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Nature on Trail

Trip Reporters Put the Fun in Fungus

Oct 27, 2021

Mushrooms begin popping up when rain returns to the forest and the variety of colors and shapes can stop hikers in their tracks. Trip reporters have been turning their cameras on these intriguing fungi this fall, giving us all a chance to share in the wonder. Check out some of the fungi found in recent trip reports.

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Why do Leaves Turn Colors in the Fall?

Oct 21, 2021

We know those colors are fun to look at, and make for excellent photos, but it also raises the question of “why?” Why do leaves turn different colors in the fall?

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Hiker Headlines: Gear Libraries, Lyle Cherry Reopening, Wolverines, Community Science

Aug 26, 2021

WTA is excited to open our second gear library in Puget Sound. Lyle Cherry Orchard trails are once again open to hikers. Wildfire season isn't over yet — but we can help you plan around it. Wolverines are making a comeback in the Cascades. And, our local pikas could use your help. Here’s some news you may have missed while out on trail this week.

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Ask WTA: How Do Columnar Basalt and Andesite Form?

May 12, 2021

If you’ve ever seen cliffs made of towering columns, it’s hard to forget that gorgeous, dark rock, fitted together in a near-perfect repeating pattern. It’s mesmerizing and it inevitably raises the question — how on Earth did that happen? The story starts millions of years ago, deep in the Earth. ...

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Ask WTA: How Are Bear Cans Tested?

Feb 17, 2021

If you’ve ever hauled a bear canister along on a backpacking trip, you know they’re sturdy. And, if you’ve ever tried to open one while tired or in the dark, you know they can be tricky to get into. But how do the manufacturers of approved bear canisters actually know that a bear can’t get into them?

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Nature on Trail: Cougar and Licorice Fern

Feb 08, 2021

Washington's wild places are teeming with life. Learn a bit more about two local species, the cougar and licorice fern, and where you can find them.

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See Wildlife on a Hike? Your Observations Help Conservation Researchers

Jan 29, 2021

Spot a bat, Pacific marten or Prairie falcon on your hike? After the ecological damage of recent wildfires, conservation researchers at the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife need your observations from the trail more than ever.

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Hiker Headlines: Artist Point Closing, Fee Free Day, Lahar Monitoring, Tonasket District, Aggressive Owls

Oct 08, 2020

It’s October 8th. State Parks are free this Saturday. Mount Rainier National Park wants your thoughts on changes to volcanic monitoring. The Tonasket Ranger District is now administered by the Colville National Forest. The good kind of forest fires, prescribed burns, are scheduled for the fall. And unseasonably frequent owl attacks have been reported. Here’s some news you might have missed while out on trail this week.”

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Your Daily Dose of Cute Wildlife

Aug 31, 2020

You're welcome.

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Hiker Headlines: Baby Wolverines, Closures, Forestland for the Community, Free State Parks Day

Aug 20, 2020

It's Aug. 20. Scientists in Mount Rainier made an exciting discovery recently. Folks in Kittitas County can help shape the future of nearby forestland. An upcoming closure at Olympic National Park may impact your hiking plans. And on Tuesday, you won't need a Discover Pass to explore state parks. Here's some news you might have missed while out on trails this week.

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Nature on Trail: River Otter and Mountain Bog Gentian

Jul 29, 2020

Washington's wild places are teeming with life. Learn a bit more about two local species, the river otter and mountain bog gentian, and where you can find them.

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Apps WTA is Loving Right Now

Jun 14, 2020

Apps on our phone are not only a way to connect to each other, they’re also a way to connect to nature. Right now, our phones are a lifeline for many to the broader world and the people we love. They can also serve as a bit of necessary rest and a way to connect with the natural world. From flora and fauna to running and, of course, hiking, here are some apps that WTA staff members are loving right now.

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Nature on Trail: Big Sagebrush and Anna's Hummingbird

Jun 09, 2020

Washington's wild places are teeming with life. Learn a bit more about two local species, the big sagebrush and Anna's hummingbird, and where you can find them.

