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Home Our Work The Trail Next Door Why Urban Trails?

Why Urban Trails?

See why urban trails are a key part of a healthy and sustainable trail system.

Trails in cities and urban centers are a critical piece of our state's trail system. They boast many of the things we look for in the backcountry — fresh air, wildlife and the greenery our Evergreen State is famous for — often with a fraction of the time commitment. Many can be accessed by public transportation or require no transportation at all. And they're great places not only to hike, but to spend time with friends and family, exercise or commute — often on a daily basis.

But there's a problem. Most of our urban green spaces and trails are concentrated in affluent parts of Washington's cities. We believe everyone deserves access to these places to enjoy green space, get exercise or simply connect with other people. The benefits of time in nature are undeniable, and urban trails and parks make it that much easier for more people to access those benefits.

With The Trail Next Door, we're building on the successes of our other campaigns, Lost Trails Found and Trails Rebooted. Together, the three campaigns will help build a healthy, sustainable trail system from neighborhood parks all the way to remote backcountry trails. And just as one trail work project might require a shovel while another needs a crosscut saw, supporting close-in trails will require different tools than caring for remote trails. We are excited to deepen our partnerships in urban spaces over the course of the next year and learn how we can best increase access to urban trails and improve folks' experiences on them.

  See what we're up to next door

I'm a Hiker. This is What that Means to Me.

Jun 06, 2022

What does it mean to be a hiker? The question is our own to answer.

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How Kitsap County Volunteers Are Building Up Their Trails

May 17, 2022

Over the last few years, volunteers, including volunteer crew leaders, have accomplished a lot of work to give hikers and other trail users improved opportunities to get outside in Kitsap County. Two of those volunteers, Patrick and Marji Sullivan, have become integral in the Kitsap County trail work community and are helping expand access to public green spaces in the area.

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Progress Report: Glendale Forest, Building a Neighborhood Trail

Apr 04, 2022

Get the latest on this urban park and see how WTA's Emerging Leaders Program, land managers, and local residents are working to see it opened to the public.

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Where We’re Needed Most: How WTA Decides Where We Work

There's a lot to consider when we decide where to work on trail around the state. By Jessi Loerch

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Hiking From Home: Explore your City Surroundings

Feb 28, 2022

A hike doesn’t have to involve a long drive to a trailhead deep in the backcountry. You can get the same physical and mental health benefits by going for a walk right from your front door.

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How we are Creating a Path to Trails for Everyone, Forever

We envision a future where there are Trails for Everyone, Forever and our new strategic plan outlines how we’re going to achieve this vision. By Allie Tripp

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