This June 1, rally together with hikers across the nation to celebrate National Trails Day –- a single day reserved for trails everywhere. Like any other day, we'll be hauling our dirt-encrusted shovels to the trailhead and turning the gritty trail-duff with our grub-hoes – but this time, we'll be doing it with thousands of other volunteers across the country.
This year, spend National Trails Day (June 1) giving back to the trails that give you access to your favorite natural spaces. Consider signing up for one of the following WTA work parties in regions across the state.
Cougar Mountain, for youth and families (Issaquah Alps)
Enjoy a day in the great outdoors with your family! Youth and parents alike will enjoy digging around in the dirt to improve tread and drainage on one or two trails in the area.
Pratt River (I-90 near Snoqualmie Pass)
This new trail through shady forest just weathered its first winter. Lend a hand getting rid of mud holes, fixing drainage and repairing rock walls to make sure this trail performs like new.
Ape Cave (Southwest Washington)
Learn how to build trail on this cool new route that will link the Ape Cave Trailhead with a scenic vista featuring Mount St. Helens’ southern flank. When you return to hike this completed 1-mile trail later this year, you’ll be able to pick out the section of trail that you built with your hands! Volunteer for the weekend or just for the day.
Beckler Peak (Skykomish District)
The first part of Beckler Peak Trail follows an old road bed through old-growth forest. Help convert it from feeling like a road to more like a trail, for a more pleasurable hiking experience. Use natural materials and trail construction techniques to help narrow and define this section of trail.
South Fork Skokomish (Hood Canal)
The Skokomish River has such a bad habit of changing course, taking old sections of trail with it. So our battle to rebuild and harden an important Olympic Peninsula trail continues. Help out for the weekend or just for the day.
Excelsior Pass (Mount Baker area)
It’s no wonder this hike is so popular since its expansive views of the North Cascades are so easily accessible. But with popularity also comes wear and tear. Join this work party to help clear and repair the trail to Excelsior Pass to prepare it for hordes of summer hikers.
Liberty Lake (Eastern Washington)
Just 30 minutes outside of Spokane, this 7.5 mile loop trail is undergoing some major improvements. As a result, hikers will be able to easily enjoy destinations along the trail, including a beautiful waterfall and large cedar grove. Help cut back brush, level tread and realign the trail.
On March 15, a week from today, Mount Rainier National Park will begin accepting requests for wilderness permits. If you think backpacking the Wonderland Trail around Mount Rainier is in your hiking plans for this summer, then we've got just the person to help you plan: guidebook author and WTA correspondent, Tami Asars.
Below are three great ways to learn about the Wonderland Trail from the woman who literally wrote the book on the 93-mile trail. Explore her article in WTA's member magazine, catch her at an upcoming event or buy her guidebook to the trail.
The Wonderland in Washington Trails magazine
Explore the trail in Tami's interactive feature from the January+February issue of
In person: catch Tami in Bellingham or Seattle
- Wednesday, March 13th, Village Books Bellingham, 7pm.
- Tuesday, April 16th, Bellingham REI, 6pm
- Saturday, April 20th, Northwest Outdoor Aventure Expo, 2pm, Seattle Center Exhibition Hall
Buy the book
Tami Asars' Hiking the Wonderland Trail, by The Mountaineers Books is the book for Wonderland hikers, whether planning a day trip, weekend or the full circuit. This beautiful guide is full of all the details every hiker needs to know, including permits, camping, food caching and storage, weather, conditioning and suggestions for planning your own itinerary. Buy or download Hiking the Wonderland Trail.
Tami Asars is a third-generation Washingtonian who has spent her lifetime exploring the trails and backcountry of Washington state, from the Olympic Coast to the Okanogan Wilderness. When she’s not exploring trails, she’s writing about them as a full-time guidebook author for Mountaineers Books and as a regular contributor for Washington Trails magazine. To learn more about Tami, visit tamiasars.com or check out her backpacking blog.
