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Advancing Trail Smarts

Supporting trails is not just about the much-needed trail maintenance and additional investment. It’s also about hiker awareness, transportation access, trip-reported conditions and so much more. We need targeted education to improve on-trail experiences and help hikers discover brand-new adventures.

Supporting trails is not just about the much-needed trail maintenance and additional investment. It’s also about hiker awareness, transportation and road access, trip-reported conditions and so much more. Fun fact: our trip reports aren't just a useful tool for planning your next hike; they are critical to land managers as they make decisions and plan for the future needs of hikers.

All of this requires targeted education to improve your on-trail experiences and help you lessen your impact on the places you love. If you haven’t seen our Trail Smarts video series, now's a great time to check it out. These tools provide quick refreshers on some of the most important hiking best practices.


Hiker Headlines: Lingering Snow, Dog Mountain, Youth Trail Work, Trail Connections

Apr 01, 2021

Even though it’s officially spring, hikers should still plan for winter conditions on trail. Dog Mountain permits are now available online. The priority period for Youth Volunteer Vacation applications is now open. Libraries across the state are lending Discover Passes. In Bellevue, an important trail segment has been completed. And a few other news stories good for a laugh.

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How (and Why) to Know Your Hiking Pace

When planning for a hike or backpacking trip, you likely have an idea of how long you’d like to be out. Maybe you want to squeeze in a morning hike before the afternoon rain rolls in, or maybe you just need to make it to your campsite by sundown. Either way, it’s going to be easier to plan if you know how long it takes you to hike from point A to point B — also known as your hiking pace.

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Tips for Staying Hydrated While Hiking in the Winter

In the summer, it’s easier to remember to drink. After all, it’s hot out, the sun is beating down on you, and the trail is dusty. Mentally, we think about drinking more often. In the winter, our brains don’t have to combat the heat, so remembering to drink is important.

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What to Wear on a Winter Hike

Tips for dialing in your layering system and staying warm during your cold weather outdoor adventures.

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Tips for Winter Car Camping

During the winter, spending a night or two outdoors can be a wonderful respite. And thankfully, Washington has options for snow-free car camping all year long.

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How to Find the Right Rain Gear for Year Round Hiking

If you hike in the Pacific Northwest, you’re eventually going to be hiking in the rain. If you’re lucky, it’s just a few drops or a short shower; sometimes, it’s a torrential downpour that lasts for hours or even days. At these times, rain gear of some kind is essential for safety and comfort. It will get you through the rough spots, keeping you dry and warm enough to help avoid hypothermia. But there are so many options for rain gear. How do you choose the best for any particular situation?

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