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Dungeness Recreation Area

dungenss-rec-area-3The Dungeness Recreation Area (DRA) is a Clallam County-owned park and is operated by the Clallam County Parks Board. The park, located northwest of Sequim, is well known as the entrance and trailhead to the Dungeness Spit, the longest natural spit in the nation at 5 ½ miles in length.

The DRA is far more than the jumping off point to the spit. The park contains 216 acres of forest, woodland, upland meadows, grasslands, wetlands, and ponds. A one-mile trail along bluffs overlooking the Strait of Juan de Fuca provides spectacular views of the strait. The DRA offers hiking, camping, picnicking, bird and wildlife viewing, and horseback riding.

Camping & Hiking
The campground has 65 camping sites, located in the forested area of the park. Picnic tables are located along the bluff and a picnic shelter can serve groups of people. Equestrian and hiking trails are located throughout the recreation area, including access to the Dungeness Spit.

Hunting
Hunting is no longer permitted in the Dungeness Recreation Area.

Birding
Olympic Peninsula Audubon Society (OPAS) members use the DRA for field trips, bird counts, and birding classes as well as hiking, running and picnicking. The open fields with a mixture of grasslands and shrubs within the DRA provide excellent habitat for a wide variety of birds, including many species of sparrows, juncos, towhees, wrens, and the associated owls, raptors and other predators. The mixed shrub, tree and grasses at the margins of the fields are vital for sustaining the diversity of birds using the DRA. Likewise, the second growth conifers mixed with deciduous trees provide great cover and nesting for a wide variety of birds and wildlife.

Dungeness Recreation Area Master Plan Proposed
The Clallam County Parks Board drafted a Master Plan for the DRA in 2007. After surveying park users, holding public meetings, and drafting alternatives, the Parks Department has recommended a Master Plan, which includes the these major components:

  • Relocating the main road at least 200 feet from the bluff, and widening the road to 28 feet to accommodate modern RVs;
  • Upgrading the existing campground by adding paved camping pads, expanding the campground to accommodate tent camping and RVs;
  • Upgrading and expanding day use, trailhead, picnicking and parking facilities, and adding two miles of hiking, biking and equestrian trails;
  • Ending the current hunting program when the lease with DFW terminates in two-three years (Note: Hunting ended with the 2012 season).

The Master Plan project was placed on hold in November, 2009, while issues involving the parks´ development process and others are worked on and finalized. There will be no park development planned until these issues are resolved. There has been no status change as of September, 2013.