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Hiking With Critters, Large and Small: What You Need to Know

May 12, 2020

Wildlife encounters on trail can be a source of awe or … itching. Here are a few of the wild creatures people routinely ask us about and tips on how to make potential encounters as positive as possible.

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Nature on Trail: Yellow Warbler and Salmonberry

Mar 31, 2020

Washington's wild places are teeming with life. Learn a bit more about two local species, the yellow warbler and salmonberry, and where you can find them.

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Nature on Trail: Roosevelt Elk, Western Redcedar

Jan 24, 2020

Washington's wild places are teeming with life. Learn a bit more about two local species, the Roosevelt Elk and Western Redcedar, and where you can find them.

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Hiker Headlines: Fisher Success, Legislature in Session, St. Helens License Plates

Jan 16, 2020

It's Jan. 16. Eight more fishers were recently released into the wild. The state Legislature is back in session. Monday marks Martin Luther King Jr. Day, which you can celebrate with free access to public lands. And if you'd like a Mount St. Helens license plate, the state wants to know. Here's some news you may have missed while out on trail this week.

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Where the Wild Things Are

How scientists are using motion-activated cameras and other methods to learn more about elusive wildlife | By Keiko Betcher

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The Trees are Talking

How plants communicate and cooperate to survive environmental threats | By Keiko Betcher

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Nature on Trail: Northern Saw-Whet Owl, Lupine

Sep 23, 2019

Washington's wild places are teeming with life. Learn a bit more about two local species, the Northern Saw-Whet Owl and Lupine, and where you can find them.

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One Trip Reporter You Otter Get to Know

Sep 13, 2019

Most trip reporters are humans, but sometimes a clever critter chimes in with valuable insight from their most recent hike. Meet River, who is helping fellow hikers — and sharing a lot of joy.

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Hiker Headlines: Meteor Showers, Parks Funding, North Cascades Grizzlies

Aug 09, 2019

The Perseids return this weekend. King County voters approved their parks funding. Got opinions on grizzlies? North Cascades wants to hear. And there's a new wilderness designation in Colville.

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Hiker Headlines: Fire Smarts, Olympics Goats Relocation, WTA's Hike-a-Thon

Jul 03, 2019

It’s Wednesday, July 3. Be smart about fire safety this weekend. Goats are being relocated again in the Olympics, affecting some popular trails. We launched our annual Hike-a-Thon event. Award shines spotlight on expanding the outdoor narrative.

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Nature on Trail: Moose, Elephant's Head

Jun 20, 2019

Washington's wild places are teeming with life. Learn a bit more about two local species, the moose and elephant's head, and where you can find them.

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Hiker Headlines: Safety Pink, National Parks, Climbing Ranger Gigs and Bats

Apr 25, 2019

It's April 25. Pink is for safety. Spring is for celebrating national parks And bats needs us humans to take care of them. Here’s some hiker news that you may have missed while out on trail this week.

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Hiker Headlines: Park Rx, New Public Lands Holiday, North Cascades Hwy Opens

Apr 18, 2019

It's April 18. The North Cascade Hwy opened today. King County's Trailhead Direct bus hiking service starts up this weekend. And, fresh out of Olympia, our state has a new Public Lands holiday.

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Hiker Headlines: New Wolf Pack, Raise a Toast to Trails, Beware Olympics Road Construction and Cascades Snow

Apr 11, 2019

It's April 11. Washington wolves have moved to the west side of the state. We'd love to raise a toast to trails with you in Ellensburg. It's the beginning of road work season — and it's still snow season in the mountaing.

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Nature on Trail: Avalanche Lily, Pygmy Rabbit

Apr 05, 2019

Washington's wild places are teeming with life. Learn a bit more about two common species, the Yellow Avalanche Lily and Columbia Basin Pygmy Rabbit, and where you can find them.

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Quiz: Are You a Hiker or a Hibernator?

Jan 11, 2019

Are you a dozing bear or a hopping hare?

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How to Photograph Wildlife in Winter

Shorter days and colder weather doesn't mean you need to put the camera away for the winter season.

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