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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.

This Summer: Volunteer on the Mountain Loop Highway

Jun 22, 2022

Spread knowledge about Leave No Trace and responsible recreation by volunteering as a trailhead ambassador on the Mountain Loop Highway this summer.

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Clearing the Way for Summer Adventures: Where We've Worked so Far

Jun 20, 2022

Spring is an exciting time at WTA. The snow is melting, the flowers are blooming and our intrepid backcountry volunteers make their way out on trail to begin clearing the path for summer.

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Lost Trails Found Crews Bring Big Boost to Backcountry Trails

Jun 03, 2022

This summer, WTA will be leading two six-person crews into the backcountry to tackle some of our biggest projects.

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How Kitsap County Volunteers Are Building Up Their Trails

May 17, 2022

Over the last few years, volunteers, including volunteer crew leaders, have accomplished a lot of work to give hikers and other trail users improved opportunities to get outside in Kitsap County. Two of those volunteers, Patrick and Marji Sullivan, have become integral in the Kitsap County trail work community and are helping expand access to public green spaces in the area.

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Family and Community: How Trails Help a WTA Volunteer Build Connections

Mar 22, 2022

WTA volunteer and member, Elizabeth Storm, shares how trail work on the Covel Creek trail connects her to childhood, family and community.

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Hiker Headlines: New Trail, Recreation Survey, Legislative Wins, Free Day

Mar 17, 2022

Happy St. Patrick's Day! A new WTA-built trail is now open near Port Angeles. The Recreation and Conservation Office wants to hear from you. Eastrail projects received some incredible funding in the recent state budget. And, don't forget about the upcoming fee-free day on March 19.

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Striped Peak: New Trail on Olympic Peninsula is Ready for Hikers

Mar 14, 2022

After three and a half years and 83 volunteer work parties, there's a new trail on a popular peak outside of Port Angeles.

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How Wild Whatcom Brings Mindfulness to Trail Work Parties

Mar 29, 2022

Here are three of our favorite ways that Wild Whatcom makes time for mindfulness with youth.

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What Could the Future of Trails Look Like?

Jan 25, 2022

WTA’s trail team has been thinking about what it means to create the trail system of the future, and three of our staff members shared their hopes. Their thoughts show the importance of three key priorities: create more trails and accessible greenspace, innovate trail layouts and redesigns to improve hikers’ experiences on trails, and find ways to help people feel safe and welcome in the outdoors.

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Three Trips WTA's Lost Trails Found Work Made Possible

Feb 25, 2022

Over the years, we have loved seeing hikers return to some of the notoriously rough and difficult-to-navigate trails that we've prioritized in our Lost Trails Found work. We take a look at three trips that benefited from trail maintenance and advocacy efforts.

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Planning for the Future of Trails Means Planning for Fires

Dec 17, 2021

Not every landscape or wildfire is the same. Depending on how hot the fire burns, there are different impacts to the environment. Just as each fire and landscape is unique, the on-the-ground response can be just as varied.

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Rebooting Popular Trails for Year Round Hiking in Hood Canal

Nov 29, 2021

This summer, WTA's volunteer crews provided urgent maintenance to some of the Hood Canal’s most loved trails in order to ensure that these trails are accessible and safe for all users.

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Favorite Volunteer Memories of 2021

Nov 19, 2021

As 2021 comes to a close, we asked volunteers to share some of their best moments on trail with us. From learning new skills and self-reliance to rejoining the volunteer community, we're thrilled to hear what you remember from this year on trail.

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Celebrating a Successful Return to Youth Volunteer Vacations

Nov 17, 2021

Thanks to a lot of careful planning and hard work, we had a safe and fun summer with teen volunteers — and we got a lot of work done, too! And we're already looking ahead to next year.

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You Can Be an Assistant Crew Leader

Oct 22, 2021

Our assistant crew leaders make trail work parties possible — and you can be one of them.

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Volunteers Connect the Dots on the Pacific Northwest Trail

Oct 20, 2021

During our 2021 summer season, our volunteers worked on 11 unique sections of the Pacific Northwest Trail, working across the state to keep this oft-remote route up to national scenic trail standards.

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Breaking Ground on Independence Pass

Oct 05, 2021

For just over a decade, sections of the Independence Pass trail have been lost to treacherous washouts that prevent hikers from travelling its full length. Now, WTA and partners are working to bring it back.

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WTA's Pro Crew Finishes up Incredible Season

Oct 18, 2021

After 71 days and 4,243 hours of trail maintenance, WTA's first backcountry pro crew is wrapping up their packed season of trail work within the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest!

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Exploring the State Through Volunteering

Sep 08, 2021

Our varied, far-reaching volunteer opportunities have the added benefit of giving volunteers a fun opportunity to see and explore new parts of Washington.

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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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