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Thursday, August 17, 2006 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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Outdoors notes

It's huckleberry picking time in the forest

Seattle Times staff reporter

This and next month are prime gathering times for huckleberries throughout Washington, and one of the most popular places is the Gifford Pinchot National Forest.

Forest Service personnel say due to the late snow melt, the picking season appears to be a couple of weeks later than last year. No permit is required for personal use, and commercial permits are $40. Details: 360-891-5001 or www.fs.fed.us/gpnf/.

To find out where to pick huckleberries in the Cascade Mountain areas, call the Mount Baker Ranger District at 360-856-5700; the Skykomish Ranger District at 360-677-2414; and the North Bend Ranger District at 425-888-1421.

Other places in the Northwest that offer good gathering fields are the Mount Adams Wilderness, Trout Lake in southeastern Washington, Boardman Lake in Darrington Ranger District and Huckleberry Creek in White River Ranger District.

A plan from the King County Department of Natural Resources and Parks will create new access to the "Old School Site" at the Three Forks Natural Area and five miles of riverfront area.

The 527-acre natural area offers nice views of Mount Si and the project will include building a new trail and parking area, picnic area, interpretive signage and portable restrooms.

Construction is set to begin next month and should be finished by November.

The Lake Union Boats Afloat Show is Sept. 13-17 at Chandler's Cove on South Lake Union in Seattle. The show will be open 11 a.m.-6 p.m. on weekdays, and 10 a.m.-6 p.m. on the weekend. Cost is $10 for adults and $5 for kids age 12 and under. Details: www.BoatsAfloatShow.com.

Fort Flagler State Park staff and volunteers are celebrating the 50th anniversary of the park with music, games and food 9 a.m. to dusk Saturday.

The park is located eight miles northeast of Hadlock, Jefferson County, on Marrowstone Island. Activities include demonstrations of outdoor recreation with boats, radio-controlled boats and airplanes, kayaks, bikes, fishing, water safety and interpretive walks. Details: 360-385-3701.

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Taylor Shellfish Farms at 130 S.E. Lynch Road in Shelton, Mason County, is offering homeowners with tideland a chance to purchase clam, mussel, geoduck and Olympia, Pacific and limited Kumamoto oyster seeds 8 a.m.-11 a.m. Saturday.

The sale is timed to coincide with a minus-1.0 foot low tide at 10 a.m. Saturday in southern Puget Sound so seed buyers can plant them on the same day. Details: 360-426-6178 or www.taylorshellfish.com.

The Edmonds Coast Guard Auxiliary flotilla is offering two public boating courses in the Lynnwood area starting September 12.

The first class is Boating Skills and Seamanship covers safety, boat handling, maintenance and more. The second, Advanced Coastal Navigation, covers all phases of navigation and piloting, and prepares boaters for longer trips. Details: 425-823-2375 or email boatclasses@hotmail.com.

Submit your best backcountry pictures in the Washington Trails Association's Northwest Exposure photo contest. Details: 206-625-1367 or www.wta.org.

Mark Yuasa can be reached at 206-464-8780; e-mail: outdoorsnotes@seattletimes.com; fax: 206-464-3255; address: P.O. Box 70, Seattle, WA 98111.

Copyright © 2006 The Seattle Times Company

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