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Home Our Work The Trail Next Door Pilot Projects

Pilot Projects

Take a look at urban trail pilot projects.


With The Trail Next Door, we're exploring how WTA can best benefit people looking to access urban green spaces and trails; from encouraging people to explore and invest in neighborhood trails to expanding the types of volunteer opportunities we offer.

We are listening to partner organizations and trying out new strategies for improving access and availability of urban trails. Learn more about them below!


Public transportation

There are nearly 200 hike entries for "trails next door" in the WTA Hiking Guide, and throughout 2020 we'll be working to add new trails, improve existing information and add public transit directions when possible to these entries. Many urban parks have large trail systems with multiple routes, and we've heard from partner organizations and city hikers is that it can be hard to figure out the best one to take when exploring a new city park. You can help other nearby hikers by writing a trip report for your next urban hike and tagging #trailnextdoor. 

Volunteer trail work to improve urban trails

Trail volunteer at Schmitz Preserve Park by Britt Le

We're excited to roll up our sleeves and run volunteer work parties in urban parks across the state. Initially, the majority of these will be  concentrated in King and Pierce Counties. We are trying to focus our work on neighborhoods and areas that have less access to green spaces and can serve large populations of people for the greatest impact. In addition, we're also experimenting with shorter half day work parties in select areas of the state that will give new volunteers the opportunity to join us in their neighborhood park without the need for a lengthy time investment. Keep an eye on our volunteer sign up page for an upcoming work party in your area!

see what else we're working on

Hiker Headlines: New Trail Opens, Grizzly Bears, Road Closure and Outdoor Preschools

Oct 03, 2019

It's Thursday, Oct. 3. WTA helped open up a new section of trail at Lake Whatcom Park. The public has a chance to comment on a plan to reintroduce grizzly bears to the North Cascades. Washington state is the first in the U.S. to license outdoor preschools. Washington State Parks has been honored as one of the best. And a new bill in the U.S. House could help get more people outside.

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Throw Wide the Gates: Why Gatekeeping is Harmful to Hikers

Oct 01, 2019

Trails are for everyone, but not everyone feels welcome. Here are tips to be a more inclusive hiker.

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Celebrating Partnership: WTA and King County Parks

Jun 27, 2019

On Monday, WTA staff joined King County Executive Dow Constantine for a hike on the Margaret’s Way trail. The trail is a strong example of what can happen when a government agency like King County Parks teams up with a non-profit organization like WTA.

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Fourth Graders, Fifth Graders and Fun: WTA Youth Ambassador Leads Classroom Hikes

May 23, 2019

The Youth Ambassador Program gives leadership training opportunities to teens, who use their skills to plan trails-related projects in their own communities.

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The Beauty and Power of Urban Forests

Apart from the pleasure of a green view, there are many tangible benefits associated with urban forests, including improved mental and physical health, economic advantages and community health, all of which affect each other | by Keiko Betcher

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2019 Accomplishments: How Hikers Changed Trails for the Better this Year

2019 was a year to celebrate for Washington trails. Hikers all across the state have helped WTA fix trails, advocate for funding and ensure access to the trails we all love. Thank you for helping us build a future where there are trails for everyone, forever.

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