Trail work with WTA - Mt St Helens

I spent today working on the boundary trail as a volunteer with Washington Trails Association. The effort was in conjunction with crews from Mount Saint Helens Institute. Our group widened the boundary trail in a few areas where it had eroded to a narrow line. In some areas, the trail was less than 1 foot wide, we dug it out to around 3 feet.

Wow, that was hard work, and very fulfilling. I really feel like I accomplished something today! And I'm sure I'll have sore muscles to show for it tomorrow. I learned about how trails are built on steep terrain and how to use various trail-building tools. I had fun and met cool people form all over the northwest. I caught some impressive views of the mountain. And I gained a healthy new respect for the work that goes into every trail I hike on. Most importantly, we made the trail safer for other hikers.

WTA Volunteers widen the Boundary Trail

The weather was perfect for a work party, foggy and cold! But it did not rain on us! I forgot to bring a rain coat and was getting pretty worried as we drove up in the rain, and I was awfully cold during our foggy safety presentation in the parking lot. But once we got to work, we were all happy for the cold. It was so foggy we could only see about 20 feet in front of us. At the end of the day, when it had cleared some, it was amazing to look around at all the work our group had completed.

Fog rolling out of the Toutle River valley, this scene was pure white 5 minutes previous

I've been meaning to volunteer for trail work for ages, and today was the first time I could make it fit into my schedule. I've now found out that although many of the WTA work parties are listed as multi-day events, it is possible to just attend one day. With that key bit of info, scheduling becomes much easier! I'll be signing up for more volunteer events regularly!

The timing for this work party was great for me. I'm currently participating in WTA's hike-a-thon fundraiser and with this event I was able to see what goes into the trail work that WTA does. For a complete list of trail work opportunities, check out WTA's volunteer page.

Speaking of hike-a-thon, this counts as a hike! We worked about .75 miles from the Loowit Viewpoint trail head, so round trip it was a 1.5 mile hike. All my hike-a-thon posts are here. My fundraising page is here.

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