There are many miles of trails surrounding the namesake volcano in the center of Mount Rainier National Park, and they constantly need some love. BUT! Don’t you fret, because the Washington Trails Association is out there every weekend this summer leading groups of volunteers on projects that keep those trails as stunning as can be! There is always room on our trails for YOU to come out and help!
The Washington Trails Association is the largest nonprofit, state based organization in the United States, and is doing work right in our backyard. With a core mission looking to preserve, enhance, and promote hiking opportunities in Washington State, the organization has a strong focus towards volunteerism. Beginning in 1966 with a single magazine, WTA is now a large community of hikers, backpackers, and outdoor enthusiasts looking to maintain those beautiful trails and pathways to awe inspiring wilderness for generations to come.
Acting not only as a voice for hikers, the Washington Trails Association also heavily relies on volunteers to continue the legacy that the founders started nearly 50 years ago. In 2010, volunteers donated over 100,000 hours of their own time working on the trails, making this the largest program of its kind in the nation.
Throughout the summer here at Mount Rainier National Park, you may run into volunteer trail crews, sporting their forest green WTA hardhats, working hard to keep the trails that you are hiking on in immaculate condition, but there is always more to be done. The WTA has partnered with Mount Rainier in an effort to maintain and improve sections of our almost 300 miles of trail, and they do this by having volunteer weekends every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday of the summer. Those volunteering are eligible to receive free camping in the park for the duration of their service, if requested at least one week prior to volunteering.
You can help for one, two, or all three days, or for every weekend this summer, and any work done is appreciated by not only the trail crew, but the nearly 2,000,000 visitors Mount Rainier receives every year. For more information on the Washington Trails Association or how to get involved, check out their website at www.wta.org/volunteer .