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Why Urban Trails?

See why urban trails are a key part of a healthy and sustainable trail system.

Trails in cities and urban centers are a critical piece of our state's trail system. They boast many of the things we look for in the backcountry — fresh air, wildlife and the greenery our Evergreen State is famous for — often with a fraction of the time commitment. Many can be accessed by public transportation or require no transportation at all. And they're great places not only to hike, but to spend time with friends and family, exercise or commute — often on a daily basis.

But there's a problem. Most of our urban green spaces and trails are concentrated in affluent parts of Washington's cities. We believe everyone deserves access to these places to enjoy green space, get exercise or simply connect with other people. The benefits of time in nature are undeniable, and urban trails and parks make it that much easier for more people to access those benefits.

With The Trail Next Door, we're building on the successes of our other campaigns, Lost Trails Found and Trails Rebooted. Together, the three campaigns will help build a healthy, sustainable trail system from neighborhood parks all the way to remote backcountry trails. And just as one trail work project might require a shovel while another needs a crosscut saw, supporting close-in trails will require different tools than caring for remote trails. We are excited to deepen our partnerships in urban spaces over the course of the next year and learn how we can best increase access to urban trails and improve folks' experiences on them.

  See what we're up to next door

Trails: Good for Hikers. Good for Communities. Good for the Economy.

A new scientific study shows that trails give back to the state by boosting the economy and improving people's physical and mental health | By Jessi Loerch

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The Trail Next Door: Because Nature Should Always be in Reach

How WTA is working to ensure that everyone has easy access to trails and green spaces | By Allie Tripp

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We Fix 'Em, You Hike 'Em: 8 Trails WTA Has Already Refreshed in 2020

Jan 21, 2020

WTA's trail maintenance program has been busy this month. We kicked off 2020 by breaking ground on brand new trails and continuing work on dozens of other trails. We even had a ribbon-cutting — broadening a trail network trail that hikers already loved.

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New Year, New State Legislative Session: Our Big Goals for 2020 and How You Can Help

Jan 13, 2020

The 2020 legislative session is now in session. Learn about WTA's budget priorities for the upcoming year.

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Teaching on Trail: Custom Workshops For Educators of Youth

Jan 06, 2020

Through workshops, a free gear library and trip funding, the OLT program provides customized training for educators who want to take youth groups outside.

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I Picked Up 80 Pounds of Trail Trash in a Year. Here's What I Learned

Dec 30, 2019

If you're looking for hiking resolutions for 2020, here's what I learned from a year of collecting 80 lbs of light sabers, orange peels and water bottles.

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