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Profiles, Interviews & Perspectives

"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.

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A WTA Work Party Put a WTA Youth Volunteer on a Path to an Outdoors Career.

May 02, 2023

A WTA work party put a dedicated WTA youth volunteer on a path to a career in the outdoors. By Tiffany Chou

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Honoring a Volunteer for Decades of Dedication to Trails

Apr 17, 2023

WTA thanks Pat Limberg for years of volunteering, both on and off trail, with our white hat award. By Laura Norsen

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How a Professional Guidebook Author Researches Trails

Author Craig Romano has written 25 guide books (and hiked over 2,000 trails in Washington alone). Before he can write a book to help you with your hike planning, he does some researching of his own. By Craig Romano

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Trails Gave Me the Space to Become Myself

Taking a step back can help put things in perspective. One hiker had to let trails go first before she could learn the power they have to transform. By Robin Roff.

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Trekking by Transit: Tips from a WTA trip reporter

Mar 17, 2023

Kim Huntress Inskeep is a Seattle-based writer and transit and active-transportation advocate who writes trip reports under the name TransitTrekker. When we noticed how far afield she had gotten using transit systems, we had to know more about her approach. So we called her up and asked her a few questions.

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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.

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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.

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How to Raise Kids Who Care for Trails

4 tips to help your kids have fun hiking — and share a feeling of stewardship. By Devanee Chapman

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Meet WTA's New CEO: Jaime Loucky

Jan 11, 2023

From growing up in the foot of the North Cascades to taking on the leadership of WTA, learn why Jaime is passionate about WTA's vision and community.

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How to Set a New Year's Hiking Resolution as a Family

We wanted to hike 22 times in 2022. Here's how we made it work with our 9-year-old and 4-year old. By William Garrow.

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Let’s Play: King County Coalition Comes Together to Get Youth Outside

Sep 20, 2022

King County Play Equity Coalition is a network of organizations dedicated to making changes that make it easier for young people in all communities to move their bodies outside — and to get all of the benefits that come with play.

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My Journey to an Outdoor Career

How WTA helped me gain the skills to transition from the classroom to the backcountry. By Iman Chatila

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A Book Made for Disabled Hikers

Syren Nagakyrie hopes their new hiking guide gives many who have felt excluded the information they need to get outside. By Jessi Loerch

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How Libraries are Building a Path to the Outdoors

Aug 29, 2022

The King County Library System (KCLS) aims to support the community in their outdoor endeavors by providing hiking- and outdoor-specific resources for many years.

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Making Strides in Trail Stewardship

Aug 23, 2022

As hiking rises in popularity, we’re constantly looking for innovative solutions to support a growing number of hikers on trail.

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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.

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Community-Based Solutions: Darrington Local Coordinating Mountain Loop Highway Trailhead Ambassador Program

Jul 25, 2022

Talking community and battling doomscrolling with the coordinator of the Mountain Loop Highway's newest trailhead ambassador program.

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How One Forest Service Leader is Inspiring a New Generation

Jun 30, 2022

For over two decades, Aleta Eng has been working to connect people to public lands and inspiring the next generation of U.S. Forest Service leaders. As the partnership specialist for the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, Aleta has been thoughtful, innovative and creative in building a strong youth and community engagement program.

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Using Trails to See the Bigger Picture

Jun 08, 2022

Bri Ross, a member of WTA's Emerging Leaders Program, has long been interested in using recreation ecology to understand the natural world.

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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.

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Family and Community: How Trails Help a WTA Volunteer Build Connections

Mar 22, 2022

WTA volunteer and member, Elizabeth Storm, shares how trail work on the Covel Creek trail connects her to childhood, family and community.

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More Than Just a Cup of Coffee

Getting more people outside, especially those who have been previously shut out from the outdoors, is the goal of Campfire Coffee. Quality coffee is the way to bring people in. | By Charlie Wakenshaw

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Meet Bronka Sundstrom: Mount Rainier Icon

Bronka Sundstrom has traveled countless miles on Washington trails, setting the record for the oldest woman to summit Mount Rainier. At 96, she’s still finding joy on the trails that have been her comfort. | By Jessi Loerch

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Q&A With a GirlTrek Leader: Harriet Tubman, Walking and Community

Mar 04, 2022

On March 10, GirlTrek encourages folks to walk in honor of Harriet Tubman's 200th birthday. We talked with Trina Baker, a leader for GirlTrek and a member of WTA's board, about why this event is so important — and why she's so passionate about the power of walking and community.

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Expert Voices: 3 Ways Time Outside is Good for Your Mental Health

Feb 15, 2022

We talked with three of our partners, all mental health professionals, about the benefits they see when youth and families spend time outside.

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Leaving a Legacy for Trails

Jan 19, 2022

Jake Robinson’s family is honoring his memory and his love for trails by supporting WTA’s work.

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Search and Rescue’s Tips for Wet-Season Hiking

Dec 14, 2021

Here are a few scenarios you might encounter while hiking in the wet months — and how to avoid having to make that 911 call for search and rescue.

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Ask WTA: How do Sleeping Bag Ratings Work?

Nov 11, 2021

Few things are as comforting and important as a good sleeping bag when camping. But how are sleeping bags tested and what do temperature ratings really mean? Luckily Feathered Friends, a top manufacturer of down sleeping bags, is based right here in Washington, and they had some answers for us.

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Preserving Space for the Future at Cashmere Canyons

Oct 20, 2021

Two WTA members have helped create a preserve that allows hikers to explore 12 miles of trail in the Wenatchee Valley.

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