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Take This Quick Survey to Shape The Future of Trails

Posted by cgiampetro at Nov 03, 2021 06:31 PM |

Important planning for outdoor recreation is happening at the statewide level and you can help!

We think Washington is unrivaled among states when it comes to places to get outside. You don’t have to look beyond the borders of the Evergreen state to find hilly desert, rocky coastline, biodiverse inlets, alpine meadows, vast glaciers, and even multiple volcanoes. With three national parks, over 140 state parks and 31 wilderness areas, it is no surprise that keeping our lands accessible and protected is a mighty job. The Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office (RCO) supports that effort and they are hoping to hear from people like you about your experiences on public lands across our state through a survey they’re sharing from now until Nov. 14.


The RCO is a state agency that manages grant programs to create outdoor recreation opportunities, protect habitat and support salmon recovery. Since the agency began in 1964, it has awarded more than $2.6 billion in grants to more than 10,000 projects.

WTA and RCO work together often. WTA has received multiple grants by RCO over the years, namely from the Recreational Trails Programs. We also work with RCO on recreation policy and planning. In 2019, we worked with them on a study that showcased the economic and health benefits of walking, hiking and bicycling on recreational trails in our state. And we’re a member of the Statewide Trails Plan Committee, which will use the information gathered in the survey to help shape the future of outdoor recreation in the state.

Hikers trek up the Loowit Falls Trail with dramatic mountain in the background and fog rolling in.Recreational Trails Program funding allowed WTA to work on the Loowit Falls Trail so hikers like those in the photo would enjoy such beautiful views. Photo by Kirt Lenard.


RCO is beginning to update two plans that help shape the future for outdoor recreation, including trails, as well as conservation work in the state:

  • The first plan, the Washington State Recreation and Conservation Plan, sets priorities for funding outdoor recreation and public lands conservation. It aims to address the needs of all Washington residents. The plan also includes a roadmap to implement that vision.
  • The second plan, the Statewide Trails Plan, addresses the needs of trail users, land managers and communities while outlining strategies to fund trail development and maintenance across the state.

Together, these plans allow the RCO to receive federal and state funding. The plans provide a system to allocating that funding in Washington, too. Therefore, it’s important they reflect the needs of the hiking community!

WTA uses both of these reports to better understand what people in Washington want when it comes to outdoor recreation. This input from the recreation and hiking community helps us direct our advocacy efforts.


RCO is asking Washingtonians: How do you recreate? Share your experience as someone who loves the outdoors by taking this 7-minute survey. Your input is crucial to guiding the future for outdoor recreation in our state.

We know that recreating on public lands has the power to bring people together, restore our hearts and minds, and keep our bodies healthy. As a hiker, your voice will help build positive and plentiful outdoor opportunities.

This survey is an easy way to show up for the hiking community. Help shape the future of Washington’s outdoors by answering the survey before Nov. 14.