Washington Trails Association believes that outdoor recreation has the power to change lives. By educating, inspiring and engaging hikers we can ensure that the trails we love will be there for miles and years to come.
For 50 years WTA has been working with our members, volunteers and partner organizations to protect trails. As we look the future we are working to ensure equitable assess to trails and an empowered community of hikers working as stewards of the outdoors.
We believe that the unique multifaceted approach of our program work allows us to be the voice for hikers, a resource for those looking to get outside and provide volunteers with hands on stewardship opportunities -- each program building on and supporting the work of the others.
Speaking Out For Trails, Protecting the Backcountry
From early in our history WTA realized that there were many threats facing trails and someone needed to speak up for the places we love.
WTA protects trails through lobbying and grassroots advocacy on issues that impact hikers, like trail funding, limited access and wilderness protection. We work closely with policymakers and land managers to advance hiker's interests in forest planning and new recreation projects.
We also believe that hikers can be part of on-the-ground activism by being good stewards of our special places.
- Get involved in our advocacy join the Trail Action Network.
Getting People Outdoors
Go hiking! The secret to protecting trails and wilderness lies in getting people outside, on the trails, and exploring in the wilderness. WTA helps cultivate a community of hikers through our dynamic website, Washington Trails magazine, events, and our Families and Youth Program.
Plus, once someone is inspired to explore, we work to educate and empower hikers to act as advocates for the trails they love. Practicing Leave No Trace principles and modeling a strong hiker ethic while out on trail are easy ways that hikers can protect trails. For folks looking to do more on-the-ground work WTA has one of the largest volunteer trail maintenance programs in the country.
Maintaining Trails, Building Community
WTA's advocacy voice is strengthened by the year-round work of our volunteers to keep trails open and accessible, from urban areas to remote wilderness and everything in between. More than 3,800 people come out annually to provide the more than 120,000 hours of volunteer trail work. Working with our land management partners WTA is striving to create a safe and sustainable trail system.
Today nearly 25 percent of our trail maintenance volunteers are youth, gaining not only stewardship experience but leadership skills.
Inspiring the Next Generation
While all of our work is important, WTA realizes that in order to make a lasting difference we must instill in the next generation a love of trails and empower them with the tools they need to protect these special places. WTA is committed to developing a new generation of hikers, outdoor leaders and environmental stewards. Part of this work is striving to reduce barriers to hiking trails and public lands. Our Outdoor Leadership Training program empowers teachers and youth leaders with the skills and resources they need to lead safe, fun outdoor experiences.
When you become a member of Washington Trails Association, you are making a great investment in the protection and maintenance of Washington's hiking trails today and for generations to come.
- Your voice heard on issues that matter for trails: funding, maintenance, trail projects, and more.
- Washington Trails magazine: trip reports, backcountry news, hiking advice and special features.
- Discounts at participating retailers.