You won’t believe the trail event happening this weekend

National-Trails-Day  American-Hiking-Society-Green

This Saturday is the American Hiking Society’s National Trails Day. Noted as the largest annual U.S. trails celebration, National Trails Day is a day for hikers of all ages to head out a explore their local hiking trails and destinations. According to the American Hiking Society website, National Trails Day events will take place in every state, as well as Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico. These events won’t just include hiking too: they include horseback riding, bicycling, birdwatching, and geocaching activities as well. The focus is simply on getting outside and appreciating our natural and outdoor spaces. Here’s a complete list of the events in each state. Here’s some more information:


According to the American Hiking Society website, National Trails Day “evolved during the late ‘80s and ‘90s from a popular ethos among trail advocates, outdoor industry leaders and political bodies who wanted to unlock the vast potential in America’s National Trails System, transforming it from a collection of local paths into a true network of interconnected trails and vested trail organizations. This collective mindset hatched the idea of a singular day where the greater trail community could band together behind the NTD moniker to show their pride and dedication to the National Trails System”. Here’s a neat timeline that shows the establishment of NTD up to its 20th anniversary event in 2012.

I’ve never heard of National Trails Day before now. I really like the celebration focus and appreciate that communities in each state will hold special events honoring the outdoors and protected natural spaces. According to the AHS, there are some 200,000 miles of trails just in the U.S. Respecting and appreciating these foot- and multi-use paths is important to our physical and mental wellbeing and to the health of our communities.

If you like photography and social media, AHS encourages National Trails Day participants to email or upload their photos or post them to Instagram (tagged with @AmericanHiking and #NationalTrailsDay). Participants who post their photos can enter a contest – here’s some more information.

Finally, if you live in the South Sound/Olympic Peninsula area, there are several NTD events going on. Here’s a list of events in Tacoma-Olympia area. On the Olympic Peninsula, there are events in Sequim, Port TownsendQuinault, Shelton, and near Aberdeen. Here’s where you can find a list of all the events in Washington. Lots of great hiking and exploring going on this Saturday!

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From the Trail: Wynoochee Lake Shore Trail – Bring your pith helmet for this one!

This weekend, my family and I checked out Wynoochee Lake Shore Trail in Olympic National Forest. Beginning at Coho campground near Wynoochee Dam, we hiked around the entire lake (~16 miles) and saw Maidenhair Falls on the northern end. It was an interesting, sometimes fun, and sometimes really difficult hike given the poor condition of the trail. In some sections, the bushes were so overgrown that I felt like a jungle explorer (sans pith helmet and machete). Wynoochee Lake Shore Trail is a National Recreation Trail and probably was at one time a really great trail. However, I don’t think it’s received a whole lot of TLC since it was designated an NRT in 1979. All in all a decent hike and a fun experience. Maidenhair Falls were a beautiful find, however, if I ever do this trail again I will ford Wynoochee River just above the lake and save myself the trouble of trekking through the many campsites directly along the river. Check out my photos from the trip below and stay tuned (hopefully) next week for my review.

Wynoochee LS Trailblog image

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Scenic Washington Coast-Area Hikes for M-Day (or Any Day)

Happy Mother’s Day! Take time to enjoy the day and get outside (if that’s what mom wishes, of course). Douglas Scott of GraysHarbor Talk offers some suggestions for great Mom’s Day hikes in Western Washington’s Grays Harbor area. I’ve explored a couple of the areas Scott mentions and each one delivers. The Maple Glade Trail and connector trails offer a beautiful stroll through moss-draped old-growth trees. Kalaloch and Ruby beaches are always fun to explore – and they are some of the few places in Olympic National Park where dogs can visit (on-leash). Not to leave out Oregon residents, I found this article on some of the top 20 hikes in the Beaver State. Either way, you can’t throw a rock in the Pacific Northwest without it landing on a stunning trail or hiking area. Take advantage of it!

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Kestner-Higley Homestead, Kestner Homestead Trail, Quinault Rain Forest Ranger State, Olympic NP