Washington Trails Association 


Washington Trails Association preserves, enhances, and promotes hiking opportunities in Washington state. We engage and mobilize a community of hikers as advocates and stewards for our trails statewide. We draw strength from the dedication and generosity of our members, volunteers, and partners. WTA is committed to leaving a rich legacy of trails and wild lands for future generations to enjoy.
Mission Statement
Washington Trails Association is a volunteer-driven nonprofit membership organization working to preserve, enhance, and promote hiking opportunities in Washington state through collaboration, education, advocacy and trail maintenance.
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Washington Trails Association
705 2nd Ave Ste 300 
(206) 625-1367 

Karen Daubert 
Executive Director 


Washington Trails Association Programs

Trails provide us with a link to the natural world, whether they’re in our backyard or in the wilderness. Yet without regular maintenance and repair, there’s no guarantee that our trails will be there for future generations to explore.

Following a simple formula of "be safe, have fun, and get good work done," WTA has built one of the nation's most successful volunteer trail maintenance programs. Since 1993, WTA trail maintenance volunteers have contributed over one million hours and $20 million in donated labor to parks and forests in Washington. Volunteers contribute more than 120,000 hours annually to keep trails open to the public and safe for the environment. 25% of WTA’s volunteers are youth and teens.

WTA speaks up for hikers to ensure that our wild places - and the trails that take us there - will be protected for future generations. Through collaborative partnerships, lobbying, and grassroots advocacy, WTA focuses on state and federal issues like trail funding, hiker safety, and wilderness protection. When the state legislature is looking for a way to keep our state recreation lands open in the face of a budget crisis, WTA is there.

WTA's programs are based on the proven idea that getting people outside and exploring trails can inspire them to become environmental stewards. As the state's leading hiking resource, WTA serves 3.3 million people annually through a website (, our bi-monthly Washington Trails magazine, and community events across the state.

Recent Successes and Current Challenges

Recent Success
Washington Trails Association is experiencing the strongest volunteer response we’ve ever seen since our trail maintenance program began in 1993. People of all ages want to give back to Washington’s wild places. In 2014, WTA's 3,550 adult and youth volunteers completed more than 120,000 hours of service on 205 trails statewide.

WTA is also expanding our commitment to engaging youth. The future of our trails and wild places depends on developing the next generation of hikers, stewards, and outdoor leaders today. Through initiatives such as our new Outdoor Leadership Training program, gear lending library and Youth Ambassador program, WTA is introducing more youth to hiking and trail stewardship, with a focus on breaking down barriers for those who would otherwise not have opportunities to explore the outdoors.

WTA fights to preserve access to public lands in the face of massive state budget deficits. For example WTA worked with Olympia's decision-makers and advocates to ensure State Parks received $20 million in general funding for the 2014-2015 biennium.

Current Needs
There is a growing need for volunteer stewardship of our public lands. Contributions to WTA support our proven ability to leverage public and private resources with volunteer service – and provide one of the most cost-effective ways to protect and maintain trails, today and for future generations.


Washington Trails Association (WTA) takes volunteers out to maintain hiking trails and promotes hiking as a healthy, fun way to explore the outdoors.

In 2011 WTA hired Karen Daubert as their new Executive Director. Karen was the founding director of the Seattle Parks Foundation and brings 15 years of experience in trail and open space policy, advocacy and funding.

Proven Success
WTA strongly believes that getting people outside and exploring trails can be the first step in getting them involved as environmental stewards. They have specific programs that reach out to young people knowing that if young people hike and serve today they will become the conservationists of tomorrow. In 2010 they had 105,000 volunteer hours statewide, an increase of 12% over the previous year.

Financial Health
WTA is a favorable option for government maintenance trail contracts; they have renewed government contracts and expect this to continue in the foreseeable future. Individual donations are still WTA’s largest source of revenue with 9,500 members giving annually. They have operated with a conservative budget, increased membership and used budget surplus to build their operating reserves.

Individual visits to the WTA website have increased by 46%. They have made upgrades to their site and are exploring ways to utilize more social media tools in order to improve user experience as well as increase their web presence in general.

Grant History with The Seattle Foundation:

Grants Awarded through The Seattle Foundation Grantmaking Program:

3/10/2012 $10,000.00support general operating expenses.
3/10/2011 $10,000.00support general operating expenses.
3/10/2010 $25,000.00support general operating expenses.
12/10/2007 $15,000.00support general operating expenses.


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