With the support of hikers like you, Washington Trails Association has done more than ever before!
WTA has succeeded in connecting people with trails, inspiring volunteers and building a community of trail advocates to protect and promote the places we love. Your enthusiasm has lead to a record-breaking year in 2014. We've broken records for trail maintenance (205 trails improved statewide), total volunteers (3,700), youth engagement (23% of all volunteers), trip reports (9,086) and trip reporters (3,321).
All year long, WTA has connected hikers with trails that inspire and motivate and volunteers with projects that are meaningful and much-needed. We've advocated for recreational road access and for funding of Washington's state parks and forests.
We provided tools and training to get new communities out enjoying the backcountry. And improved our communications tools to make it easier for your to share your photos stories from the trail.
In August, Governor Jay Inslee, inspired by his second annual declaration of 'Washington Trails Day' in recognition of WTA's volunteer trail work and education, shared his own trip report with our community.
It's been an excellent year, and WTA couldn't have done it without the support of our members and community.
Please consider becoming a member or making a special donation to help fund more great work in 2015.
Record volunteer turn-out built and improved 205 trails across the state
- WTA completed a record 120,000 hours of volunteer trail work across the state in 2014. All told, 3,550 volunteers contributed $3 million in donated labor to trails close to urban areas, those penetrating deep wilderness and everything in between.
- WTA volunteer crews completed 1,250 days of trail maintenance and construction. That’s like a paid trail crew cramming 4.8 years of full-time work into a single year!
- WTA volunteers stepped up to help Darrington and the surrounding Stillaguamish Valley recover following the Oso landslide. WTA completed nearly 40 percent more trail work in the Darrington Ranger District in 2014, with a special focus on improving the Boulder River Trail and rebuilding the White Chuck Bench Trail.
WTA unveiled new hiking opportunities closer to home. Ribbon-cuttings included the Rock Trail at Larrabee State Park in Bellingham, the Mailbox Peak Trail in North Bend, a new segment of the Evans Creek Preserve trail system in Sammamish, the Volcano View Trail at Mount St. Helens, and the River to Rock Trail at Beacon Rock State Park in the Columbia Gorge.
Introducing kids and teens to the outdoors, stewardship and leadership
- WTA's Outdoor Leadership Training program, which empowers teachers and youth workers with the training and resources they need to lead safe and fun outdoor adventures, helped support than 370 outdoor experiences. The OLT program's gear lending library gained a new home and continues to grow, adding camping and snowshoes gear to its shelves.
- Beside partnering with 60 different school and community groups, WTA also became a founding affiliate of the national Outdoors Empowered Network. Partners included The Student Conservation Association, Whatcom WILD, the Service Board, Explorations Academy, Mercer Island VOICE, Eastside Catholic High School, Coalition for Refugees from Burma and various Boy and Girl Scout troops.
- 20 teens in WTA's first class of graduates from our Youth Ambassador Program reached more than 500 students in 16 schools. The program builds leadership skills and amplifies outdoor stewardship messages. See the photos from the new class' recent 2015 summit weekend.
- This year, WTA connected nearly 10,000 subscribing families to family-friendly hiking information and advice with our Families Go Hiking Newsletter.
- Youth also participated across WTA's programs, from 800 kids and teens working on trail to submitting trip reports and participating in Hike-a-Thon.
Connecting, informing and inspiring an amazing community of hikers
- 3,195 hikers have written more than 8,371 Trip Reports of their hikes this year, sharing hiking conditions, hidden trails and their experiences across the state.
- Washington Trails featured a year long series exploring Washington's wilderness areas in honor of the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act. Plus, WTA's fourth annual Hike-the-State event continued the celebration by bringing 200+ hikers together with regional experts who shared dozens of great wilderness hike suggestions from around the state.
- During August's annual Hike-a-Thon, 223 participants hiked more than 12,500 miles in a mission to protect and give back to trails. Together, they raised $125,000 for trails.
- This year, outlets from Sunset Magazine, The New York Times, and The Washington Post and to our own local Everett Herald, Spokane Review, The Columbian and The Seattle Times directed readers to WTA for information and inspiration about Washington's wild places.
WTA is a strong voice for hikers and a national model
- WTA is a statewide leader on recreational road access. After a decade of speaking out for the Suiattle River Road, a key access road into the heart of Glacier Peak Wilderness, has reopened to hikers.
- Governor Jay Inslee officially proclaimed August 2, 2014 'Washington Trails Day' in recognition of WTA's volunteer trail work and efforts to raise awareness of hiking and public lands in Washington.
- WTA became a member of the Teanaway Community Forest Advisory Committee, a 20-member committee that is helping to develop a management plan for the newly established Teanaway Community Forest in Kittitas County.
Thanks to member support, WTA has achieved more for the hiking community in 2014 than ever before. In fact, we rely on the financial generosity of members like you for over half of our annual funding. Whether you've been a loyal member for years or just joined for the first time, we thank you.