|CHS Trail Maintenance
CHS HomeAll participants are required to do one day of trail maintenance in order to graduate from the course. It’s hard work, but you’ll gain a tremendous sense of pride and accomplishment when you see the trail before and after!
Seattle Hiking Home
Seattle Mountaineers Home
Washington Trails Association: Because they operate the largest volunteer trail maintenance program in the country and host over 700 work parties a year, Washington Trails Association (WTA) offers your most convenient route to fulfilling the trail maintenance requirement. On WTA work parties, safety comes first, then fun, then work. You will be put to work doing jobs you can easily accomplish such as clearing clogged trenches, pruning branches, moving debris off of the trail, etc. Rest breaks are frequent. Work party schedules generally appear four to six weeks in advance. Go to www.wta.org and click Volunteer > Trail Work Parties. Soon after your trip, you'll receive a recap thank you e-mail from the crew leader. Forward that email to Steve Payne as proof of your participation.
Washington CoastSavers Coast Cleanup: If you are able to devote the weekend of April 19-21, Bonnie Brandt is coordinating a work party with the Washington CoastSavers to help clean up a stretch of beach at Hobuck Beach near Neah Bay on the Olympic Peninsula. It’s a four-hour drive/ferry each way, so overnighting is about the only way to do this. There is lodging available in Neah Bay, or you can join us for tent or cabin camping at the Hobuck Beach Resort. Reserve early if you're interested in a cabin, or check with Bonnie to see if one of the other participant's has room available in their cabin. We're limited to 24 participants, and priority signup will be given to reservation holders. Participation in the Saturday work party provides a double benefit--you will fulfill your trail maintenance graduation requirement AND it will count as one of your two required CHS hikes for April!
Other trail maintenance alternatives: We strongly encourage you to participate in one of the WTA work parties or the CoastSavers Coast Cleanup. But there are a number of other organizations that offer trail maintenance events throughout the summer. You can join any of their work parties to fulfill the trail maintenance requirement:
Let Steve know if you decide to join an organization other than WTA for your work party, and be prepared to provide proof of your participation.
- The Mountaineers - www.mountaineers.org
- Pacific Crest Trail Association - www.pcta.org
- Mountains to Sound Greenway - www.mtsgreenway.org
- Volunteers for Outdoor Washington - www.trailvolunteers.org
- Pacific Northwest Trail Association - www.pnt.org
- Issaquah Alps Trails Club - www.issaquahalps.org
- Friends of the Trail - www.friendsofthetrail.org
Even MORE alternatives!: If you've done trail maintenance before and decided it's just not your thing, you may be able to fulfill the requirement with a fundraising activity (WTA Hike-a-Thon, Relay for Life, Beat the Bridge, other charity walk/run/ride, etc.), or other significant volunteer activity. Contact Steve well in advance to make sure your proposed alternative will qualify.
Extra credit/trail karma: Go on LOTS of work parties! After two WTA trips, you'll earn an annual Northwest Forest Pass. After five WTA trips, you'll earn your very own hard hat, complete with your nickname on the side. Write to your Federal and Washington legislators, and tell them about some of the beautiful places we visit. Send pictures! Let them know that funding trail maintenance projects and the National Parks Service, the U.S. Forest Service, and Washington State Parks is important to you.
Questions: If you are interested in finding out more about what to expect on the work parties, go to the WTA FAQs page or their Guide to Trail Work. Check out this excellent Seattle P-I article by former CHS hike leader Karen Sykes about a group of first-time trail workers. Or e-mail your questions to CHS hike leader and WTA assistant crew leader Shep Griswold.