Why Urban Trails?
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
We Fix 'Em, You Hike 'Em: 8 Trails WTA Has Already Refreshed in 2020
Jan 21, 2020
WTA's trail maintenance program has been busy this month. We kicked off 2020 by breaking ground on brand new trails and continuing work on dozens of other trails. We even had a ribbon-cutting — broadening a trail network trail that hikers already loved.
New Year, New State Legislative Session: Our Big Goals for 2020 and How You Can Help
Jan 13, 2020
The 2020 legislative session is now in session. Learn about WTA's budget priorities for the upcoming year.
Teaching on Trail: Custom Workshops For Educators of Youth
Jan 06, 2020
Through workshops, a free gear library and trip funding, the OLT program provides customized training for educators who want to take youth groups outside.
I Picked Up 80 Pounds of Trail Trash in a Year. Here's What I Learned
Dec 30, 2019
If you're looking for hiking resolutions for 2020, here's what I learned from a year of collecting 80 lbs of light sabers, orange peels and water bottles.
10 Things WTA is Thankful For
Nov 27, 2019
When Washington spins into winter, the dark days can be challenging to endure. Fewer hours of daylight make it hard to get outside, but we believe it's a good time to reflect on how much we have to be thankful for: pikas, toilets, and a community who cares about each other.
Trail Champions in the House: Meet Five Leading Women in Washington's Legislature
Nov 06, 2019
This fall, we hiked with five Washington state representatives on trails in their home districts. We recently walked and talked outdoor recreation, physical health and economic benefits with Representatives Entenman, Jinkins, Leavitt, Robinson and Ryu.