Washington State Parks has organized a public meeting (Thursday February 26, 6:30-8:00 p.m., Eastern Region State Parks Bldg) to discuss the future of Squilchuck State Park. Statewide, 15 parks have been closed or mothballed because of budget cuts and Squilchuck was one of the last ones to be mothballed. Presumably this could mean Squilchuck could be one of the easier parks to reopen if funding rebounds in subsequent years.
While Squilchuck is currently mothballed, visitors can park outside the park's gates and walk into the park. No amenities exist (bathrooms, trash removal) so users should practice a leave-it-better-than-you-found-it ethic in exchange for the privilege of walking/recreating here. Take care of bathroom needs before arriving and carry out your trash as well as litter left by others.
At WenatcheeOutdoors we are less worried about the park being mothballed than about the possibility that the property might be removed from the public sector. Even without formal amenities, this is a very convenient park giving a large population base access to wild lands. You can mountain bike and hike in summer; snowshoe and Nordic ski in winter. The park also gives non-skiers who have dropped family members off at Mission Ridge a convenient place to stretch their legs an enjoy a peaceful sanity break. We have several Squilchuck outings listed in our guidebooks--some of these remain entirely in the park, others leave the park and connect into dirt roads that wander through the Stemilt Basin.
We hope good numbers of outdoor recreationalists will attend the meeting and ask that even if State Parks keeps Squilchuck mothballed, that the property not be sold for private development.
Below is an article published on February 20 appearing in the Wenatchee World.
Public Meeting About Squilchuck Closure
By: Michelle McNiel
EAST WENATCHEE — Washington State Parks will hold a public meeting next week to talk about the proposed "mothballing" of Squilchuck State Park south of Wenatchee.
The park is one of three state parks in North Central Washington that would be closed to the public as part of proposed budget reductions. The other two parks — Osoyoos Lake State Veterans Memorial Park in Oroville and Fort Okanogan State Park northeast of Brewster — would be closed and the state would try to find new owners for them.
The meeting is scheduled for 6:30 to 8 p.m. Thursday at the State Parks Eastern Region office, 270 Ninth St. N.E., East Wenatchee. The purpose of the meeting is to gather public comment for the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission.
State parks officials have said the proximity of several larger parks with more diverse recreation opportunities in the Wenatchee area, and the abundance of other recreational opportunities on public lands in the area, allow for the closure of Squilchuck without greatly impacting the public.
For more information about the meeting, call 665-4319.