Stories & News
|Get local news, how-to advice, and feature articles about our trail community, the current hiking season in Washington and issues impacting trails you love.|
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21 Places To Take Your Kids This Winter
In the winter, getting out with kids can feel like a lot — but it's worth it, even if you barely make it out of the parking lot. Here are 21 winter hikes to try when you want to keep it chill. Some are short and sweet, and some can be extended if you discover your kid has energy to spare.
Hiker Headlines: New Partnership, New Funding, New Names
Jan 26, 2023
WTA has announced a new partnership with the Western Washington Honda Dealers! Washington’s National Park Fund awarded $1.1 million to our three national parks this week. King County Parks is moving on to the next phase of development of the Foothills Trail between Enumclaw and Puyallup. Four name change proposals for features containing derogatory terms have been approved by the Committee of Geographic Names. And, be prepared for snow at higher elevations this weekend.
Caring for Trails: 3 Advocates Offer Inspiration for How to Make a Difference
Trails need advocates if they will withstand the test of time. What does it take to build a better future for our trail systems, and how do you become an advocate? We sat down with three people who consider themselves advocates, and this is what we heard. By Cassidy Giampetro
Improvements on Their Way to Trails and Lands Near You
Jan 23, 2023
During the 2022 state legislative session, WTA rallied our partners and hiking community to make an ambitious ask. It paid off when lawmakers agreed to provide $5 million annually to each of Washington’s three largest land management agencies. This funding is already helping the agencies clear trails, improve parking lots, repair roads, removing hazard trees, install water sources and more.
Winter Photographer: How to Adjust What You Pack
Photography equipment can be fragile and expensive. Planning for a shoot during the winter months takes careful preparation. By Zyanya Alvarez
Hiker Headlines: New Names, King Tides, Family Fair
Jan 19, 2023
Nine geographic locations have had their names officially changed. Washington is getting hit with king tides this weekend. Check out the Outdoor Family Fair next weekend on Jan. 28. And, we've got a snowy weekend in the mountains ahead.
How to Raise Kids Who Care for Trails
4 tips to help your kids have fun hiking — and share a feeling of stewardship. By Devanee Chapman
Taking Students Hiking and Backpacking — With a Little Help from WTA
Jan 18, 2023
Seattle charter school Rainier Prep recently added outdoor programs to its curriculum. Last year, six teachers from Rainier Prep attended WTA’s Outdoor Leadership Training workshop. Since taking the workshop, they've hit the ground running and have successfully led two trips in the last year.
What You Need to Know About Spending the Night in a Fire Lookout
Fire lookouts were the best way to spot developing fires in the forest before wildfire detection technology advanced. Some are accessible via hikes and available for overnight stays. We compiled a list of some of the Pacific Northwest's fire lookouts that can be reserved or are available on a “first-come, first-served” basis. By Leina Seeley
Interview With a WTA Ambassador
Jan 13, 2023
We recently sat down to talk with Kathleen Lange, a longtime WTA volunteer ambassador who’s been part of the program since 2018, to chat about why she loves the role and connecting with hikers.
5 Week-long Hiking Vacations to Begin Planning in Early Winter
Longing for sun drenched alpine ridges with views that go on forever? Feeling hemmed in by the cold and gray of winter’s doldrums? You, my friend, need a backpacking plan.
Hiker Headlines: WTA's New CEO, Free Day, Call for Volunteers, Shuttle Service, Openings and Closures
Jan 12, 2023
A big welcome to our new CEO! January 16 is Martin Luther King Jr. Day, and parking fees are waived in some areas. WTA is looking for volunteer app developers. A shuttle service from Seattle to Snoqualmie Pass is starting up. Olympic National Park has some closures due to weather. And, Samish Overlook has reopened.
We're Off! Washington State's 2023 Legislative Session
Jan 12, 2023
This week kicks off Washington state's 2023 legislative session! WTA will be working with partners and people like you to champion legislation and funding requests that impact public lands and outdoor access. Last year, WTA and hikers helped secure two game-changing wins for public lands, and we're back in Olympia this year ensuring that both programs continue into the future.
Meet WTA's New CEO: Jaime Loucky
Jan 11, 2023
From growing up in the foot of the North Cascades to taking on the leadership of WTA, learn why Jaime is passionate about WTA's vision and community.
