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Upcoming Hiker Events

Posted by Crystal Gartner at May 10, 2021 12:30 PM |
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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.

Connect with WTA

Our website, will remain a place for you to find information about local green spaces, updates on trails and moments of joy and inspiration. We hope you can connect with each other and to us on our social channels. Read past trip reports or share your own with the community.

In Person Events    

Ferry County Rail Trail 9th Annual SKI DAY
Curlew, WA
January 22, 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.
This event offers anyone interested in winter adventure on the trail an opportunity to try out snowshoeing and cross country skiing with free equipment, instruction and refreshments. Everyone is invited to test new activities or practice their winter skills on the north end of Curlew Lake. Wax 'em up and or come hang at the bonfires!  Free. 

Loowit Brewing + WTA
Seattle, WA
January 22, 6 p.m. - 9 p.m.
Along with Vancouver's Loowit Brewing's exceptional beers and some special pairings from talented chefs, they will be raising money and awareness for Washington Trails Association, at Watershed Pub & Kitchen, Northgate's family owned, family friendly pub. Come out and enjoy good food and trail talk!

Family Foresters: A Tree Planting Event for Families
Normandy Park, WA
February 12, 10 a.m. - 1 p.m.
Join the Friends of Normandy Park Foundation, the City of Normandy Park, and families and community members around the region for a family-friendly tree planting event, and learn about the environment! Language interpreters are available. Free. 

Ranger Guided Snowshoe Hike
Leavenworth, WA
Every Saturday in January and February, 1 p.m.-3 p.m. 
Join us at Lake Wenatchee State Park north entrance for a 1.3 mile snowshoe hike through scenery along the Wenatchee River, the shore of Lake Wenatchee, and surrounding forest. Participants can enjoy a well-packed route through parts of our park that are not always accessible in summer. No snowshoes? No problem! Call the park ahead of time to rent a pair. A Sno-Park pass is required to park. Event itself is free.

Snowshoe Stroll at WRI
Leavenworth, WA
Thursdays in January & February, 10 a.m.-12 noon
Join the Wenatchee River Institute for a two-hour snowshoe stroll with our knowledgeable naturalists. Walk with us through Waterfront Park as the land turns white and the temperatures drop. You will learn about the natural and cultural history of Leavenworth with many scenic views along the way. What signs do we see along the trail that tell us what animals were there? How do the plants and animals survive winter? All skill levels are welcome (all walks are beginner level) and snowshoes are provided. Registration is required.

Snowshoe Stroll at the Hatchery
Leavenworth, WA
Fridays in January & February, 1 p.m.-3 p.m.
Saturdays in January & February, 10 a.m.-noon AND 1 p.m.-3 p.m.
Starting from the Leavenworth National Fish Hatchery, join Wenatchee River Institute naturalist guides on a one-mile snowshoe trail along beautiful Icicle Creek. We will learn about native wildlife and ecology along the way. Even if this is your first time on snowshoes, come along and enjoy this fun outdoor winter program! Bring your enthusiasm for the wonders of winter and nature, and make sure to dress in warm layers. All skill levels are welcome with snowshoes, gaiters and poles provided. Registration is required.

Fun with Twigs: Plant ID in the Winter
Leavenworth, WA
February 26, 10 a.m.-12 noon
During the winter months, deciduous woody shrubs and trees without flowers and leaves still hold clues to their identity. Join Washington Native Plant Society members for a stroll along the Wenatchee River to learn some new identification skills. Immerse yourself in twig terminology as you examine leaf scars, bud scales and other anatomical features. Registration is required. Free.

Fun with Twigs: Plant ID in the Winter
Leavenworth, WA
March 2, 10 a.m.-12 noon
Join us for this workshop where we will observe and differentiate maple, dogwood, snowberry, cottonwood, and other woody shrubs and trees. The walk will begin at Wenatchee River Institute for a basic introduction to twig anatomy/terminology and instructions on using a dichotomous key. Registration is required. Free.

