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#OptOutside and Make the Most of Black Friday

Posted by Erika Haugen-Goodman at Nov 16, 2015 03:20 PM |
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If you plan to #OptOutside on Black Friday this year instead of shopping, we’ve put together a few options for you to make the most of your day on trail.

Update: Both Mount Rainier National Park and Olympic National Park are waiving entrance fees on Black Friday, so take advantage and check out these great parks!

At WTA, we encourage everyone to get outside and enjoy the trails, parks and wild spaces that Washington has to offer every single day of the year, rain or shine. We believe that outdoor recreation not only brings us closer to together, but also provides health benefits and connects us with our planet in a way that few activities can.

In this same spirit, REI's campaign to #OptOutside on Black Friday this year has spurred other major companies like Outdoor Research to shut their doors on one of the biggest shopping days of the season. Rather than shopping, they're encouraging their employees and customers to get outside for the day and recreate.

If you plan to #OptOutside on November 27 this year instead of searching for sales, we’ve put together a few options for you to make the most of your day on trail. Whether you want to give back or go for a hike, we’re sure you’ll have a great time outdoors.

Give back with a day on trail

If you come off of Thanksgiving feeling like doing a bit of good for your fellow hiker, you can join us for a work party! Bring friends and family along and make a fun day out of helping build and maintain trails that all of Washington's hikers can enjoy.

Here are a few work parties you can join us for on November 27, and you can always look for a trail work party that fits your schedule at

Join us as we work to improve sections of the Samish Bay Connector Trail from the Samish Overlook, located on Department of Natural Resources land just outside of Bellingham. This popular hiker only section of trail needs a lot of work making steep and root filled areas easier to navigate on the way to the amazing views atop Oyster Dome.

Oyster Dome by Arlen
Volunteers at Oyster Dome earlier this year. Photo by Arlen Bogaards.

Adjacent to the Issaquah Highlands development is a beautiful forest. Within this forest WTA volunteers have spent portions of the last 10 years helping King County Parks construct a trail that connects from I-90's exit 20 all the way through to Duthie Hill Park. Our newest project is a new loop trail at the very top of Grand Ridge. Come join us for some very fun new trail construction.

Don't let the name fool you this is actually a nice hike in the I-90 corridor with plenty of opportunity for great views. Much of the original Dirty Harry's Peak trail, which is actually an old road, is being decommissioned. We are going to build a new access trail that goes first to Dirty Harry's Balcony and then connects in with the original trail. This project is going to involve a lot of really great rock work, rock walls and rock steps.

This a short and steep trail that leads to some amazing vistas of the Olympics and the Cascades. We'll work on maintenance heading up the trail - focusing on a mix of improving the tread, brushing, and log out to stock width standards. This work party is a great way to burn off that turkey and gravy! Come out and have some fun doing some great trail work.

Go for a hike

If you'd rather hike the trails instead of work on them, you could stroll off your Thanksgiving feast on an urban trail or in one of Washington's 100+ state parks.

Here are a few great trail ideas to think about:

Hike as far as you like on this flat, quiet trail, which guides you along lakes and creeks while offering glimpses of the surrounding mountains through gaps in the forest's thick canopy.

This gentle trail along the Spokane River is the perfect hike for a budding naturalist or nature-seeker. It's only a short drive from Spokane, so it's easily accessible and boasts a good variety of wildlife. If you're craving a longer hike, link it up with some of the longer loops in the state park.

This easy ramble upstream gives hikers plenty to like - a fast-moving river, tall trees, and views of peaks like Granite Mountain and Stegasaurus Butte.

Middle Fork Snoqualmie Photo by Maddy
Great views await you on the Middle Fork! Photo by Maddy.

This loop makes an excellent day trip and an even better overnight at one of the many campsites at Cape Alava, Sand Point, or farther north along the beach at the mouth of the Ozette River.

Cougar Mountain is the largest urban wildland park in the U.S., and this trail is a fantastic way to get outside close to Seattle. The waterfall makes a great destination for a short trip out.

We're looking forward to seeing you out on trail this Black Friday. Remember to leave a trip report if you #OptOutside!


Hurricane Ridge

I went to the Olympic National Park website and it looks like Hurricane Ridge is closed. Have you heard any news? Here's what I saw:

Park Areas Closed Due to Storm (updated Thursday 11/19)
The following areas remain closed due to flooding and storm damage: Hurricane Ridge, Elwha, Sol Duc, North Shore Quinault, and Graves Creek.

Posted by:

MapleLeaf on Nov 20, 2015 02:14 PM

Re: Hurricane Ridge

Hi MapleLeaf - that's the latest news we have at the moment. We recommend checking their site for updates before heading out.

Posted by:

Erika Haugen-Goodman on Nov 20, 2015 02:35 PM

That's my pic of thunder creek!

Thanks for choosing my pic from the bridge over the creek to feature in this blog post. (Maybe credit it next time?)

Posted by: on Nov 28, 2015 05:20 PM

Thank you'

Thanks for crediting my photo of Thunder Creek!

Posted by: on Nov 29, 2015 06:25 PM