"This little newsletter has been an experiment so far, testing a hunch I've had that such a means of communication among walkers is needed." — Signpost magazine, 1966.
Nature on Trail: Pika, Indian Paintbrush
Jun 21, 2021
Washington's wild places are teeming with life. Learn a bit more about two common species, the pika and Indian paintbrush, and where you can find them.
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.
Hiker Headlines: New Spokane Area Trails, Peninsula Planning, Smoke Forecast, Juneteenth
Jun 17, 2021
Exciting new trail work projects are getting underway in the Spokane area. The public can participate in planning for Miller Peninsula and Sequim Bay State Parks. Discover Passes can now be checked out at Seattle Public Libraries. A new smoke forecast map will aid in finding clean air during the wildfire season. On Juneteenth, learn about and support organizations working to make the outdoors more inclusive.
Worn Wear: WTA Staff's Favorite Gear With a Story
Jun 16, 2021
All of our gear has a story to tell. It comes along with us on all of our adventures, big or small, and accumulates layers of sweat, dirt and memories over the years.
Trip Reporter Q&A: The Joy of Hiking One Area Over and Over
Jun 11, 2021
Trip reporter Birb has hiked nearly all of the trails in the Issaquah Alps — and found beauty and peace along the way.
Hiker Headlines: Get Outdoors, Federal Wins, Umtanum Bridge, Free Campsites, Artist Point
Jun 10, 2021
This Saturday is National Get Outdoors Day. WTA leaders joined Rep. Kim Schrier to promote the Legacy Roads and Trails Act in Congress. The Umtanum bridge has reopened after extensive repairs to the structure. Eddi Bauer is giving away 1,000 campsites at state parks in Washington and Oregon. Work has begun on clearing the road to Artist Point. Here’s some news you may have missed while out on trail this week.
Trip Reports: Hikers Helping Hikers
Jun 10, 2021
Trip reports make WTA a uniquely helpful resource for hikers in Washington. Here are a few trip reports where hikers helped out a little extra.
WTA Joins with Rep. Kim Schrier to Promote Funding for Trails and Roads
Jun 09, 2021
WTA and leaders from the recreation community in Washington gathered to promote the introduction of the Legacy Roads and Trails Act in Congress. The act would help fun road and trail maintenance, as well as environmental restoration and fish passage.
Hiker Headlines: the Great Outdoors, Trail Conditions, Hike the State
Jun 03, 2021
National Trails Day is coming up this Saturday. If you’re heading out for a hike, remember that winter conditions still exist on many trails. June is officially Great Outdoors Month. WTA’s annual Hike the State event is coming up on June 9. And you can now buy a gift card to Washington State Parks.
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.
Where the Sidewalk Ends: Finding Gaps in the Trail Network
Jun 02, 2021
Putting a focus on trails and other ways for people to safely move around urban areas can make for a stronger trail system and a healthier community. Having nature nearby is one thing — but getting to it safely is another. A new state effort is working to eliminate gaps that make it hard for walkers, bikers or wheelchair users to get around.
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.
Hiker Headlines: Open Passes, Memorial Day, Juneteenth, Trail Closure, Lookout For Rent
May 27, 2021
Chinook and Cayuse Passes are scheduled to open tomorrow. Remember to recreate responsibly this Memorial Day weekend. Juneteenth is the newest fee-free day on Washington recreation lands. The Baker Lake Trail is closed after several cougar encounters in the area. The Steliko lookout near Entiat is now available for rent.
Q&A: Why Trails are Important to Athletic Brewing
May 26, 2021
As the opportunity to actually get a beer with good friends opens up, we chatted with Mark Koks of Athletic Brewing to learn a bit more about why he loves trails, and how Athletic Brewing is giving back.
Hiker Headlines: Mental Health, Wildlife Win, Fire Safety, Parking Reservations, Forest Expansion
May 20, 2021
Get some #FreshAir4MentalHealth this Saturday. Wild fishers born in the North Cascades are a landmark in bringing this endangered species back. It’s wildfire awareness month: brush up on campfire safety. Visitors to the Lewis River Recreation Area will need a parking reservation this summer. A new land acquisition nearly doubled the Nisqually Community Forest. Get trail smart with WTA’s new email series.
A Treasured Moment Together
May 14, 2021
Every year, WTA invites photographers to share their favorite photos for our annual contest. Hiker Giselle Pichardo shared a shot with her family at Ebey's Landing last summer.
WTA Volunteers Create Easier Access to Green Space in Vancouver
May 13, 2021
As part of our Trails Next Door work, WTA volunteers recently completed work in the Blandford Canyon Greenway. The trail reroute makes it easier to access the green space near Vancouver.
Hiker Headlines: Trailhead Direct, Federal Funding, Suiattle Road, Forest Fees, Geology
May 13, 2021
Trailhead Direct will return for the 2021 summer season. A federal grant program and a recently introduced bill bode well for large-scale public land funding. The Suiattle River Road will remain closed through the summer. Fee increases have been proposed at Forest Service sites in Central Washington. A new online tool makes learning about Washington’s geology easy and fun.
Ask WTA: How Do Columnar Basalt and Andesite Form?
May 12, 2021
If you’ve ever seen cliffs made of towering columns, it’s hard to forget that gorgeous, dark rock, fitted together in a near-perfect repeating pattern. It’s mesmerizing and it inevitably raises the question — how on Earth did that happen? The story starts millions of years ago, deep in the Earth. ...
Spring Trip Reports: Fallen Trees, Creek Crossings and Mud Oh My
May 11, 2021
Spring can be an unpredictable time of year — the weather can change in an instant and winter conditions remain on many trails. You may encounter mud, snow, fallen trees, rushing streams and rivers, and avalanche conditions. Trip reports can help you be prepared.
5 Things I Learned After a Year Using Car Shares to Hike
May 10, 2021
Today is my one-year anniversary of the first hike I did using a carshare program. Hiking using car-share programs is totally doable, and depending on how often you hike (and other demands you may have to consider), using car shares may even be more cost-effective than owning. Here's what I've learned in a year of hiking sans car.