Virtual events      

The Fascinating Story of Antoine Etienne
February 2, 7:00 p.m.
In 1860, a Black prospector named Antione Etienne mined for gold in Peshastin Creek and the creek that now bears his name. Reports claim that he found $1,100 worth of gold, which would be worth over $100,000 today. Don Schaechtel, past president of the Washington Native Plant Society, will walk us through the mining history and flora of local gem Etienne Creek and what he's learned about the life of its pioneering namesake. Please register. Free.

Beavers, the Plants They Chew On, and How Historic Trapping Has Skewed Our View of Nature
February 3, 7:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
Jen Vanderhoof will cover some basics about beaver biology and ecology and the array of benefits (ecosystem functions) beaver ponds provide.  She will cover the plants beavers eat and share thoughts on how our idea of “pristine” streams and riparian areas is wrong. This is a Zoom webinar and admission is free.

Introduction to Lichens and Bryophytes of Western Washington
February 8, 7:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
Lichens, rather than single organisms, are a complex community of different organisms all masquerading as one thing. Bryophytes (mosses, liverworts and hornworts) are not your everyday plant. Dr. Fred Rhoades will review the biology, taxonomy, ecology and human importance of lichens and bryophytes and help us to recognize and appreciate their diversity. This is a Zoom webinar and admission is free. 

Revisiting Stratigraphy of the Eocene to Miocene Sedimentary Rocks on the Olympic Peninsula
February 8, 7:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Part of the Olympic National Park's Perspectives Winter Speaker Series hosted by National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS). This research aims to better understand sedimentary basin formation following accretion of a large oceanic plateau (Siletzia) to the Pacific Northwest approximately 50 million years ago. 
Participation is limited to the first 100 registered attendees. Programs will be simultaneously streamed via the NOLS Facebook page for additional participants. Registration for the Zoom meeting is required and free.

An Introduction to Lichens
February 23, 6:30-8:00 p.m.
In this hands-on workshop, you will create your own lichen ID chart using local specimens. You will discover that there are lichens all around you. Winter is a great time to see them too, as wind and snow knock them out of trees and there are fewer leaves to hide them in trees and shrubs. Registration required; pay what you can.

Forest Restoration on Exposed Sediments Along the Elwha River
March 8, 7:00-8:00 p.m.
Part of the Olympic National Park's Perspectives Winter Speaker Series hosted by National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS). The purpose of this study was to investigate lupine’s influence on conifer establishment in newly exposed soils that resulted from the removal of the dams on the Elwha River. Participation is limited to the first 100 registered attendees. Programs will be simultaneously streamed via the NOLS Facebook page for additional participants. Registration for the Zoom meeting is required and free.

KIamath River Restoration
April 12, 7:00-8:00 p.m.
Part of the Olympic National Park's Perspectives Winter Speaker Series hosted by National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS). Learn about how lessons learned from Elwha revegetation and restoration are informing Klamath restoration. Participation is limited to the first 100 registered attendees. Programs will be simultaneously streamed via the NOLS Facebook page for additional participants. Registration for the Zoom meeting is required and free.

Ongoing Activities

Walk With a Doc
Walk With a Doc is a global community where doctors go on short walks with patients and members of the public. Each walk kicks off with a short presentation on a health topic followed by a short walk through a local park. Currently these walks are virtual due to social distancing measures, but will return to in-person meet-ups as soon as it's safe to do so. Walks are held in Everett, Olympia, Yakima, Spokane and St. Helens Oregon. 

Personalized Outfitting with an REI Expert
Get expert advice from the comfort of your home with our virtual outfitters. Video chat with our team to get the next great piece of gear, advice for an upcoming adventure, or explore the possibilities of a new outdoor activity. Book a live appointment today and connect with our team right from your home. Appointments are available 7 days a week from 5:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. PST. Free. 

Self-guided Forest Bathing
The Washington Park Arboretum has several great resources for visitors to practice forest bathing, an approach to mindfully enjoying nature. Learn about the practice, find resources and share your experience with others. 

Volunteer as an Adventure Scientist
Help collect tree samples for a database that will be used to catch illegal timber harvests. Volunteer hikers collect leaves, seeds and wood samples and send them in to be tested, then the timber industry is able to check the wood that comes through their mills against this data to determine if it was harvested from an area where logging is permitted. 

