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Advancing Trail Smarts

Supporting trails is not just about the much-needed trail maintenance and additional investment. It’s also about hiker awareness, transportation access, trip-reported conditions and so much more. We need targeted education to improve on-trail experiences and help hikers discover brand-new adventures.

Supporting trails is not just about the much-needed trail maintenance and additional investment. It’s also about hiker awareness, transportation and road access, trip-reported conditions and so much more. Fun fact: our trip reports aren't just a useful tool for planning your next hike; they are critical to land managers as they make decisions and plan for the future needs of hikers.

All of this requires targeted education to improve your on-trail experiences and help you lessen your impact on the places you love. If you haven’t seen our Trail Smarts video series, now's a great time to check it out. These tools provide quick refreshers on some of the most important hiking best practices.

EXPAND YOUR TRAIL SMARTS

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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How to Measure Distance on Trail

Being able to measure distances on trail is a small but handy skill that can help you care for the land you’re traveling on while you hike.

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Tips for Using an Emergency Beacon in the Backcountry

Life is unpredictable and, despite your best preparation for a hike, you may get into trouble. If you do, having a device that can call for rescue may save your life, or the life of someone else.

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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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Hiker Headlines: Lingering Snow, Dog Mountain, Youth Trail Work, Trail Connections

Apr 01, 2021

Even though it’s officially spring, hikers should still plan for winter conditions on trail. Dog Mountain permits are now available online. The priority period for Youth Volunteer Vacation applications is now open. Libraries across the state are lending Discover Passes. In Bellevue, an important trail segment has been completed. And a few other news stories good for a laugh.

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How (and Why) to Know Your Hiking Pace

When planning for a hike or backpacking trip, you likely have an idea of how long you’d like to be out. Maybe you want to squeeze in a morning hike before the afternoon rain rolls in, or maybe you just need to make it to your campsite by sundown. Either way, it’s going to be easier to plan if you know how long it takes you to hike from point A to point B — also known as your hiking pace.

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