Trails for everyone, forever

Home News Blog

Signpost Blog

Signpost Blog

"This little newsletter has been an experiment so far, testing a hunch I've had that such a means of communication among walkers is needed." — Signpost magazine, 1966.

______________________________________________________

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.

Read More

Hiker Headlines: Snowpack, Park Directors, Land Swap, Culvert Replacement

Mar 11, 2021

Mountain snowpack may take longer than normal to melt out this summer, and a new tool will help you track it. Two new park directors lay out their plans. The Colville National Forest is considering a land exchange. A culvert replacement project will take place in the Black Diamond Natural Area this summer.

Read More

From Awe to Ah-Hah!: 4 Advocates Realize the Power of Their Voices for Trails

Mar 11, 2021

When did you realize that trails don’t just appear in the woods? Or that your favorite trail probably exists in part thanks to hikers like you? If you haven't had that "ah-hah!" moment yet, it's understandable. The path towards establishing and protecting trails is winding (much like those trails we love so much). But in the same way that you can lay the foundation for memorable summer adventures by tuning into permit season each year in February, hikers like you can help build a lifetime of adventure by consistently participating in advocacy work.

Read More

Volunteer Crew Leaders Step Up to Help WTA and Each Other

Mar 09, 2021

In addition to WTA’s regular seasonal staff, 27 volunteers stepped up to lead trail work parties this past summer — making space for 2,200 more volunteers to engage in trail work.

Read More

Hiker Headlines: Stay Off Muddy Trails, S&R Drill, Free Day, Climbing Closures

Mar 04, 2021

It’s March 4. In Eastern and Central Washington it’s important to stay off of muddy trails during the freeze-thaw cycle. Kittitas County Search and Rescue will be performing a practice drill on Hex Mountain this weekend. Entry to State Parks will be free on March 19. Two climbing areas in North Cascades National Park will be closed to protect peregrine falcon nesting habitat. Here’s some news you may have missed while out on trail this week.

Read More

GAOA Provides Vital Funding for Public Lands

Mar 03, 2021

The Great American Outdoors Act was a huge win for the outdoor community. Here’s some of the ways it will help Washington.

Read More

Change Your Perspective -- Photos Just for the Fun of It

Mar 02, 2021

Can you capture the giddy, silly feeling of hiking in a photograph? From catching a waterfall in the palm of your hand to flying over the Cascades, these photographers put the fun in our photo contest.

Read More

Meeting The Need: Investments on the Mountain Loop Highway

Feb 26, 2021

With more people discovering a love for trails, it's important to ensure the trail system can manage the increased needs. Here's how WTA is working on that goal in one part of Washington.

Read More

Hiker Headlines: Clean Boots, Permits, Interior Secretary, Volunteer Safety

Feb 25, 2021

It’s February 25. Permit applications for many of Washington’s most popular recreation areas are either open now or will be soon. Confirmation hearings for Interior Secretary are ongoing. Learn what hikers can do to stop the spread of invasive species. And, it’s a good time to revisit safety guidelines if you’re thinking of volunteering on trail.

Read More

1 Trail, 2 Decades, 15 Stories

Feb 25, 2021

WTA started as a way for hikers to share their experiences on trails, and those decades of stories (now shared as trip reports on wta.org) compose a collective memory of Washington’s hiking community. We’ve gone back through nearly 1,000 trip reports for Goat Lake along the Mountain Loop Highway to highlight the variety of experiences that this trail has supported over the years.

Read More

Shoring Up the Neighborhood Trails that Provide Everyday Escapes

Feb 24, 2021

WTA is hard at work making sure urban parks all over Washington are getting the love they deserve, including a recent project in Tacoma.

Read More

Hiking Alone in Winter, Finding Peace and Quiet on the Trail

Feb 19, 2021

Even those of us who relish this season can get mired in it, despairing that going outside will never be fun or easy again. In these doldrums of winter, one of the cures for finding joy is, counterintuitively, hiking alone.

Read More

Hiker Headlines: Permit Changes, Snow Closures, Outdoor Jobs

Feb 18, 2021

It’s February 18. Mount Rainier National Park announced changes to their backcountry permitting system. Some popular trailheads are temporarily closed due to heavy snow. Many land managers are hiring for summer seasonal positions. Last weekend’s lowland snow transformed nearby parks into winter wonderlands. Here’s some news you may have missed while out on trail this week.

Read More

Mount Rainier Tries Out New Backcountry Camping Permits Process in 2021

Feb 18, 2021

Here's what you need to know start planning your summer adventures in Mount Rainier National Park and on the Wonderland Trail. The early access lottery starts March 2.

Read More

Ask WTA: How Are Bear Cans Tested?

Feb 17, 2021

If you’ve ever hauled a bear canister along on a backpacking trip, you know they’re sturdy. And, if you’ve ever tried to open one while tired or in the dark, you know they can be tricky to get into. But how do the manufacturers of approved bear canisters actually know that a bear can’t get into them?

Read More

Hiker Headlines: Weather Advisory, Lunar New Year, Backcountry Trips, LWCF

Feb 11, 2021

It’s February 11. This weekend promises to bring extreme winter weather. Lunar New Year is tomorrow. Registration for WTA’s backcountry trips goes live this Saturday. There are new changes to the Land and Water Conservation Fund. We have valentines for that special hiker in your life.

Read More

Nature on Trail: Cougar and Licorice Fern

Feb 08, 2021

Washington's wild places are teeming with life. Learn a bit more about two local species, the cougar and licorice fern, and where you can find them.

Read More

Hiker Headlines: Marmot Meteorologist, Permit Planning, Face Masks, New Statue

Feb 04, 2021

It’s February 4. A groundhog forecasts 6 more weeks of winter. Applications for backcountry permits will open soon with some changes due to the pandemic. The National Park Service announced a mask requirement in buildings, facilities and outside where physical distancing is not possible. A statue of Billy Frank Jr. may replace the current statue that represents Washington State at the National Capitol.

Read More

See Wildlife on a Hike? Your Observations Help Conservation Researchers

Jan 29, 2021

Spot a bat, Pacific marten or Prairie falcon on your hike? After the ecological damage of recent wildfires, conservation researchers at the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife need your observations from the trail more than ever.

Read More

Hiker Headlines: New Sno-Park, Backcountry Trips, Take Action, Climate Plan

Jan 28, 2021

It’s January 28. A new Sno-Park was just announced. Sign up for WTA’s volunteer backcountry trips is almost here, with a few changes. New ways to take action for trails. And, the President lays out a plan for climate and conservation. Here’s some news you may have missed while out on trail this week.

Read More

WTA's Hiking Guide is Coming to Your Neighborhood

Jan 27, 2021

Having trails close to home is an important piece of the puzzle to create an extensive and accessible trail network. That's why we’ve added over 100 local parks and trails to our hiking guide. These descriptions include details like transit directions, park facilities, and parking information.

Read More