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Lend a hand on National Trails Day

The Bellingham Herald
Volunteers will take part in more than 2,000 events nationwide Saturday during the 21st annual National Trails Day.

Volunteers will take part in more than 2,000 events nationwide Saturday during the 21st annual National Trails Day.


Sponsored by the American Hiking Society, the day is a celebration of the nation’s network of trails that wind through national, state and local parks.


“Twenty years ago, American Hiking built National Trails Day around the idea that for one day each year we should come together outdoors and give back to our favorite trails,” Gregory Miller, American Hiking Society president, said in a statement. “Since then, people from all walks of life have been coming out in increasing numbers on National Trails Day to celebrate our trails and the great outdoors.”


Along with the American Hiking Society, the day is sponsored by The North Face, Merrell, Adventure Medical Kits, Columbia, Gregory Packs and Gerber.


Here in the South Sound, government agencies are joining with trail groups to hold dozens of volunteer work projects.


The state Department of Natural Resources is sponsoring 10 National Trails Day events across the state, including several near the South Sound.


There are projects taking place at Mount Rainier National Park, at parks in Tacoma and Olympia, and places such as Cougar Rock in King County and Olympic National Forest.


Project coordinators, staffers and volunteers will work together to build new trails, as well as perform maintenance on existing trails and structures.


Among the projects in the region is building a new trail at Ape Cave to a Mount St. Helens viewpoint. This project will be from 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m.


This trail, shorter than 1 mile, will be the newest on the Mount St. Helen’s Monument. The project is a joint effort between Washington Trails Association and Mount St. Helens Institute.


Participants can camp overnight at Marble Mountain and continue building on Sunday. There also will be a cookout Saturday afternoon.


Registration is required. Do so by contacting, 360-891-5199




Tiger Mountain State Forest: 9 a.m.-3 p.m., meet at the Tiger Summit Trailhead lower parking area at the summit off State Route 18. Volunteers will help construct a new nonmotorized trail in East Tiger Mountain State Forest. Bring water, snacks, gloves, long pants, lunch and appropriate gear for the weather. The Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance is helping with the work. To register, go to


Capitol State Forest: 9 a.m.-2 p.m., meet at the ‘Y’ on Sherman Valley Road. Volunteers will join with the Friends of Capitol Forest and DNR staffers to replace a section of old wooden puncheons with a number of culverts and improve drainage along the Wedekind Trail. They also will help rehab the trail by removing fallen rocks and debris from the C-Line fire and firefighting operations. Wear sturdy boots or shoes and appropriate gear for the weather. Register by contacting Nick Cronquist at 360-480-2700 or


Mailbox Peak Trail: 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Join DNR and the Mountains to Sound Greenway near North Bend to continue construction of a new hiking trail. Volunteers must wear long pants, sturdy close-toed shoes, sleeved shirts and gloves (provided). In addition, wear warm layers and bring rain gear, and bring snacks, at least one full water bottle and a small day pack for water and extra gear, bug spray and sunscreen. To register and for more information, go to


Nicholson Horse Trails: 8 a.m.-4 p.m., meet at Sahara Creek Campground near Elbe. Work with department staffers and the Pierce County Backcountry Horsemen to do maintenance on the trail. Bring gloves and boots (or sturdy shoes); lunch, snacks and water; and appropriate clothing for the weather. Tools will be provided. The Backcountry Horsemen will provide a late lunch at the end of the day. Coffee and sweets will be provided in the morning starting at 7 a.m. To sign up, contact Nancy Barker at 253-312-4301 or


Mount Tahoma Trails: 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday and June 2, meet at the fire station in Ashford. Join volunteers from Mount Tahoma Trails Association to do trail maintenance projects. Bring gloves and boots (or sturdy shoes); lunch, snacks and water; appropriate clothing for the weather. Tools will be provided. Dinner on Saturday will be provided in Ashford by the Mount Tahoma Trails Association. Contact Barker to sign up.




Metro Parks Tacoma is holding work parties at two locations as part of its National Trails Day celebration.


They will take place from 9 a.m.-noon, one a Titlow Park and the other at Point Defiance Park.


Titlow Park: Meet in the large parking lot next to the pool, 8425 Sixth Ave., Tacoma. Volunteers will help groom trails and restore the park, and then have the opportunity to play and explore.


Point Defiance Park: Volunteers should meet at 9 a.m. at Owen Beach. Volunteers will be doing trail maintenance to increase trail safety and accessibility. The park is at 5400 N. Pearl St., Tacoma.


For details on either project or to register, contact Richard Madison at or 253-202-5978.




The Washington Trails Association is holding a number of National Trails Day work parties and others that coincide with the annual celebration. Among them are:


Mount Rainier National Park: 8:30 a.m. Saturday. While details are being finalized, volunteers will be working in the Ohanapecosh area. Work will be done on a trail in the southeast corner of the park. The association also is holding one of its Volunteer Vacations, from Saturday through June 8. Volunteers will work on the Wonderland Trail at Ipsut Creek. These extended work parties involve an extra fee to cover food and other resources.


South Fork Skokomish: June 1-2, starting at 8:30 a.m. In the southeast corner of the Olympic Peninsula in Olympic National Forest, the Skokomish River often changes course, taking sections of trail with it. Volunteers will work to rebuild and harden portions of the Skokomish River Trail. This is a weekend trip, so volunteers are welcome to join the group for one day or the entire weekend. There will be a shared potluck dinner Saturday night, with the association providing the main course.


Cougar Mountain: 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Saturday. This is an opportunity for youth and families to work on King County Parks Department’s Red Town Trails. Work will be on the reroute of the Coal Creek Falls Trail or to help improve the tread and drainage on the Bagley Seam Trail. Cougar Mountain Regional Wildland Park, bordered by Lake Washington, Bellevue, Issaquah and Renton, is a mix of roads, trails, abandoned Army missile silos, abandoned landfills and plenty of wildlife.


For details on these and other projects, go to




West Fork of the Humptulips Trail: This is the annual “Open Up the West Fork Humptulips Trail” held by the Grays Harbor Chapter of the Back Country Horsemen of Washington. Volunteers will meet at the Gorge Bridge Trailhead in the Olympic National Forest. Information: Send an email to


Ira Spring Trail: 8:15 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Saturday. Volunteers will honor a hero of Washington’s trail system during the annual work party on the Ira Spring Trail, in partnership with Volunteers for Outdoor Washington. Bring leather or other durable gloves, plus snacks, food and water for the day. No pets allowed. There will be a free picnic at the end of the work day, compliments of the Foothills Branch of The Mountaineers. Information: Contact Annik Wolfe at


Sahara Creek Campground: 8:30 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday. Work on the Sahara Creek Campground and the Nicholson Horse Trail System near Elbe with the Pierce County Chapter of Backcountry Horsemen of Washington. Bring work gloves, layered clothing, work boots, loppers or pruning shears if you have them.


Information: or 253-381-2868.


Lake Sylvia State Park: 9 a.m.-noon Saturday. This is the City of Montesano’s annual “get out and show your love of hiking” to get the park’s trails in shape for summer hiking. Information: or 360-249-5424.


Woodland Creek Park work party: 9 a.m.-noon Saturday. Help spread wood chips, pull invasive plants and do basic trail maintenance at the Lacey Park. Sign in at the City of Lacey Parks & Recreation tent near the playground. Information:, 360-491-0857


Priest Point Park: 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday. Olympia Park Stewardship Program is teaming up with Alpine Experience for this project. The work party will help improve trail conditions on the Ellis Cove Trail. Tools, gloves and light refreshments will be provided. Information: 360-753-8365 or

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