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Signpost Blog

"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.

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Hiker Headlines: Native Plant Month, Funding Roads, Good Fire, Middle Fork, Olympics Art

Apr 08, 2021

April is Native Plant Month. Prescribed burns are scheduled in several forests this spring. The Middle Fork Snoqualmie Trail is closed to hikers while construction is underway. Art installations in Olympic National Park celebrate Roosevelt elk and conservation.

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Early Budget Proposals in Olympia Show Promising Support for Trails

Apr 07, 2021

With only a few weeks left before state lawmakers finalize budgets, we break down how things are looking for trails and outdoor recreation. See where things stand and take action.

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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: 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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WTA To Add Golf Courses to Hiking Guide

Apr 01, 2021

New features to add vital conditions and trip report information helping hikers seeking a series of tiny holes in the ground.

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Thank You, WTA, From a Hiker

Mar 31, 2021

Binny Marwaha is a WTA member and an avid hiker and backpacker. We recently caught up with her to learn a bit about why she chooses to support WTA, and the impact of time outdoors. Here is a snippet of our conversation with her.

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Dog Mountain Permits for 2021: Get 'Em While You Can

Mar 26, 2021

Permits for Dog Mountain in 2021 are now available. In addition to a parking pass, hikers will need a permit if they are visiting Dog Mountain Saturday or Sunday between April 24 - June 13 and on Memorial Day.

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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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'You Belong' Washington-Based Film Centers the Stories of Women of Color

Mar 25, 2021

A new film seeks to build community in the outdoors for women of color — and help reshape the narrative of who belongs in outdoor spaces.

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UW's Nature and Health Group Talks Time Outside

Mar 22, 2021

What researchers are discovering about how and why being outside is so good for us.

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Hiker Headlines: State Parks Re-open, Advocacy Updates, Trail Closed, Maritime Washington

Mar 18, 2021

With two free days coming up for state parks, they’ve announced the re-opening of many facilities. Deb Haaland was confirmed as the new Secretary of the Interior. WTA’s biannual Hiker Rally was a success. Most of the Spruce Railroad Trail will be temporarily closed. The Maritime Washington National Heritage Area is looking for public input. And, you could name WSDOT’s next snowplow. Here’s some news you may have missed while out on trail this week.

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5 Big Take-Aways from WTA's First Virtual Hiker Rally

Mar 17, 2021

2021 brought a new twist to our biannual Hiker Rally Day — like many other events have been for the last year, it was all-virtual. WTA staff learned a lot about what it takes to move to an online format. But more importantly, we were inspired, as always, by our hiker advocates who showed up to speak out for our trails and public lands.

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Five Land Managers Get Real on the Pandemic and Public Lands

Mar 16, 2021

A year after COVID-19 pandemic began to change our lives in innumerable ways, including in how we get outside, WTA sat down with our land manager partners to talk about the last year. We discussed the opportunities and challenges from the pandemic and the key role that public lands played in people’s mental and physical health. We also talked about the impacts of unprecedented visitors to public lands when agencies were underfunded and trying to keep their staff safe during a public-health crisis. Everyone we talked to was grateful that public lands could be there for people who desperately need exercise, escape and restoration. Our partners also have real concerns for the long-term management of public lands — and they hope to help everyone see how they can ensure that these special spaces so they will be there for generations to come.

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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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Hiker Headlines: Snowpack, Park Directors, Land Swap, Culvert Replacement

Mar 11, 2021

Mountain snowpack may take longer than normal to melt out this summer, and a new tool will help you track it. Two new park directors lay out their plans. The Colville National Forest is considering a land exchange. A culvert replacement project will take place in the Black Diamond Natural Area this summer.

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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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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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Hiker Headlines: Stay Off Muddy Trails, S&R Drill, Free Day, Climbing Closures

Mar 04, 2021

It’s March 4. In Eastern and Central Washington it’s important to stay off of muddy trails during the freeze-thaw cycle. Kittitas County Search and Rescue will be performing a practice drill on Hex Mountain this weekend. Entry to State Parks will be free on March 19. Two climbing areas in North Cascades National Park will be closed to protect peregrine falcon nesting habitat. Here’s some news you may have missed while out on trail this week.

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GAOA Provides Vital Funding for Public Lands

Mar 03, 2021

The Great American Outdoors Act was a huge win for the outdoor community. Here’s some of the ways it will help Washington.

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Change Your Perspective -- Photos Just for the Fun of It

Mar 02, 2021

Can you capture the giddy, silly feeling of hiking in a photograph? From catching a waterfall in the palm of your hand to flying over the Cascades, these photographers put the fun in our photo contest.

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Meeting The Need: Investments on the Mountain Loop Highway

Feb 26, 2021

With more people discovering a love for trails, it's important to ensure the trail system can manage the increased needs. Here's how WTA is working on that goal in one part of Washington.

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