Stories & News
|Get local news, how-to advice, and feature articles about our trail community, the current hiking season in Washington and issues impacting trails you love.|
Learn more about: WTA member magazine | Signpost blog
Sign up for news, advice and action alerts: Trail News | Families Go Hiking | Trail Action Network
5 Items You Need to Survive ‘The Last of Us’ (Hiking Edition)
Mar 08, 2023
All the info you need to endure and survive a fungal takeover. (Hint: As a hiker, you're most of the way there.)
Dreaming about Camping This Summer? Why (and How) to Start Planning Right Now
Mar 06, 2023
Camping is one of the great joys of a Washington summer — and because of that, it’s also popular. Finding a campsite to reserve can be challenging. You may want to start planning your summer (or spring or fall) now. Here are some tips to get you started. And if your schedule or personality calls for a last-minute approach, we have some ideas for that, too.
Hiker Headlines: Last Call for Hiker Rally Day, Free Day, North Cascades Permits, New Trail Bypass
Mar 02, 2023
It’s your last chance to sign up for Hiker Rally Day! March 9 is Billy Frank Jr.’s birthday, and some areas will have their parking fees waived. The North Cascades early access lottery opens March 6. Some state park campgrounds may be closed due to weather conditions. And a new bypass trail between Ralson and Marengo along the Palouse to Cascades Trail has opened.
How to Embrace a Beginner’s Mindset for New Outdoor Skills
Whether you’re expanding your outdoor skill repertoire, recently moved to Washington, or are new to the outdoors as a whole, these eight tips can help bolster your self-confidence, bring you closer to your companions and create space for maximum fun. By Linnea Johnson
Shared Stories: Show us Your Snowy Adventures
Mar 01, 2023
We put out a call to our Instagram community to hear about your snowy adventures. Our community answered! These stories were featured in the spring edition of our Washington Trails Magazine.
WTA Partner Profile: Y.E.T.I. Gets Kids Outside While Building Community
Feb 28, 2023
Since 2015, WTA has been collaborating with the Youth Experiential Training Institute (Y.E.T.I.), which works to make it easier for young people in South King County to get outdoors. Building community is at the heart of their work. WTA's Outdoor Leadership Training program provides gear and resources for Y.E.T.I.'s outings.Their work fits in well with our vision of Trails for Everyone, Forever, and we're so excited to see the program keep growing.
Dog Mountain Permits for 2023: Get 'Em While You Can
Feb 28, 2023
Permits for Dog Mountain in 2023 will be available soon. In addition to a parking pass, hikers will need a permit if they are visiting Dog Mountain Saturday or Sunday between April 23 - June 12 and on Memorial Day.
Five Reasons to Take a Winter Hike Next Door
Feb 24, 2023
Winter hikes close to home offer new perspectives during the colder months.
Hiker Headlines: WTA in D.C., Dog Mountain Permits, Closures, Freezing Temps
Feb 23, 2023
WTA went to Hike the Hill in Washington, D.C., last week to advocate for our trails! Dog Mountain permits go on sale starting March 1. The Hurricane Ridge Day Lodge is closing some of its visitor services for the season. Heart O’ the Hills campground and trail are closing for construction. Be prepared for water at some campgrounds to be turned off due to freezing temperatures. And expect more snow and freezing temperatures at low elevations across the state.
Five Tips from WTA for Gourmet Meals in the Backcountry
Customize your meals and get more calories-per-ounce with these tips.
Bring These Comforts on Your Next Backcountry Trip
Pack smart for your next backcountry volunteer trip with WTA.
Leaving a Legacy: Trails Give to Me — Here’s How I Want to Give Back
Craig Romano is an avid hiker and runner who has participated in WTA's annual Hike-a-Thon for the last decade. As his physical abilities change with age, his perspective on the outdoors and how the hiking community can preserve it has also shifted. By Craig Romano.
Great Washington State Parks to Visit in Winter
Washington's state park system is one of the largest in the nation, with each park offering something unique and seasonal. Grab your Discover Pass, pack your lunch and check out some of our favorite state parks to visit in winter.
Hike the Hill: WTA Staff Advocate for Trails, Funding and Equity in D.C.
Feb 22, 2023
WTA staff traveled to Washington, D.C. alongside partners to meet with the congressional leaders and leaders of federal land management agencies. We talk about our vision of creating trails for everyone and discussed how to better maintain trails and recreation infrastructure in Washington.
5 Tips for Safe Winter Travel to Trailheads
Feb 17, 2023
Winter is a great time to be a hiker in Washington. With the right tools and knowledge, you can get outside year-round! We chatted with our friends, the Western Washington Honda Dealers, about how to stay safe while traveling to trailheads in winter.
