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News for Families

Get the latest advice for hiking with kids, opportunities for getting out with your family, and hear from family experts in the WTA community.

Get the latest advice for hiking with kids, opportunities for getting out with your family, and hear from family experts in the WTA community. 

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Two Programs Emerge to Benefit the Health and Well-Being of Washington's Children and Adults

Aug 25, 2021

Two successes from the 2021 legislative session will help connect the benefits of nature with the people of Washington state: The Parks Rx Pilot Program and Licensing for Outdoor, Nature-Based Child Care.

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Q&A: The Value of Trip Reports for Hiking with Kids

Jun 18, 2021

Trip reporter Robert “Ups n Downs” Shirk loves to get out on trail with his kids, and trip reports are a big part of how he researches trails. Ups N Downs is also a prolific trip reporter, and we caught up with him recently to hear more about why trip reports are so important to him for his adventures.

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Hiker Headlines: Lingering Snow, Dog Mountain, Youth Trail Work, Trail Connections

Apr 01, 2021

Even though it’s officially spring, hikers should still plan for winter conditions on trail. Dog Mountain permits are now available online. The priority period for Youth Volunteer Vacation applications is now open. Libraries across the state are lending Discover Passes. In Bellevue, an important trail segment has been completed. And a few other news stories good for a laugh.

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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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Students at Seattle Nativity School Build Connections to Nature and Each Other on Trail

Dec 17, 2020

Seattle Nativity School hosts annual hiking trips with students across every grade, along with a summer backpacking trip for alumni. Two former students, Layla an Christian, reflect on these outdoor experiences and what memories have really stuck with them.

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Hiking Every Day for a Month: 2 Young Hike-a-Thoners Tell Their Story

Dec 15, 2020

This year, two young hikers set an ambitious goal. For the month of August, as part of their Hike-a- Thon participation, Lu and Chloe, both 10, set a goal to hike on a trail every day.

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Outdoor Ed: Head Outside for Fun and Learning

Oct 07, 2020

What a year. We're planted in front of glowing screens more than ever before, and parents have it especially rough, what with juggling jobs, childcare and trying to manage schooling at home. If you find yourself called upon to be a teacher as well as a parent these days, let WTA help you out.

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Finding Balance as A Parent

Aug 11, 2020

"My life at home and work are much different than what I’d planned for 2020 — but I’m finding ways to make peace with that."

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Problem-Solving in a Pandemic: Connecting Youth to the Outdoors in the Time of COVID

Aug 13, 2020

Navigating a pandemic has forced all of us to approach work in a new way. If you can do your job online, tech makes it relatively easy, but in-person work is a puzzle: how do you offer quality connections and complete trail projects when physical distance is the number one way to support public health right now?

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Inspiration and Advice for Getting Out on Trail with Kids

Jul 31, 2020

Time on trail with kids can create magical memories that last a lifetime. Here are some tips from members of our community on how to get out with your own kids.

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Talking About My Generation

Jun 11, 2020

Youth are a powerful force for trails.

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Fill in the Blank: Mad Libs for Hikers

May 11, 2020

Whether you're staying inside with pillow-fort tents and microwaved s’mores or driving back from an adventure, bring along one (or all) of these fill-in-the-blank games for guaranteed good times.

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The Great Neighborhood Map Challenge

Apr 23, 2020

Think you know your neighborhood? Put your memory to the test with this fun game for the whole family!

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Turn Cabin Fever Into Camping Bliss at Home

Apr 21, 2020

Inspiration for turning your living room or backyard into a campground.

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WTA Youth Ambassadors: Adaptable and Driven

Apr 13, 2020

It's been an interesting year for our latest cohort of youth ambassadors — but we've been immensely proud of everything these tireless teens have already been able to accomplish for trails.

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We Fix 'Em, You Hike 'Em: 8 Trails WTA Has Already Refreshed in 2020

Jan 21, 2020

WTA's trail maintenance program has been busy this month. We kicked off 2020 by breaking ground on brand new trails and continuing work on dozens of other trails. We even had a ribbon-cutting — broadening a trail network trail that hikers already loved.

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1 Summer, 300 Miles, 15 Friends

Nov 22, 2019

Annalise had two plans for the summer before her senior year of high school: take the SAT and hike 300 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail.

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Teaching on Trail: Custom Workshops For Educators of Youth

Jan 06, 2020

Through workshops, a free gear library and trip funding, the OLT program provides customized training for educators who want to take youth groups outside.

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Halloween on Trail: Sith Lords and Zombies and Bears, Oh My!

Oct 28, 2019

As autumn rolls in, our favorite summertime forests and lakes turn moody with moss and mist. What better way to celebrate this holiday than to swap out your usual trail attire with a quirky costume.

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One Trip Reporter You Otter Get to Know

Sep 13, 2019

Most trip reporters are humans, but sometimes a clever critter chimes in with valuable insight from their most recent hike. Meet River, who is helping fellow hikers — and sharing a lot of joy.

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Hiker Headlines: Discover Pass Fees, Kids Hike Free, Olympics Campgrounds Close for Season

Sep 12, 2019

The new Transit to Trails bill makes it easier for everyone to get outdoors, nationwide. State park goers might see a Discover Pass fee increase, while fourth graders get a free pass to play outside in national recreation areas. It’s the last weekend to camp at some Olympic National Forest campgrounds. And do you love trails? Apply to be an ambassador!

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How Youth are Building Trails and Community — Now and For the Future

Sep 19, 2019

Here's a look at what WTA's youth crews accomplished this summer.

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Lost Trails Youth Crew Spends Five Weeks in the Pasayten Wilderness

Sep 23, 2019

Our Lost Trails Youth Crew made big impacts (and big memories) this summer as they improved trails in the remote Pasayten Wilderness.

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Young Stewards Explore and Lend a Hand on Washington Trails

Sep 09, 2019

The power of partnerships helps the Deaf T-Birds, a high school group, get out to explore and clean up Olympic beaches.

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Tips to Inspire Kids to be Explorers like Dora

Aug 01, 2019

Swiper, YES swiping! Swipe these tips for inspiring young explorers like Dora the Explorer herself. You never know what’s in store-a when you hike like Dora!

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How to Plan for a Summer of Hiking with Kids

Jun 03, 2019

Don't let summer get away from you. Here are some tips to ensure you and your favorite kids get some time out on trail.

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Fourth Graders, Fifth Graders and Fun: WTA Youth Ambassador Leads Classroom Hikes

May 23, 2019

The Youth Ambassador Program gives leadership training opportunities to teens, who use their skills to plan trails-related projects in their own communities.

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Sharing a Love for Nature Through WTA

Jun 12, 2019

WTA member Maggie Oliver passes on the values of conservation to her students.

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7 Tips for Joyful Hiking with Kids

May 31, 2019

Lessons from a parent who's been there.

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Happy Mother's Day: Heart-Warming Stories From the Trail

May 08, 2019

In honor of mom, here are some of our favorite stories and photos of moms and families out on trail.

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