Trails for everyone, forever

Home Get Involved Take Action Improving Access to the Outdoors

Improving Access to the Outdoors

There are many reasons why people can’t get to their favorite trails — or to any trail at all. Some might be more obvious, like degraded forest roads that have become impassable or not having access to a vehicle. Other barriers, like financial means or exposure to the outdoors as a child, are not. Through our long-term planning efforts and support of inclusive policies and programs, WTA’s advocacy work aims to break down barriers, physical and otherwise, that our community faces.

Improving Access to the Outdoors.jpg

There are many reasons why people can’t get to their favorite trails — or to any trail at all. Some might be more obvious, like degraded forest roads that have become impassable or not having access to a vehicle. Other barriers, like financial means or exposure to the outdoors as a child, are not. Through our long-term planning efforts and support of inclusive policies and programs, WTA’s advocacy work aims to break down barriers, physical and otherwise, that our community faces.

We help to improve access through:

    • Creative public transit and transportation solutions.
      We worked with a variety of partners and agencies to promote Trailhead Direct, a Seattle-area bus service providing transit from the city to local trails. 
    • Supporting policy and programs for youth to get outside.
      Every Kid Outdoors at the national level and No Child Left Inside at the state level are two programs that provide ways for more children to have access to the outdoors. 
    • Building and reimagining trail systems.
      We have worked extensively with a diverse coalition to conduct field tours and community surveys about what sustainable recreation on the beloved Mountain Loop Highway can look like in the future. 
    • Advocating for funding and maintenance for roads to trailheads.
      WTA has historically advocated for investment in roads that will preserve and expand recreational opportunities across the state as well as supported national legislation like the Legacy Roads and Trails Program
    • Removing financial and other barriers that have historically prevented people from enjoying the outdoors. 
      We advocated for the creation of the Outdoor Recreation Equity grant program in 2021, which would build capacity in communities across the state to provide recreation opportunities for all their residents.

How you help: