News for Families
Get the latest advice for hiking with kids, opportunities for getting out with your family, and hear from family experts in the WTA community.
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"C'mon, Let's Do It." — Our Outdoor Mentors: Mothers, Aunties and Grandmothers
May 12, 2023
As Mother’s Day approaches, we asked Washington Trails Association staff how the strong women in their lives — their mothers, aunties, grandmothers — were their outdoor role models and mentors, inspiring and cultivating a love of spending time outside.
Trip Report Roundup: Earth Day 2023
Apr 25, 2023
Earth Day is a day to celebrate the earth, spend time outside and take action to take care of the environment. Here’s what some of our community members got up to this weekend.
Snapshot: Hikers Helping Hikers
Apr 14, 2023
"Where" and "when" are memorable parts of any hike, but "who" and how they made you feel sticks with you forever. Doug Diekema reflects on capturing a touching moment with family while on trail. By Doug Diekema.
Get Ready for Youth Volunteer Vacations This Summer
Mar 29, 2023
This summer, youth ages 14-18 can join us on trail for extended volunteer work parties, either in the backcountry or car-camping trips. Here's what you need to know before applications open up on April 3.
Hiking with Kids: Trip Reporters' Tips, Tricks and Snacks
Aug 08, 2022
We reached out to three regular trip reporters who get out with their kids to hear about why they write trip reports, why they like hiking with kids and, of course, their favorite on-trail snacks and games.
Summer Survival Guide: Hiking with Babies, Kids and Teens
Jun 21, 2022
Motivating reluctant kids, backpacking with a baby or knowing when your teen is ready to hike without you — here are 5 articles to help you get your kids, from babies to teens, out on trail this summer.
Tips for Hiking With Kids, From a Trip Reporter and Mom of Six
Apr 26, 2022
Valene Ramseyer has been a hiker since she was a kid. Now, as the mom of six kids of her own, she likes to get out regularly with her family. We talked to her recently about hiking with her kids, and why she enjoys trip reporting.
Trip Report Roundup: Shifting from Winter to Spring
Apr 19, 2022
As we leave winter behind and continue deeper into spring, we dug into the trail conditions highlighted in recent trip reports.
How Wild Whatcom Brings Mindfulness to Trail Work Parties
Mar 29, 2022
Here are three of our favorite ways that Wild Whatcom makes time for mindfulness with youth.
Beating the Winter Blahs Thanks to WTA’s Gear Libraries
Feb 14, 2022
WTA has been excited to see our partners borrowing snowshoes to get outside with youth. We wanted to know how the trips were going, so we asked three groups to share the highlights of their snowy adventures.
Get Inspired: How Four Hikers Accomplished Their 2021 Hiking Goals
Jan 12, 2022
You've picked your hike, checked the trip reports, and refreshed your trail smarts. But if you need a little more motivation getting out the door, read how these four hikers achieved their hiking goals last year.
Hiking Firsts: Photos and Stories of Hikers Trying New Things
Jan 07, 2022
To celebrate the beginning of a new year, we're sharing some firsts, shared by contributors to our Northwest Exposure Photo Contest.
Celebrating a Successful Return to Youth Volunteer Vacations
Nov 17, 2021
Thanks to a lot of careful planning and hard work, we had a safe and fun summer with teen volunteers — and we got a lot of work done, too! And we're already looking ahead to next year.
Two Programs Emerge to Benefit the Health and Well-Being of Washington's Children and Adults
Aug 25, 2021
Two successes from the 2021 legislative session will help connect the benefits of nature with the people of Washington state: The Parks Rx Pilot Program and Licensing for Outdoor, Nature-Based Child Care.
Q&A: The Value of Trip Reports for Hiking with Kids
Jun 18, 2021
Trip reporter Robert “Ups n Downs” Shirk loves to get out on trail with his kids, and trip reports are a big part of how he researches trails. Ups N Downs is also a prolific trip reporter, and we caught up with him recently to hear more about why trip reports are so important to him for his adventures.
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.
Youth Volunteer Vacations: What You Need to Know for 2021
Mar 16, 2021
At WTA, we know that the disruptions, stress and social isolation of the previous year makes outdoor opportunities for teens more important than ever. WTA is excited to resume our Youth Volunteer Vacation program in 2021, where youth ages 14-18 build trails and community together in beautiful places across Washington state.
Students at Seattle Nativity School Build Connections to Nature and Each Other on Trail
Dec 17, 2020
Seattle Nativity School hosts annual hiking trips with students across every grade, along with a summer backpacking trip for alumni. Two former students, Layla an Christian, reflect on these outdoor experiences and what memories have really stuck with them.
Hiking Every Day for a Month: 2 Young Hike-a-Thoners Tell Their Story
Dec 15, 2020
This year, two young hikers set an ambitious goal. For the month of August, as part of their Hike-a- Thon participation, Lu and Chloe, both 10, set a goal to hike on a trail every day.
Outdoor Ed: Head Outside for Fun and Learning
Oct 07, 2020
What a year. We're planted in front of glowing screens more than ever before, and parents have it especially rough, what with juggling jobs, childcare and trying to manage schooling at home. If you find yourself called upon to be a teacher as well as a parent these days, let WTA help you out.
Finding Balance as A Parent
Aug 11, 2020
"My life at home and work are much different than what I’d planned for 2020 — but I’m finding ways to make peace with that."
Problem-Solving in a Pandemic: Connecting Youth to the Outdoors in the Time of COVID
Aug 13, 2020
Navigating a pandemic has forced all of us to approach work in a new way. If you can do your job online, tech makes it relatively easy, but in-person work is a puzzle: how do you offer quality connections and complete trail projects when physical distance is the number one way to support public health right now?
Inspiration and Advice for Getting Out on Trail with Kids
Jul 31, 2020
Time on trail with kids can create magical memories that last a lifetime. Here are some tips from members of our community on how to get out with your own kids.
Talking About My Generation
Jun 11, 2020
Youth are a powerful force for trails.
Fill in the Blank: Mad Libs for Hikers
May 11, 2020
Whether you're staying inside with pillow-fort tents and microwaved s’mores or driving back from an adventure, bring along one (or all) of these fill-in-the-blank games for guaranteed good times.
The Great Neighborhood Map Challenge
Apr 23, 2020
Think you know your neighborhood? Put your memory to the test with this fun game for the whole family!
Turn Cabin Fever Into Camping Bliss at Home
Apr 21, 2020
Inspiration for turning your living room or backyard into a campground.
WTA Youth Ambassadors: Adaptable and Driven
Apr 13, 2020
It's been an interesting year for our latest cohort of youth ambassadors — but we've been immensely proud of everything these tireless teens have already been able to accomplish for trails.
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.
1 Summer, 300 Miles, 15 Friends
Nov 22, 2019
Annalise had two plans for the summer before her senior year of high school: take the SAT and hike 300 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail.