Outdoor classes and activities in and around Snohomish County

National Park Week: Free admission days are two weekends, April 15 and 16 and April 22 and 23, at parks throughout the country. Many have special programs and events. More at www.nationalparkweek.org.

State Park Week: Free admission at state parks are April 15 and April 22. Visitors don’t need a Discover Pass for day-use visits by vehicle. More at www.DiscoverPass.wa.gov.

Hiking 101: Hike essentials class by Everett Branch of the Mountaineers, 7 p.m. April 5, Snohomish County PUD, 2320 California St., Everett. Free. Non-Mountaineers are encouraged to attend. Class is designed to answer questions that a novice hiker may have about how to get out hiking. Learn from experienced hikers what to put in your pack and how to dress for comfort and safety. Clothing, boots, packs, the 10 essentials, seasonal trail hazards, where to shop for equipment and how to research trips. Register at http://tinyurl.com/edh-day-hiking-course.

Ride: Cascade Bicycle Club’s Valley River Ride, April 2, follows the Cedar and Green rivers, and features low-traveled roads, protected trails and a few miles of hard-packed gravel. The ride boasts a low elevation on a nature-inspired route great for those just venturing into longer distance rides. Choose from an easygoing 30-mile route, a 50-mile route with a few challenging hills or knock out your first 62-mile metric century of the year. More at www.cascade.org; info@cascade.org or 206-522-3222.

Olympic Birdfest: April 7-9. Guided birding trips, boat tours, live auction and raffle, banquet and more. Featured speaker is nature photographer Bonnie Block. Festival pre-trip is a three-day, two-night birding/sightseeing cruise of the San Juan Islands, April 4-6. Register separately at www.pugetsoundexpress.com/audubon. Extend your festival with a Neah Bay post-trip April 9-11 exploring northwest coastal Washington. More at www.olympicbirdfest.org.

Cougar country: Learn about mountain lions, 7 p.m. April 13, NW Stream Center Auditorium, McCollum Park, 600 128th St. SE, Everett. When you are out in the deep forest, you are in cougar country. More than likely you won’t see mountain lions, but they will be seeing you. Program is by Adopt A Stream Foundation and Snohomish County Parks. Geared for fifth-graders to old-timers. Cost is $5 foundation members, $7 non-members. More at www.streamkeeper.org. For reservations, call 425-316-8592;

Beach: Train to be a WSU Extension Beach Watcher to learn about marine life and how to share your knowledge with youth groups and the public. Then, volunteer at least 12 hours (four shifts) by participating in events with Beach Watchers during the spring and summer in the Edmonds, Mukilteo and Stanwood areas. The three-day training is 9 a.m to 3:30 p.m. April 21, 28 and 29. Application is due by April 7; a free background check is required. There is also a $35 materials fee. For more, go to www.extension.wsu.edu/snohomish/naturalresources/beachwatchers, call 425-357-6029 or write yolimar.rivera@wsu.edu.

Live vicariously: On the fourth Tuesday of the month, Marysville Opera House, 1225 Third St., hosts an outdoor adventure speaker. Local authors and outdoor enthusiasts share their adventures and expertise on topics including hiking, snowshoeing, kayaking, climbing, trekking, photography and birding. For more, call 360-363-8400.

Send calendar events to abrown@heraldnet.com.

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