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Lost Trails Youth Corps: Tackling Backcountry Trails with Teamwork

Posted by Rachel Wendling at Jun 12, 2019 07:03 AM |

This June, an all-star crew of 10 hardworking teens will embark on a 5-week long trail maintenance and leadership development journey thanks to the continuation of our partnership with the Northwest Youth Corps (NYC).

The Lost Trails Found Youth crew is back in business for another year of tackling hard-to-reach trails in some of our state’s most remote backcountry! This month, an all-star crew of 9 hardworking teens will embark on a 5-week long trail maintenance and leadership development journey thanks to a continued partnership with the Northwest Youth Corps (NYC).

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Who doesn't love a good patch? Photo by Britt Lê.

blazing a trail

This year, the crew will be headed out to a new location along several trails in the Pasayten Wilderness — including the Chewuch, Tungsten Creek, and Cathedral Driveway trails. These routes serve as feeder trails to both the Boundary Trail and the Pacific Northwest Trail (PNT), and are key to providing access and backpacking loop opportunities to this remote area. Our work on the popular feeder trails will also provide a clear and efficient route for our friends at the Pacific Northwest Trail Association (PNTA) to send additional crews into some of the farther reaches of the Boundary.

Fallen trees, deep washouts, and busted bridges can make it dangerous or even impossible for volunteers and stock resupplies to make it to their work site. By focusing our efforts onto these primary access trails, we'll be enabling dozens of volunteers and hundreds more hikers to make it where they want to go. By tackling these trails early in the season, the area will be in better shape to handle all that the busy summer months may throw at it.

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Not a bad backdrop for a day of shoveling rock. Photo by Britt Lê.

The priority areas in our Lost Trails Found campaign are notorious for their remote and rugged nature — making them a challenge to easily access and maintain. With the help of a paid crew, we'll be able to tackle those hard-to-reach areas and give them the time and TLC they need to support Washington's hikers. We can't wait to see the progress our crew makes this year!

Funding for this crew was made possible in part by the Spring Trust for Trails, along with additional funds from our Lost Trails Found campaign. Our friends at the Backcountry Horsemen of Washington will be another huge asset on this project, packing in the crew’s gear and hauling in resupplies throughout their stay.

We’re thrilled to embark on another year of partnership with the Northwest Youth Corps, and to deepen our work in leadership development as well as getting massive work done in one of our signature Lost Trails Found locations.

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A joint effort to clear a rogue boulder from the trail. Photo by Britt Lê.