campgrounds in Clallam County will remain closed until the county approves reopening overnight camping, said Anna Gill, state parks communications director.

The state parks in Jefferson County that allow overnight camping are Fort Worden, Fort Flagler, Fort Townsend and Dosewallips, Gill said.

The county campgrounds opening are Lake Leland, Quilcene and Oak Bay, said Matt Tyler, Jefferson County Parks and Recreation manager.

The campgrounds at the Jefferson County Fairgrounds are expected to open July 1, according to the fairground’s website.

State parks has an online reservation system for campsites. Not all camping facilities have opened, such as the upper campgrounds at Fort Worden and certain other overnight accommodations, according to the state park’s website.

“We’re glad to be able to open our Jefferson County parks for camping,” Gill said. “Many look forward to enjoying these parks during the summer months, and camping is a key part of that experience.”

“Campers should still take precautions when visiting.”

Those precautions include checking that the park of choice is open for camping, making reservations ahead of time to ensure a spot and reduce interactions with staff, come prepared with all the supplies needed to reduce the need to stop along the way, limit the number of people to five unless they’re all within the same household, and follow the rules posted throughout the park and campground, Gill said, adding that rules are there to keep campers and staff safe.

The county campgrounds are on a first-come, first-served basis, Tyler said. The Upper Oak Bay campground has a new electrical hookup system for campers to use, he added.

“We have wonderful campgrounds with many options for people to enjoy, and everyone is welcome,” Tyler said. “People should stay up to date on the latest health information and do their best to follow those rules.”

More information on the county-run campgrounds can be found at www.countyrec.com.

More information on the state park campgrounds and the online reservation system can be found at https://tinyurl.com/PDN-StateParkReservation.

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Jefferson County reporter Zach Jablonski can be reached by email at [email protected] or by phone at 360-385-2335, ext. 5.

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