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Volunteer News

Washington Trails Association news about volunteers and trail maintenance on The Signpost Blog.

Washington Trails Association news about volunteers and trail maintenance on The Signpost Blog.

You can also meet our hardworking crew leaders, and see standout volunteers at the Rock Wall of Fame.

The Power of Loops & Connections

Jul 19, 2021

Creating trail systems that allow for loops makes a better experience for hikers — and it’s easier on the land, too.

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Volunteer Profile: Jade Tabony — Data Scientist, Outdoor Adventurer & Cheez-It Enthusiast

Jul 08, 2021

We talk technology, slacklining and what it's like to give back to a cause you care about.

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New Loops, New Hikes, New Views in the Columbia River Gorge

Jul 02, 2021

Thanks to a partnership between Washington Trails Association and Friends of the Columbia Gorge Land Trust, the trail system at the land trust’s Lyle Cherry Orchard Preserve has been improved.

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Reviving an Old Route to the Pratt

Jul 13, 2021

WTA has been hosting annual work parties and Backcountry Response Teams along the Pratt River Trail since 2016 as a part of our Lost Trails Found campaign. We're working to save this alternate access point into the Alpine Lakes Wilderness and ensure plenty of hiking opportunities in a place that needs it most.

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Volunteer Profile: Doris Wang

Jun 22, 2021

Doris is a well of positive energy. She came to WTA after a friend introduced her to trail work parties, and since then has brought her friends and her husband to trail work, and been a fantastic trail ambassador on social media. We asked her a few questions about why she likes volunteering and what keeps her engaged in WTA's community.

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Meet WTA's Backcountry Pro Crew

Jun 03, 2021

This summer, WTA is excited to welcome our first professional backcountry crew! The six-person crew will spend the next few months improving trails within three stunning wilderness areas on the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest. They'll be working on hard-to-reach areas that don't see regular maintenance.

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Passion Projects Bring WTA Volunteers Back to Favorite Trails

Jun 01, 2021

Our volunteers often find themselves replacing worn-out structures, rebuilding tread or even rerouting trails built by WTA crews who came before them. We’re grateful for the volunteers who were part of those original crews and continue to go back, over and over again, to maintain the projects they started.

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Virtual Classroom: Crew Leader College Moves (Partially) Online

May 05, 2021

This weekend marks the beginning of WTA's 2021 Crew Leader College, a chance to help our crew leaders and assistant crew leaders refine their skills. Here's how we're adapting this year to share new learning about trail work, all while keeping everyone safe.

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Centering Community Helped Build a Strong Urban Trail System in Bellingham

Apr 19, 2021

Fourteen years of work by WTA and our partners have transformed an urban trail system in Bellingham.

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Learning and Growing on WTA's Volunteer Vacations

Apr 14, 2021

We caught up with volunteers from years past to see how the skills they gained have helped them with new adventures.

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Volunteer Spotlight: Gabrielle Matheison

Apr 06, 2021

Volunteers are key for WTA, and we appreciate however people engage with WTA. Some folks like to stick to trail work, some stick to trip reports, some do both. While volunteering has been complicated by the pandemic, Gabrielle Matheisen, a trip reporter and trail crew volunteer, made it work.

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Hiker Headlines: Funding, National Park Projects, Pro-Crew, Sno-Park Fee Increase

Mar 25, 2021

It’s March 25. Money from the Land and Water Conservation Fund will go to important conservation projects in Washington. North Cascades National Park announced plans to reroute a section of Stehekin Road, and in Olympic National Park a new entrance station will improve traffic flow. WTA is hiring for our first paid, pro trail-work crew. State Parks announced that Sno-Park fees will increase starting next winter. Here’s some news you may have missed while out on trail this week.

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Youth Volunteer Vacations: What You Need to Know for 2021

Mar 16, 2021

At WTA, we know that the disruptions, stress and social isolation of the previous year makes outdoor opportunities for teens more important than ever. WTA is excited to resume our Youth Volunteer Vacation program in 2021, where youth ages 14-18 build trails and community together in beautiful places across Washington state.

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Volunteer Crew Leaders Step Up to Help WTA and Each Other

Mar 09, 2021

In addition to WTA’s regular seasonal staff, 27 volunteers stepped up to lead trail work parties this past summer — making space for 2,200 more volunteers to engage in trail work.

