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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.

EXPAND YOUR TRAIL SMARTS

Sun Protection While Hiking: Sunscreen, UV Protective Clothing & More

Get some tips for staying safe in the sun and make a more informed decision before setting out on your next hike.

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How to Swim Safely in Cold Water Lakes

Washington state is full of beautiful mountain lakes — and many of them are very cold. Here's what you need to know to swim safely — and protect the fragile lake environment.

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Hikers Carrying Dogs: A Gallery of Sweetness and Hilarity

Jun 30, 2021

If you hike with a dog, there are usually a few extra safety considerations you need to take into account before you head out on trail. Not only do you need to keep yourself safe and happy, but you need to keep your pup safe, too. And sometimes ... that means giving them a ride.

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Hiker Headlines: Heat Advisories, Wildfire Risk, Burn Bans, Temporary Trail Closures

Jun 24, 2021

Heat advisories are in effect across Washington state with temperatures expected to reach triple digits in many regions. With the increased temperatures and dry weather, burn bans are in place and wildfire risk is a concern as hikers head into the backcountry. Franklin Falls and Denny Creek trails will be temporarily closed.

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How To Hike in a Burned Forest

Trees are an often-overlooked safety hazard, and the danger of falling trees is magnified while hiking through the site of a past burn. Trees do fall in the woods. And when it happens, you don't want to be standing too close. Here are some tips to help you safely enjoy the unexpected beauty of a burnt area.

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Hiker Headlines: the Great Outdoors, Trail Conditions, Hike the State

Jun 03, 2021

National Trails Day is coming up this Saturday. If you’re heading out for a hike, remember that winter conditions still exist on many trails. June is officially Great Outdoors Month. WTA’s annual Hike the State event is coming up on June 9. And you can now buy a gift card to Washington State Parks.

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