Trip Report Roundup: Last and First Hikes of the Year
Jan 09, 2023
There are many ways to celebrate the end and beginning of a year — and going for a hike is a fabulous option. Here are some of our favorite trip reports from hikers who shared their last hikes of 2022 and first hikes of 2023.
Hiker Headlines: Thank You, Members; Camping Changes at Olympic National Park; Photo Contest Winners
Jan 05, 2023
Happy New Year! Thanks so much to our members for an incredible 2022. Washington State Parks has a new logo. The campground reservation process in Olympic National Park is changing. And, you can now check out all of our Northwest Exposure Photo Contest winners.
2022 Northwest Exposure Photo Contest Winners
Jan 03, 2023
See all the winning photographs from the 2022 Northwest Exposure Photo Contest ranging from majestic views to furry bears.
Thank You for 2022, WTA Members!
Jan 03, 2023
As we're getting ready for the new year ahead of us, we wanted to thank WTA members for their invaluable support.
Hiker Headlines: Good News From 2022
Dec 29, 2022
The year is almost over, and we want take a moment to reflect on the good things that happened for trails and public lands in 2022. Public lands got more funding. WTA helped open new trails — and improve many more. And across the state, the hiking community came together to support each other and the places we care about.
Celebrate 2023 with a First Day Hike at a State Park Near You
Dec 27, 2022
If you’d like to begin 2023 with some time outside, Washington State Parks has made it easy. Across the state, more than 40 state parks have First Day Hike events planned on Jan. 1, 2023. The events include ranger-led hikes, snowshoe trips, bike rides and more.
Hiker Headlines: Winter, Winter and More Winter; Now Hiring
Dec 22, 2022
Yesterday was the winter solstice, the shortest day of the year. Plenty of folks have been enjoying winter play these days. But there’s an incoming ice storm and avalanche danger the next few days — prepare in advance and be smart if you choose to head outside. And, in non-weather news, WTA is hiring!
Rue Mapp Uplifts Black Joy in the Outdoors with New Book
In her new book, Rue Mapp is telling the story of Black people that she has always known to be true — one of freedom and strength. By Jessi Loerch
How to Set a New Year's Hiking Resolution as a Family
We wanted to hike 22 times in 2022. Here's how we made it work with our 9-year-old and 4-year old. By William Garrow.
How WTA Ambassadors are Creating a Lasting Impact
Dec 19, 2022
WTA's work wouldn't be possible without volunteers, who help our work in many different ways. Volunteer ambassadors support WTA’s mission to mobilize hikers to explore, steward and champion trails and public lands. Right now, we're welcoming new ambassadors. Learn more about the program and how to get involved.
Trail Work Through the Seasons
Check out what a year of trail work looks like for WTA. | By Tiffany Chou
Hiker Headlines: Openings and Closures, New Advisory Committee, Winter Hikes
Dec 14, 2022
The bridge at Waikiki Springs Nature Preserve has reopened after construction. The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife has announced their wildlife area closure dates for the winter. The Margaret’s Way trailhead will be closed for a couple of days next week. And, we’ve for some ideas for you if you're looking for winter hike ideas.
Improve Your Winter Hiking Experience
Check out some tips on how to give your winter hiking packing list a refresh and a few things to keep in mind when packing or hiking to help make your time on trail more enjoyable.
Paradise at Mount Rainier Only Open on Weekends: What to Know and Where to Go Instead
Dec 14, 2022
The road to Paradise at Mount Rainier National park will be closed on weekdays this winter due to staffing shortages. The road will be available for public use only on Saturdays and Sundays for the remainder of the winter season. The sledding area will remain closed all season, even on weekends. The road closure will put some of the park's most popular winter destinations, like Panorama Point, out of reach for many visitors, and might create some additional weekend traffic.
Partnership Brings New Trails to the Teanaway Community Forest
Dec 13, 2022
After a decade of strong collaboration, WTA and our partners are so excited that a trails plan for the Teanaway Community Forest has passed the state’s environmental review. That means, in 2023 WTA will be able to break ground on new trails in the community forest. Find out where we plan to work first.
Hiker Headlines: WTA Winter Safety, Work on Hurricane Hill Lodge, Fun in the Snow
Dec 08, 2022
Join WTA for a talk about winter safety in January. Be prepared for a road closure and heavy traffic in some areas. Washington State Parks wants your input on signage. The Great American Outdoors Act has allocated funding for improvement projects to the Hurricane Ridge day lodge. And, there are some new fun things to do this winter in Washington!