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From Awe to Ah-Hah!: 4 Advocates Realize the Power of Their Voices for Trails

Mar 11, 2021

When did you realize that trails don’t just appear in the woods? Or that your favorite trail probably exists in part thanks to hikers like you? If you haven't had that "ah-hah!" moment yet, it's understandable. The path towards establishing and protecting trails is winding (much like those trails we love so much). But in the same way that you can lay the foundation for memorable summer adventures by tuning into permit season each year in February, hikers like you can help build a lifetime of adventure by consistently participating in advocacy work.

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Hiker Headlines: Clean Boots, Permits, Interior Secretary, Volunteer Safety

Feb 25, 2021

It’s February 25. Permit applications for many of Washington’s most popular recreation areas are either open now or will be soon. Confirmation hearings for Interior Secretary are ongoing. Learn what hikers can do to stop the spread of invasive species. And, it’s a good time to revisit safety guidelines if you’re thinking of volunteering on trail.

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Shoring Up the Neighborhood Trails that Provide Everyday Escapes

Feb 24, 2021

WTA is hard at work making sure urban parks all over Washington are getting the love they deserve, including a recent project in Tacoma.

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Hiker Headlines: New Sno-Park, Backcountry Trips, Take Action, Climate Plan

Jan 28, 2021

It’s January 28. A new Sno-Park was just announced. Sign up for WTA’s volunteer backcountry trips is almost here, with a few changes. New ways to take action for trails. And, the President lays out a plan for climate and conservation. Here’s some news you may have missed while out on trail this week.

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Get Ready for WTA's 2021 Backcountry Trips

Jan 26, 2021

Join WTA this summer. Backpack to a gorgeous place, do some trail work, and feel good about helping Washington's trail be some of the best.

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Thank You, Land Managers!

Jan 08, 2021

Without our agency partners, we wouldn’t have trails to work on.

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Bringing Nature Closer to Home in Southwest Washington

Dec 30, 2020

WTA has been helping to make Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge into an easily accessible bit of nature. Thanks to a new path that offers a safe walking route, hikers now have two different ways to walk to the refuge from downtown Ridgefield. And those two routes can even be combined to create a 5-mile loop.

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Rebooting Popular Trails and the Pacific Crest Trail in the Central Cascades

Dec 22, 2020

WTA crews worked all summer to restore and maintain trails across the state. Part of that work included improving trails in the Cle Elum Ranger District of the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest.

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Snow Lake Trail: Helping an Iconic Trail Step Up Sustainability

Dec 22, 2020

How WTA trail crews, volunteers and member support are helping one of Washington's most popular and iconic trails carry increased boot traffic while protecting the beauty that makes it so special.

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Your Favorite Volunteer Memories of 2020

Dec 11, 2020

You and other volunteers have accomplished a lot in 2020. Here are some of your favorite memories.

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Hiker Headlines: Volunteers Rock, Winter Trails, Merging Planets, Boost for Everest

Dec 10, 2020

It’s December 10. Thank you to all the volunteers who supported WTA through an especially challenging year. Summer trails don’t always translate into safe winter trails. Jupiter and Saturn will appear closer than they have since 1226. And, Mount Everest just got a little taller. Here’s some news you might have missed while out on trail this week.

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Trail Volunteers: Thank You from a Blue Hat

Dec 07, 2020

2020 was hard, but volunteers have shown up for trails in a big way.

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Small But Mighty: Backcountry Crews Make Big Strides on Lost Trails

Dec 09, 2020

Our pint-size backcountry crews were able to get a lot of work done — donating over 6,000 hours of work to lost trails across the state! We want to share a few highlights from our 2020 season to give you a peek at everything these crews accomplished.

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Mica Peak Traverse: Completing A New Trail Near Spokane

Nov 25, 2020

This fall, WTA volunteers and partners celebrated another win for trails in the Spokane-area, this time in the form of a trail connecting two of the region’s largest swaths of public land. The California Creek Trail, completed in mid-October, now officially connects Liberty Lake Regional Park and Mica Peak Conservation Area.

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Grateful for the Wins: Some Good in a Tough Year

Nov 18, 2020

A moment of gratitude to our community for continuing to make so much possible. Together, helped hikers get outside, helped keep each other safe and even advanced some critical work for our mission.

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Trail Planning Takes Time: Scouting Trails in the Teanaway Community Forest

Oct 13, 2020

WTA is helping bring the Teanaway Community Forest trail plan to life, scouting an existing web of unofficial trails for the ones that will be able to sustain hikers, bikers and riders for years to come.

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