Saturday, Sept. 26, is National Public Lands Day, the nation’s largest, single-day volunteer effort for public lands including parks, trails, and green spaces. Consider giving back by joining a trail work party hosted by Washington Trails Association. No experience necessary.
Here are some trail-work parties on and around National Public Lands Day that could use some extra hands.
Sept. 25 — Wagon Road Trail (Snoqualmie Ranger District). Off Interstate 90 near Snoqualmie Pass. This short trail follows the old covered-wagon trail that crossed Snoqualmie Pass in the late 1800s. Possible work will include general maintenance, as well as starting to replace puncheon and turnpike structures.
Sept. 26 — Mount Townsend Trail (Hood Canal Ranger District). National Public Lands Day. Spectacular views of Puget Sound and Hood Canal can be had at the summit of this trail. WTA will work on improving several switchbacks, clearing the corridor of brush, improving drainage and repairing any damaged tread.
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Sept. 26 — White River Entrance Trails (Mount Rainier National Park). National Public Lands Day. Help restore the Wonderland Trail from Fryingpan Creek to Summerland. Crews will work on steps, water bars and drainage, to stem erosion on this very busy trail. At this point in the season crews are working up the trail about 2.5 miles with a steady and moderate climb to the work site. There is also a work party here on Sept. 27.
Sept. 29 — Future Dirty Harry’s Peak trail (Department of Natural Resources). Don’t let the name fool you; this is actually a nice hike in the I-90 corridor with plenty of opportunity for great views up the South Fork Snoqualmie into the Alpine Lakes Wilderness and west to the Puget Sound lowlands. Much of the original Dirty Harry’s Peak trail, which is actually an old road, is being decommissioned. Works crews will build a new access trail that goes first to Dirty Harry’s Balcony and then connects with the original trail. This project is going to involve a lot of rock work, rock walls and rock steps. Tools of choice will be rock bars, pick mattocks and grip hoists. The hike in to the work site is fairly steep but short.
Register: For a full schedule of work parties and to sign up: www.wta.org/volunteer or call 206-625-1367
Many work parties earn credit toward a free Northwest Forest Pass (just two work parties earns an annual pass), a $30 value. See website for details.
More details: Washington Trails Association hosts more than 750 work parties throughout Washington each year. Volunteers remove downed trees, cut away brush, retread worn stretches of trail, and build turnpikes, bridges and drainage structures. No prior experience is necessary, just a desire to work with other outdoors enthusiasts, to have fun playing in the dirt and to contribute to something that benefits all. Tools, hard hats and training provided. You bring lunch, water and work gloves, and work at your own pace.