Trails for everyone, forever

Home News Blog Upcoming Hiker Events

Upcoming Hiker Events

Posted by Crystal Gartner at May 10, 2021 12:30 PM |
Filed under:

Hiking can often be a solitary experience, but when you're looking to engage with the outdoor community, there is no shortage of opportunities in Washington.

Connect with WTA

Our website, will remain a place for you to find information about local green spaces, updates on trails and moments of joy and inspiration. We hope you can connect with each other and to us on our social channels. Read past trip reports or share your own with the community.

In Person Events    

Autumn Ambles
Leavenworth, WA
Thursdays in October, 10 a.m.-12 noon
Join the Wenatchee River Institute for a two-hour autumn amble with one of our knowledgeable naturalists. You will learn about the natural and cultural history of Leavenworth with many scenic views along the way. What are plants and animals doing to prepare for winter? Can we find all 5 types of salmon that are spawning in the fall? Registration is required, choose your desired date. Ages 6-15 ticket: $5; ages 16+ ticket: $10.

Hands-On Art and Chat with Watercolor Artist-Author of Mount Rainier National Park
Edmonds, WA
October 21, 5-8 p.m. 
Join Seattle artist Molly Hashimoto at Cascadia Art Museum to celebrate Mt. Rainier with her new book, Mt. Rainier National Park: An Artist’s Tour. She’ll talk briefly about the park’s natural history and the art she has made over many decades and afterwards sign copies of her book. Then you can try out some of the fun materials Molly will bring, including pens, watercolors and watercolor paper. After listening to Molly speak, enjoy free admission to our new featured exhibition Kenjiro Nomura, American Modernist: An Issei Artist’s Journey. Free. 

The Cougars in Your Backyard
Hoodsport, OR
Oct. 23, 1:00-2:30 p.m.
Join us to learn more about the cougars living in the Lake Cushman/Hoodsport Region, with representatives from the WA Dept of Fish & Wildlife, Tribes, Panthera and the WA Dept of Transportation. 
Attendance is limited to 70 people. The event is FREE with a suggested donation of $10.00 to help Western Wildlife Outreach continue wildlife education programs around Washington state.

A Class on Chanterelles! 
Leavenworth, WA
October 23, 9 a.m.-2 p.m. 
The fall season is a fabulous time to forage for Chanterelle mushrooms! Offered by the Wenatchee River Institute, this class will start by learning the basics of mushroom identification and safety tips for foraging. Most of the class will be spent in the field foraging for chanterelles and observing other species. Register in advance. $40 non-members, $30 members, limit of 13 participants. 

Fall Fungi Field Trip With Pacific Mycological Society
Leavenworth, WA
October 30, 8 a.m.-3 p.m. 

Fall mushroom season is here! Wenatchee River Institute and Puget Sound Mycological Society (PSMS) are hosting. PSMS guides will take groups of people out to different locations for fungi foraging and collection. There is no guarantee you'll find good edible mushrooms, but you will learn the basics and have an idea of the habitat to look for, based on the season. Limited to 30 people, tickets are free. 

Trick or Trot
Kirkland, WA
October 30, 8 a.m.-1 p.m. 
The Bridle Trails Park Foundation invites you to a Family Halloween in the Forest! 1K Scavenger Hunt & 5K Run Preregistration ensures abundant snacks and treats for everyone. Registration required. 5K run is $10. Scavenger Hunt is free.

Fall Birding
Mount Vernon, WA
November 5, 8:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m.
Fall offers a quieter, though no less busy season for our migrating and wintering birds. Naturalist and neighbor, Libby Mills will lead a trip that includes Padilla Bay's upland trail, the waters of Padilla Bay, and its surrounding farmland. Field guides and binoculars are available for loan. For beginners and experts alike. Free.

Jack Nisbet Hike at Waikiki Springs Nature Preserve
Spokane, WA
November 6, 9 a.m.
Naturalist, historian and author Jack Nisbet will lead participants down the switchbacks and across the Little Spokane River, where wildlife is abundant. Come hike the recently completed trails while learning about the conservation story of the land. Hosted by Inland Northwest Land Conservancy. Registration required. $20 

Puma Catwalk
Sequim, WA
November 6, noon-3 p.m.
Join Panthera, the Olympic Cougar Project, and Nutritious Movement for an Olympic Peninsula community event, full of Big Cat facts and fun movement games. Experts will be on site to facilitate and answer questions about big cats and the goals of their work. You'll get to try out big cat tracking skills, dragging your "prey" to feel how strong cougars are, and more! Family friendly and free.

