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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

A Crew Leader’s Story of Woodinville’s New Trail Next Door

May 05, 2023

Volunteer Micki Kedzierski shares her account of a new trail that creates easy access to nature for locals in unincorporated King County. The Greenbrier Trail (and the story of its development) are full of surprises.

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Young Trail Crews Lead the Way at Urban Glendale Forest

Apr 28, 2023

WTA youth volunteers and Emerging Leaders Program cohort members join forces to build a community trail. By Allie Tripp

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Hiker Headlines: Olympic Camping Permits & Road Closures, Urban Forest Funding, Wildflowers

Apr 13, 2023

Olympic National Park camping permits for the summer will be available to reserve on April 15. Expect some road closures and a trail closure in the Quinault area. The Forest Service is allocating over $9 million to support urban green spaces in Washington and Oregon. And, wildflowers are here!

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Full Crews, Clear Trails, Can't Lose

Apr 06, 2023

Are you ready for spring? Washington's trails are, thanks to the volunteer crews who've been working all winter to prep them for hikers this season.

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How King County Parks Meets Local Trail Needs

Apr 04, 2023

WTA partners with King County Parks to make local trails more accessible. Check out their ongoing work to meet local residents at the parks they enjoy close to home.

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From Mud to Magnificent: How WTA Helped Transform a Neighborhood Park

Mar 21, 2023

WTA, in partnership with other groups, helps transform the muddy trails in Whipple Creek Park into a neighborhood greenspace fit for year-round use by hikers, bikers, equestrians and more.

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