Hiker Headlines: Wallace Falls Camera, Big Four Closure, Transit-to-Trails Ridership Soars
It’s Oct. 31. Happy Halloween! Trailhead Direct wrapped up its season and reported soaring ridership. There's a new camera telling hikers how full the Wallace Falls parking lot is. The Big Four Ice Caves trail is currently inaccessible. Páatstel Creek gets it's name back. The Recreation Not Red-Tape Act gets a hearing the Senate.
It’s Oct. 31. Happy Halloween! Trailhead Direct wrapped up its season and reported soaring ridership. There's a new camera telling hikers how full the Wallace Falls parking lot is. The Big Four Ice Caves trail is currently inaccessible. Páatstel Creek gets it's name back. The Recreation Not Red-Tape Act get a hearing the Senate.
Here’s what you might have missed while out on trail this week:
Seattle area hikers embrace bus to trailheads: After King County's Trailhead Direct wrapped up the final weekend of the season, the county reported that ridership increased 75 percent in the full second season. WTA is one of many partners who worked to make the innovative pilot such a success.
Eye on parking at Wallace Falls: Farther north, Washington State Parks added a parking lot webcam to help visitors check how full it is before they head to the park for a hike or picnic. When parking overflows the lot at peak times of year, visitors parking on the narrow county road leading to Wallace Falls’ entrance cause safety issues for residents, drivers and pedestrians alike. Now you can know before you go how crowded the lot is. A camera takes a live photo every minute, which automatically posts to the park’s web page.
Bridge out at Big Four: The Big Four Ice Caves trail is closed until further notice due to erosion damage to the footings of the bridge crossing the Stillaguamish River.
The Darrington Ranger District of the Forest Service, who manages the Big Four Ice Caves trail, said: “The hiker bridge crossing the South Fork Stillaguamish River has been removed. The bridge has been in danger of collapse due to the changing river channel. Access to the snow cave viewing area is cut off until the bridge can be replaced. There is currently no time frame for replacement.”
The Big Four Picnic Area and elevated boardwalks are still open at this time, said Snohomish County Sherrif's office.
Páatstel Creek gets it's name back: The 4.3-mile stream between Lynden and Sumas will officially return to its first name. The Washington State Committee on Geographic Names and Whatcom County Council approved the change this week at the request of the Nooksack Indian Tribe and after a period of public comment. The name honors a historical Nooksack Indian Tribe village near the creek's source.
Take action! Recreation, not red tape: This week, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will (at long last) be holding a hearing on the Recreation Not Red-Tape Act. It's one of several federal bills that WTA is tracking. This one is aimed at protecting and improving outdoor recreation on our public lands and waters and would benefit hikers and the outdoor community in a number of ways. It would include work to establish a National Recreation Area System to give increased legal protection to popular recreation corridors and modernizing recreation permitting. Take 3 minutes to support of the bill during this important window.