Participate in Bird Counts in Your Backyard or Beyond
Community science programs are central to the efforts of Audubon scientists. You, too, can be a volunteer scientist and help save populations of bird species around the world. Programs in which you can participate include Hummingbirds at Home, Christmas Bird Count, and the Great Backyard Bird Count.

Be a Citizen Archivist for the National Archive 
Add tags to photos from America's Scenic Byways to make this resource more searchable for the public. First you must register, then you can pick the type of archiving you want to do and get started. There are more opportunities here as well, like transcribing historical documents about the first U.S. roads and trails to be built in Alaska. 

Environmental Film Festival
Explore the collection of current and past festival films now available for streaming. The Environmental Film Festival in the Nation’s Capital (DCEFF) is the world’s premier showcase of environmentally themed films.

Patagonia’s new film They/Them is a documentary that follows climber and guide Lor Sabourin into the sandstone canyons of northern Arizona, on a journey to piece together one of the hardest and most inspiring routes of their life. By embracing the strength in vulnerability, Lor has found the space to thrive and build a climbing community that others like themself can call home.

Mapping Seattle's Historic Orchards 
Help identify historic fruit trees in your neighborhood that may be remnants of historic orchards. This project aims to identify and preserve these heirloom varieties still growing in Seattle. 

Living Snow Project
The Living Snow Project mobilizes volunteers to collect and submit samples of pink snow so researchers at Western Washington University can study the microbiome of creatures living in these environments. Anyone in the mountainous US can participate with a simple phone app and a sample kit that can be picked up or mailed to you. 

Story Time at the Miller Library
The Miller Library at UW's Botanic Garden presents monthly stories about gardens, plants and nature. Tune in anytime to watch a virtual reading of a new book each month. 

OTHER Local & Amazing hiking communities

We also keep a list of many other local meet up groups and networks. While you might not be able to connect in person, you might find their online community is someplace you'd like to spend some time.

Explore these accounts and podcasts

  • by land podcast - Hunter and backpacker Emory Wanger began By Land as a way to share his personal journey in the outdoors so others can learn from his time in the field, and to bridge gaps between outdoor communities.
  • Cascade Hiker Project podcast - inspiring you to get out on the trail. Interviews make the show feel like a radio channel dedicated to hikes and backpacks.
  • Dirtbag Diaries podcastClimb. Ski. Hike. Bike. Paddle. Run. Travel. Whatever your passion, we are all dirtbags. Outdoor writer Fitz Cahall and the Duct Tape Then Beer team present stories about the dreamers, athletes and wanderers.
  • For the Wild podcastan anthology of the Anthropocene; focused on land-based protection, co-liberation and intersectional storytelling rooted in a paradigm shift away from human supremacy, endless growth and consumerism.
  • Outdoorsy DivaTraveler, foodie, outdoor lover, & single mom featured in Huffpo Travel, BBC Earth Podcast, and listed as one of the top Black travel bloggers on the planet. 
  • Outside Voices - inspired by one idea: the outdoors belongs to all of us. We all have a relationship to nature, whether through hiking, gardening, sacred ceremony or gathering at the local park. We aim to celebrate and amplify those who don’t always see themselves reflected in the “Great Outdoors” narrative.
  • She Explores podcast - interviews, in-the-field recordings and listener submissions make up a tapestry of episodes covering themes such as solo hiking and camping; entrepreneurship; aging; diversity, equity and inclusion; conservation; motherhood; chronic illness, and feminism as they intersect with outdoor experiences.
  • The Joy Trip Project - James Edward Mills' ongoing search to discover how to lead a harmonious life in balance with the natural world and the rest of humanity. 
  • THE WILD podcast - explores how nature survives and thrives alongside (and often despite) humans. Taking listeners across the Pacific Northwest and around the world, host Chris Morgan explores wildlife and the complex web of ecosystems they inhabit. He also tells the stories of people working in and protecting the wild around us.
  • thewildpod on InstagramGet back to nature with surprising stories of wonder and resilience from the world of wildlife with ecologist @chrismorganwildlife

If you have a suggestion for the Hiker Events Calendar, please email the details and a link to Crystal Gartner at