Coming Together for a Long, Lost Trail in the Pasayten Wilderness
WTA launched our Lost Trails Found campaign with the intent of bringing more awareness to the need for funding and restoration of our backcountry trail system. To help achieve our goal of restoring the Boundary Trail, WTA has joined forces with several fellow trail groups.
The Boundary Trail spans almost the entire length of the Pasayten Wilderness and offers hikers miles of expansive views, 150 notable peaks and more than 160 bodies of water. It's an iconic Washington trail, and it is one of the priority trails we've committed to restoring for our Lost Trails Found campaign.
The Boundary Trail may be a long trail in it's own right, but it is also part of the much-longer Pacific Northwest National Scenic Trail, joining the ranks of long trails like the Pacific Crest and Appalachian National Scenic Trails. It's the kind of trail that should be in prime condition.
But some segments of the Boundary Trail are nearly impossible for hikers to navigate. Degrading trail conditions show the signs of declining trail maintenance funding and more catastrophic wildfires. At 80 miles in length, the remote Boundary Trail requires a lot of resources for land managers to maintain. So when it came to restoring it, collaboration was always going to be the smart approach.
To help achieve our goal of restoring the Boundary Trail, WTA has joined forces with land managers and several fellow trail groups. In the fall of 2017, the Back Country Horsemen of Washington, the Pacific Crest Trail Association and the Pacific Northwest Trail Association came together with WTA to develop a trail maintenance partnership.
Together, we are working strategically to restore trails in the Pasayten Wilderness, working with land managers to select project areas on the Boundary Trail and on those trails that access it. Focusing our collective efforts on shared projects and goals enables us to coordinate our maintenance projects, combine our resources, tackle projects more efficiently and quickly and have an overall greater impact on trails.
Ultimately, we hope we can extend partnerships like this with other trail work organizations to more areas of the state. We hope this first year will serve as a helpful learning process, one that will allow us to refine our partnership and develop plans for future joint projects.
For additional updates on our work on these lost trails, visit wta.org/losttrails.