I hope you can join us for what is quickly becoming one of my favorite WTA events, Hike the State. This gathering of hikers offers excitement and inspiration for the upcoming hiking season. We'll have on hand seven experts who will give you some prime trail suggestions from around the state in a fast, fun format. The event is FREE but an RSVP is required.
WTA's Hike the State
Wednesday, June 6
6:30 -8:30pm Seattle REI
Need a little more information before you brave downtown Seattle traffic on a Wednesday evening? Let me introduce you to our esteemed hiking experts.
>> Craig Romano
Craig Romano is an outdoors writer, photographer and author of eight books, including Backpacking Washington, Day Hiking North Cascades and Day Hiking Olympic Peninsula. He's called Washington state his home since 1989 and has hiked more than 15,000 miles, from Cape Disappointment to Puffer Butte. Craig will give you a sneak peak of his next project, Day Hiking Eastern Washington (Mountaineers Books, to be published spring 2013 with Rich Landers), as he takes you on a tour of the Blue Mountains in Southeast Washington.
>> Tami Asars
Tami Asars is an outdoors writer and photographer. She serves as a Regional Correspondent for Washington Trails magazine, as writes for online blogs and other trail publications. In September, her latest project, Hiking the Wonderland Trail (Mountaineers Books), will be available in stores. Tami will share with you a version of Mount Rainier's paradise that is a little more off-the-beaten-path.
>> Nathan and Jer Barnes
Looking for some lesser known hikes within 90 minutes of Seattle? The siblings behind Hiking with my Brother will be give you some great suggestions. In 2008, brothers Nathan and Jer, started weekly hikes to explore all the trails in Harvey Manning and Ira Spring’s 55 Hikes around Snoqualmie Pass. Now they venture far beyond Snoqualmie Pass and write for Backpacker Magazine, their blog and other publications.
>> Dawn Erickson
A recently retired trail specialist for the Darrington Ranger District, Dawn has spent many years wandering the trails of the Mountain Loop. Her tour of FR 20 is bound to have some great hike suggestions, along with a little history about what makes this part of Washington so special.
>> Shane Farnor
Experience the beauty of Olympic National Park, with Shane Farnor. As the online advocacy manager for the National Parks Conservation Association, Shane is intimately familiar with Washington's national parks. His seven minute presentation is bound to bring to light a couple of lesser known gems from the ONP.
We round out the Hike the State experts with two of WTA's own staff. Executive Director Karen Daubert will share with you her adventures from Mazama. And last but not least, Washington Trails editor Eli Boschetto will help you discover the wildflowers of the Columbia River Gorge.
The people I have talked with, experts and attendees alike, are very excited about this event. Everyone is looking forward to learning about new hiking destinations and networking with other hikes. We are pretty excited about it here in the WTA office too!
Space is limited, and we had to turn people away last year, so please RSVP today.
The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is launching a planning process that will culminate in a plan to manage DNR recreation, conservation and trust lands. This is a great opportunity to get involved the long-term outlook for some of our most prized hiking lands!
The National Parks Conservation Association and other community partners will be hosting an event on Wednesday evening at the Seattle REI flagship store called An Evening on the Elwha River - Dam Removal and Restoration.
WTA's Hike-a-Thon begins Monday at 5:30am with a hike up Tiger Mountain.
A week ago, WTA held its first Hike the State. It was so successful, we'll be doing it again.
Join WTA June 23 for Hike the State. Seven Regions, Seven Experts Seven Minutes...Go!
It's officially spring and Earth Day is coming up. Check out the "spring cleaning" events happening this month at various spots along the Washington coast and in Washington State Parks and volunteer if you can.
Craig Romano is raining to participate in the famous White River 50 Mile Trail Run on July 30th in celebration of his 50th birthday. By the end of the run, Craig hopes to have raised $10,000 through individual donations for his favorite trails group - Washington Trails Association.
Register for WTA's 7th Annual Hike-a-Thon and you could take home great prizes.