Watershed Ecology Adult Field Trip
Tukwila, WA
November 13, 1-4 p.m.
The session will be taught by professional Educators from Nature Vision. We will cover local ecology, plants and wildlife, view aquatic insects from the Duwamish River, test water samples, discuss water as a shared resource, and learn ways that we can all keep our water abundant and healthy! Register by Nov. 5. Free.

Virtual events      

Listening Sessions on Outdoor Equity
Oct. 21, 5-7 p.m. PST
Oct. 25, 2-4 p.m. PST
Oct. 26, 5-7 p.m. PST
Oct. 27, 10 a.m. - 12 noon PST
The Department of the Interior (DOI) seeks to increase diversity, equity, and access as it relates to getting outdoors in public lands. The DOI is interested in your feedback on the barriers that limit diversity and equity, as well as your recommendations on how Federal land managers can address those barriers. Please register. Free. 

Diversity in the Outdoors: A Conversation With Chevon Powell
November 3, 5:30-6:45 p.m. 
While Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) have always been out on the trail despite this history, we're now seeing a welcome increase in participation, as well as overlapping conversations about social justice and outdoor recreation. More people of diverse identities are getting out, having fun, and adding to the richness of outdoor culture. Discussions about diversity in the outdoors help to grow a diverse and just outdoor scene. Chevon is the founder of Golden Bricks Events (GBE) and Refuge Outdoor Festival—an annual outdoor recreation camping experience geared toward Black, Indigenous, People of Color. Chevon will be sharing her story of exploring natural and social landscapes, as well as facilitating a reflective conversation in small groups. Register in advance. $5. 

Homewaters: A Human and Natural History of Puget Sound 
November 4, 2021 7:00 p.m. 
David B. Williams
will be speaking about Homewaters: A Human and Natural History of Puget Sound, which tells the long story of the Sound, tracing human history from the earliest records more than 12,500 years ago to present. In the book, he discusses Native people, the arrival of explorers and settlers, and how the various inhabitants adapted to place. He also weave in stories of the natural world, covering often overlooked species such as Olympia oysters, rockfish, geoduck, kelp, and herring, as well as the influence of salmon and orca on the Sound. Presented by the Central Puget Sound Chapter of the Washington Native Plant Society. Zoom webinar. Register in advance. Free.

Environmental Film & Speaker Series: Why Bears?
November 4, 2021 7:00-9:00 p.m. 
The National Parks Conservation Association and the Wenatchee Valley Museum & Cultural Center have partnered to bring in Dr. Chris Servheen for a presentation and film about bears! Join us to hear about worldwide efforts to conserve bears, particularly black bear and grizzly bear in the north Cascades. Bears are beloved around the world, but they are big, sometimes dangerous animals, so cultures around the world have had to learn to live with them. Dr. Servheen is one of the leading grizzly experts in the United States and one of the leading experts on bear conservation in the world. This event is focused for families. Registration is required. Free.

Getting Started: Winter Recreation
November 16, 2021 6:30-7:30 p.m. 
This virtual event hosted by SheJumps is open to anyone looking for a first-time introduction to winter activities such as trail running, snowshoeing, skiing, sledding, ice skating and more. We specifically welcome all women and girls (transgender and cisgender) as well as non-binary people who identify with the women’s community to experience a female-led conversation. Registration is required. Free.

Ongoing Activities

Walk With a Doc
Walk With a Doc is a global community where doctors go on short walks with patients and members of the public. Each walk kicks off with a short presentation on a health topic followed by a short walk through a local park. Currently these walks are virtual due to social distancing measures, but will return to in-person meet-ups as soon as it's safe to do so. Walks are held in Everett, Olympia, Yakima, Spokane and St. Helens Oregon. 

Personalized Outfitting with an REI Expert
Get expert advice from the comfort of your home with our virtual outfitters. Video chat with our team to get the next great piece of gear, advice for an upcoming adventure, or explore the possibilities of a new outdoor activity. Book a live appointment today and connect with our team right from your home. Appointments are available 7 days a week from 5:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. PST. Free. 

Self-guided Forest Bathing
The Washington Park Arboretum has several great resources for visitors to practice forest bathing, an approach to mindfully enjoying nature. Learn about the practice, find resources and share your experience with others. 

