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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.

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Hiker Headlines: the Great Outdoors, Trail Conditions, Hike the State

Jun 03, 2021

National Trails Day is coming up this Saturday. If you’re heading out for a hike, remember that winter conditions still exist on many trails. June is officially Great Outdoors Month. WTA’s annual Hike the State event is coming up on June 9. And you can now buy a gift card to Washington State Parks.

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Meet WTA's Backcountry Pro Crew

Jun 03, 2021

This summer, WTA is excited to welcome our first professional backcountry crew! The six-person crew will spend the next few months improving trails within three stunning wilderness areas on the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest. They'll be working on hard-to-reach areas that don't see regular maintenance.

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Where the Sidewalk Ends: Finding Gaps in the Trail Network

Jun 02, 2021

Putting a focus on trails and other ways for people to safely move around urban areas can make for a stronger trail system and a healthier community. Having nature nearby is one thing — but getting to it safely is another. A new state effort is working to eliminate gaps that make it hard for walkers, bikers or wheelchair users to get around.

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Passion Projects Bring WTA Volunteers Back to Favorite Trails

Jun 01, 2021

Our volunteers often find themselves replacing worn-out structures, rebuilding tread or even rerouting trails built by WTA crews who came before them. We’re grateful for the volunteers who were part of those original crews and continue to go back, over and over again, to maintain the projects they started.

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Hiker Headlines: Open Passes, Memorial Day, Juneteenth, Trail Closure, Lookout For Rent

May 27, 2021

Chinook and Cayuse Passes are scheduled to open tomorrow. Remember to recreate responsibly this Memorial Day weekend. Juneteenth is the newest fee-free day on Washington recreation lands. The Baker Lake Trail is closed after several cougar encounters in the area. The Steliko lookout near Entiat is now available for rent.

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Q&A: Why Trails are Important to Athletic Brewing

May 26, 2021

As the opportunity to actually get a beer with good friends opens up, we chatted with Mark Koks of Athletic Brewing to learn a bit more about why he loves trails, and how Athletic Brewing is giving back.

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Hiker Headlines: Mental Health, Wildlife Win, Fire Safety, Parking Reservations, Forest Expansion

May 20, 2021

Get some #FreshAir4MentalHealth this Saturday. Wild fishers born in the North Cascades are a landmark in bringing this endangered species back. It’s wildfire awareness month: brush up on campfire safety. Visitors to the Lewis River Recreation Area will need a parking reservation this summer. A new land acquisition nearly doubled the Nisqually Community Forest. Get trail smart with WTA’s new email series.

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A Treasured Moment Together

May 14, 2021

Every year, WTA invites photographers to share their favorite photos for our annual contest. Hiker Giselle Pichardo shared a shot with her family at Ebey's Landing last summer.

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WTA Volunteers Create Easier Access to Green Space in Vancouver

May 13, 2021

As part of our Trails Next Door work, WTA volunteers recently completed work in the Blandford Canyon Greenway. The trail reroute makes it easier to access the green space near Vancouver.

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Hiker Headlines: Trailhead Direct, Federal Funding, Suiattle Road, Forest Fees, Geology

May 13, 2021

Trailhead Direct will return for the 2021 summer season. A federal grant program and a recently introduced bill bode well for large-scale public land funding. The Suiattle River Road will remain closed through the summer. Fee increases have been proposed at Forest Service sites in Central Washington. A new online tool makes learning about Washington’s geology easy and fun.

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Ask WTA: How Do Columnar Basalt and Andesite Form?

May 12, 2021

If you’ve ever seen cliffs made of towering columns, it’s hard to forget that gorgeous, dark rock, fitted together in a near-perfect repeating pattern. It’s mesmerizing and it inevitably raises the question — how on Earth did that happen? The story starts millions of years ago, deep in the Earth. ...

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Spring Trip Reports: Fallen Trees, Creek Crossings and Mud Oh My

May 11, 2021

Spring can be an unpredictable time of year — the weather can change in an instant and winter conditions remain on many trails. You may encounter mud, snow, fallen trees, rushing streams and rivers, and avalanche conditions. Trip reports can help you be prepared.

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5 Things I Learned After a Year Using Car Shares to Hike

May 10, 2021

Today is my one-year anniversary of the first hike I did using a carshare program. Hiking using car-share programs is totally doable, and depending on how often you hike (and other demands you may have to consider), using car shares may even be more cost-effective than owning. Here's what I've learned in a year of hiking sans car.

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Upcoming Hiker Events

May 10, 2021

Hiking can often be a solitary experience, but when you're looking to engage with the outdoor community, there is no shortage of opportunities in Washington.

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Washington Representative Leads Effort to Fund Trails and Roads

May 07, 2021

Washington Rep. Kim Schrier has introduced the Legacy Roads and Trails Act in Congress. The bill would provide critical public funding to help maintain roads and trails on U.S. Forest Service lands in order to protect endangered species and improve water quality on public lands. Rep. Derek Kilmer cosponsored the legislation.

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Hiker Headlines: Highway 20 Open, Big Thanks for GiveBIG, Wildfire Prevention, Trail Updates

May 06, 2021

The North Cascades Highway has reopened for the season. A big thanks to everyone who gave during GiveBIG this week — thank you for supporting trails! With an uptick in wildfires this spring it’s a good time to learn about wildfire safety and prevention. The last major gap in the western section of the Palouse to Cascades Trail has been filled. A parking lot at Deception Pass will be closed until next year.

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Virtual Classroom: Crew Leader College Moves (Partially) Online

May 05, 2021

This weekend marks the beginning of WTA's 2021 Crew Leader College, a chance to help our crew leaders and assistant crew leaders refine their skills. Here's how we're adapting this year to share new learning about trail work, all while keeping everyone safe.

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Why (And How) My Family Makes Time for Hiking Together

May 04, 2021

My family and I love being able to enjoy nature together. But when plans interfere with our daily life, connecting with nature and communicating with each other in a fun way sometimes fall to the wayside. As a WTA youth ambassador, however, I know how important it is to spend time outside.

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Hiker Headlines: City Nature, Trail Wins, CATbus to Dog Mountain, Billy Frank Jr.

Apr 29, 2021

The state legislative session wrapped up with big wins for trails. Hikers have a new transit option to get to Dog Mountain. The worldwide City Nature Challenge kicks off this week. A statue of Billy Frank Jr. will be placed at the National Capitol.

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The 2021 State Legislative Session was Full of Wins for Trails

Apr 28, 2021

From bringing advocates together for our digital Hiker Rally to asking you to help get budgets over the line, we’ve been excited to share the power of advocates during this year's legislative session. This weekend, the state Legislature wrapped up its 2021 session and we're excited to report that outdoor recreation saw wonderful support from lawmakers.

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Ape Cave Near Mount St. Helens to Reopen in May, Reservations Now Required

Apr 27, 2021

The popular Ape Cave Interpretive Site will reopen to the public in mid-May, after being closed since spring 2020. When it re-opens, visitors will need to have a reservation for their visits. Reservations will open on Thursday, April 29.

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