Hiker Headlines: Free Day, Mount Rainier Permits, Great Backyard Bird Count
Feb 16, 2023
Monday is Presidents Day, and parking fees in some areas will be waived. The Mount Rainier National Park early access reservation lottery opens on Feb. 21. Part of the Cowiche Canyon Preserve has been permanently closed. The Great Backyard Bird Count is this weekend. And, be prepared for snow this weekend.
Emerging Leaders 2023 Cohort & Staff
Meet this year's Emerging Leaders Program staff and cohort, an incredible team of individuals who want to form an inclusive community and build leadership skills to support future career interests in natural resource stewardship and outdoor recreation. Throughout the 14-week program, cohort members have opportunities to collaborate with community partners and land management agencies.
Why We Love Winter Trail Work
Feb 15, 2023
Trail work is a year-round endeavor for WTA. Winter lends itself to work on the Trails Next Door campaign, which focuses on trails close to urban communities. Joining a work party isn't just an opportunity to work on trails — it's a chance to build community.
What WTA’s New Leaders See for the Future of Trails
Jaime Loucky took on his role as WTA’s new CEO in December 2022 after serving as interim CEO for several months. Matt Martinez has been WTA’s board president since September, and before that he was on the board for 6 years. We sat down with both of them recently to talk about why they love WTA and what their hopes and dreams are for the future of trails in Washington. By Jessi Loerch.
11 Date Hike Ideas That Are Actually Good
You're planning a date with that special someone, and love is in the air. Or, at least, it could be! Whether you are on your first date or you've already been together for a while, we've got some ideas on where to take your date hiking.
Shared Stories: The Joy of Hiking Mentors
Feb 10, 2023
We asked our community on Instagram to tell us about their hiking mentors. The stories we heard were powerful and sweet. Here are three of those stories.
Hiker Headlines: Enchantments Permit Lottery, Local Trail Trip Report Giveaway, Volcano Week
Feb 09, 2023
Enter our #lovelocaltrails giveaway by filing a trip report on your favorite urban hike before the end of the month. The Enchantments permit lottery opens on February 15. North Cascades National Park wants your comments on a couple of potential park projects. And, it’s Volcano Week!
Patch Your Gear: These Affordable and DIY Repairs Bring Joy to Your Hiking Kit
Feb 08, 2023
In the darkness of winter, a patch is the cheap fix for down jackets and wool sweaters everyone needs to bring light and originality to their hiker-wear wardrobe.
Summer Trail Work: Be Ready for WTA's Backcountry Trips
Feb 02, 2023
Endless rain, snow, and gray days gotcha down? Today you can start dreaming of long days full of light and a little bit of trail work, because WTA's backcountry trip schedule is ready to preview!
Hiker Headlines: WTA Backcountry Preview, Hiker Rally Day, 6 More Weeks of Winter
Feb 02, 2023
Keep an eye out for a preview of WTA’s volunteer backcountry trip season. Join WTA for Hiker Rally Day on March 14 to advocate for trails. Part of the Cape Horn trail will be closed through July 15. Legislation to support wildfire prevention efforts and reduce the negative effects of wildfires has been introduced. And, the groundhog predicted 6 more weeks of winter this year.
21 Places To Take Your Kids This Winter
In the winter, getting out with kids can feel like a lot — but it's worth it, even if you barely make it out of the parking lot. Here are 21 winter hikes to try when you want to keep it chill. Some are short and sweet, and some can be extended if you discover your kid has energy to spare.
Hiker Headlines: New Partnership, New Funding, New Names
Jan 26, 2023
WTA has announced a new partnership with the Western Washington Honda Dealers! Washington’s National Park Fund awarded $1.1 million to our three national parks this week. King County Parks is moving on to the next phase of development of the Foothills Trail between Enumclaw and Puyallup. Four name change proposals for features containing derogatory terms have been approved by the Committee of Geographic Names. And, be prepared for snow at higher elevations this weekend.
Caring for Trails: 3 Advocates Offer Inspiration for How to Make a Difference
Trails need advocates if they will withstand the test of time. What does it take to build a better future for our trail systems, and how do you become an advocate? We sat down with three people who consider themselves advocates, and this is what we heard. By Cassidy Giampetro
Improvements on Their Way to Trails and Lands Near You
Jan 23, 2023
During the 2022 state legislative session, WTA rallied our partners and hiking community to make an ambitious ask. It paid off when lawmakers agreed to provide $5 million annually to each of Washington’s three largest land management agencies. This funding is already helping the agencies clear trails, improve parking lots, repair roads, removing hazard trees, install water sources and more.
Winter Photographer: How to Adjust What You Pack
Photography equipment can be fragile and expensive. Planning for a shoot during the winter months takes careful preparation. By Zyanya Alvarez