Volunteer as an Adventure Scientist
Help collect tree samples for a database that will be used to catch illegal timber harvests. Volunteer hikers collect leaves, seeds and wood samples and send them in to be tested, then the timber industry is able to check the wood that comes through their mills against this data to determine if it was harvested from an area where logging is permitted. 

Participate in Bird Counts in Your Backyard or Beyond
Community science programs are central to the efforts of Audubon scientists. You, too, can be a volunteer scientist and help save populations of bird species around the world. Programs in which you can participate include Hummingbirds at Home, Christmas Bird Count, and the Great Backyard Bird Count.

Be a Citizen Archivist for the National Archive 
Add tags to photos from America's Scenic Byways to make this resource more searchable for the public. First you must register, then you can pick the type of archiving you want to do and get started. There are more opportunities here as well, like transcribing historical documents about the first U.S. roads and trails to be built in Alaska. 

Environmental Film Festival
Explore the collection of current and past festival films now available for streaming. The Environmental Film Festival in the Nation’s Capital (DCEFF) is the world’s premier showcase of environmentally themed films.

Patagonia’s new film They/Them is a documentary that follows climber and guide Lor Sabourin into the sandstone canyons of northern Arizona, on a journey to piece together one of the hardest and most inspiring routes of their life. By embracing the strength in vulnerability, Lor has found the space to thrive and build a climbing community that others like themself can call home.

Mapping Seattle's Historic Orchards 
Help identify historic fruit trees in your neighborhood that may be remnants of historic orchards. This project aims to identify and preserve these heirloom varieties still growing in Seattle. 

Living Snow Project
The Living Snow Project mobilizes volunteers to collect and submit samples of pink snow so researchers at Western Washington University can study the microbiome of creatures living in these environments. Anyone in the mountainous US can participate with a simple phone app and a sample kit that can be picked up or mailed to you. 

Story Time at the Miller Library
The Miller Library at UW's Botanic Garden presents monthly stories about gardens, plants and nature. Tune in anytime to watch a virtual reading of a new book each month. 

OTHER Local & Amazing hiking communities

We also keep a list of many other local meet up groups and networks. While you might not be able to connect in person, you might find their online community is someplace you'd like to spend some time.

Explore these accounts and podcasts

  • by land podcast - Hunter and backpacker Emory Wanger began By Land as a way to share his personal journey in the outdoors so others can learn from his time in the field, and to bridge gaps between outdoor communities.
  • Cascade Hiker Project podcast - inspiring you to get out on the trail. Interviews make the show feel like a radio channel dedicated to hikes and backpacks.
  • Dirtbag Diaries podcastClimb. Ski. Hike. Bike. Paddle. Run. Travel. Whatever your passion, we are all dirtbags. Outdoor writer Fitz Cahall and the Duct Tape Then Beer team present stories about the dreamers, athletes and wanderers.
  • For the Wild podcastan anthology of the Anthropocene; focused on land-based protection, co-liberation and intersectional storytelling rooted in a paradigm shift away from human supremacy, endless growth and consumerism.
  • Outdoorsy DivaTraveler, foodie, outdoor lover, & single mom featured in Huffpo Travel, BBC Earth Podcast, and listed as one of the top Black travel bloggers on the planet. 
  • Outside Voices - inspired by one idea: the outdoors belongs to all of us. We all have a relationship to nature, whether through hiking, gardening, sacred ceremony or gathering at the local park. We aim to celebrate and amplify those who don’t always see themselves reflected in the “Great Outdoors” narrative.
  • She Explores podcast - interviews, in-the-field recordings and listener submissions make up a tapestry of episodes covering themes such as solo hiking and camping; entrepreneurship; aging; diversity, equity and inclusion; conservation; motherhood; chronic illness, and feminism as they intersect with outdoor experiences.
  • The Joy Trip Project - James Edward Mills' ongoing search to discover how to lead a harmonious life in balance with the natural world and the rest of humanity. 
  • THE WILD podcast - explores how nature survives and thrives alongside (and often despite) humans. Taking listeners across the Pacific Northwest and around the world, host Chris Morgan explores wildlife and the complex web of ecosystems they inhabit. He also tells the stories of people working in and protecting the wild around us.
  • thewildpod on InstagramGet back to nature with surprising stories of wonder and resilience from the world of wildlife with ecologist @chrismorganwildlife

If you have a suggestion for the Hiker Events Calendar, please email the details and a link to Crystal Gartner at