Huge Badger Mountain Work Party
It was an impressive sight: more than 100 volunteers turning out on a sunny weekend to help a new multi-use trail on Badger Mountain right on the outskirts of Richland, Washington.
When the trail is finished it will be a great place for folks to recreate, with trails for hiking, biking and equestrian. The views from the summit extend in every direction and include the plains of Central Washington, the Columbia and Yakima Rivers, the Tri Cities, Hanford Reach and the White Bluffs, and distant glimpses of Mt. Rainer and Mt. Adams.
Over 100 volunteers worked on two trails - the Skyline Extension and Sagebrush - and completed over a mile of new trail. This leaves about a half mile to still be completed and will result in a great loop hike when combined with the Canyon Trail, which WTA helped to build in 2005, or hikers could do a through hike by combining with the Skyline trail, which we helped to construct in 2006.
To mobilize this large group of volunteers took the efforts of WTA, the Friends of Badger Mountain, Rattlesnake Ridge Riders chapter of the BCH, Chinook Cycling Club and the Kenniwick REI. The turn-out was so impressive that the Tri-City Herald even wrote an article about the work party.
The route had been flagged out by Jim Langdon, trail master for the Friends of Badger Mountain and a WTA assistant crew leader. The volunteers each laid claim to their own piece of shrub steppe and began to shape trail tread out of the hillside. Those lower down and on the north side of the mountain found easy digging in loess soil, while those nearer the summit and on the south side ran into much rockier soils which made for slower going. All the crews worked hard to join their sections to the ones above and below.
By the end of the day Sunday everyone was pretty tired, but happy. We had managed to complete the Sagebrush trail and made a sizable dent on the Skyline extension! A few more work parties will be necessary to carve out the remaining trail and to fine-tune what has already been built. All of the volunteers should be proud of what they accomplished in a weekend and know that their efforts will be greatly appreciated by everyone who loves to hike and ride on Badger Mountain.