Pacific Northwest Trail Association

Mountain Goat in Pasayten
Mountain Goat in Pasayten


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View from the Executive Director

Moving into the future is more than a typical organizational is about the grand potential and inspired new directions for a National Scenic Trail and PNTA.


Coming on as PNTA's part-time executive director is like meetting a seasoned PNT-through hiker with well-earned dust and distance on their boots.  This organization has come a long way from the idea of a continental crossing adventure to Congressional designation as a National Scenic Trail.  I'm new to the PNTA, but I'm well seasoned when it comes to trails and adventures in the northwest and to growing nonprofit organizations.  I've spent over twenty years working with park, recreation and trails in Washington State.  I recognized that as seasoned as PNTA is in developing the trail, partnering with agencies and landowners and how well known is their work with youth programs, there is more room to grow and evolve as an organization.


Outside of a "small circle of friends" and loyal volunteers, we are not widely known to the general hiking public or communities along the trail.  With new community focus group meetings and the outreach of our regional trail coordinators that is changing, but slowly.  Our relatively small membership does afford a small office and a wee bit of resources for outreach, marketing, member and donor development - the backbone of a health nonprofit.  But now is the time to grow forward...a new starting point!


As Doug Walker, our Board of Director's President recently remarked..."We have been 

wildly successful in developing a National Scenic Trail System!  We now must protect 

and maintain this national trail treasure and share it with many others."


As the trail route and connecting segments is well established, the new work is to grow the

organization which can sustain the trail maintenance, train youth and volunteer crews and add to 

our member services which will share and enhance the trail experience across three states.  Our 

organizational values; work, health and wonder direct us to reach out to local communities along

the trail and those far afield from the trail segments. Our strength lies in the inherent beauty and adventure in the trail route.


To grow our organization we will move to work on many fronts; enlarging our public visibility and image, "cross-promoting" with local business and aligned organization and working to add services for out members- events, trainings, and a PNT conference.


Here are some ideas forward:

In this e-new issue we are profiling of two entrepreneurial partners; an outdoor guide book writer;

Craig Romano and the work northwest photographers; Lee Mann and Bryce Mann.  It is through 

our common enthusiasm and sharing of the outdoors that the common appreciation and stewardship 

is magnified.


PNTA will be partnering with conservation organizations to raise awareness and money in support 

of our wild rivers and wildland trail corridors. We are planning a Summer Benefit Concert.


Our Youth Trail Crew Sponsorship Program is raising monies to pay for summer youth crews on the PNT.  Individuals, small businesses and large enterprises are being recruited to support summer paid-trail work,...for a day, a week or all summer.  These scholarships will put youth to work in the outdoors who might otherwise spend the summer idle and without a job.  They will gain trail construction skills, teamwork, gain nature awareness, work with trained youth crew leaders (many of which began their career as trail crews kids) and earn a wage at the same time.


All in all, I'm excited about our solid base, our potential and forthcoming possibilities.  I believe that there is nothing quite as life enhancing, health building and just plain fun as getting out onto the trails...and seeing where that leads.  Protecting, enhancing and enjoying the PNT is good work and we are proud of it.  I'm pleased to be a part of such a dedicated group of trail workers and followers and I plan to give it all my best. 



Stay tuned...and do join in.



Executive Director's Bench

By Steven Starlund
Pacific Northwest Trail backcountry trekkers...Are we spoiled?

During the summer, if I'm not actually hiking or backpacking, I'm getting my gear ready for hiking or camping.  When I'm not doing that, I'm reading about the outdoors or looking at contour maps.  Isn't this true of us addictive trail huggers? This month I picked to read: "Of Men and Mountains"  This book recounts early Cascades backcountry adventures told by William O. Douglas (former Supreme Court Justice and Washington native)'  I find myself romanticizing about those more rustic backpacking days: building your own shelter, foraging for food, and finding your way around the rugged Cascades-without built trails.  I readily identified with that outdoor wilderness wanderlust, with one stark exception: the route to those ridge tops and mountain lakes took a much different path than today.  The trails were very different.

There were no trail signposts, no topo-maps or Garmin coordinates.  Douglas and his buddies followed un-built trails, mostly trampled "deer runs" and hunters' paths, which were just the best brushed out, dirt path to a lake or ridge top,  and not necessarily the easiest route.

In his Douglas journals a hike from Fish Lake to the crest of the Cascades (near Chinook Pass):  "It's an old sheepherders frail...with a grade of 40 degrees.  It rises 1500 feet or more."  He scrambled across scree slopes, under fallen logs and bushwhacked through thick mountain brush. It was tough travel to get into the high country.  In those much earlier years, the trail was as much the adventure as the destination.

Fast forward to a trail experience, last month when I took the ever popular Lake Anne trail just east of Mt. Baker and a spur to the PNT.  The well-heeled trail was finally clear of snow in September, but there were logs and limbs across the trail, erosion and sloughing on  the switchbacks and due to the heavy snow, some nearly lost trail course.  One of our Trail Performance Youth crews had just set up camp at the Mt. Baker ski area and was beginning to work the trail starting from the lake backwards.  The crew leaders were Christian Warman and Cody Trout, who instructed USA Job Corps enrollees for ten days training and work on the trail.  They hiked the four miles in and began some rock tread work the first day.  After a long day restoring trail tread, I met the crew on their return hike out.  They kept up a trail pace that kept me deep breathing to stay ahead with my light day pack.

All of this has caused me to compare my years of travel on well-planned, well-constructed, and well-maintained trails which are a gift of easy access into the high country.  Today, unless you are a trail builder you may take for granted good trail markers and signs, hand-built log bridges, raised "turnpike" construction in those soggy areas, rock step stream crossings and generally doable trail grades.  I, like others, have grown accustomed to the trail standards.  Good trails invite us to go discover the high country, the back lakes and vistas.  Our modern experience is in so many ways better, because of dedicated trail builders, who, year after year keep them cleared, drained and enjoyable.  Thankfully, the craft of trail building, maintaining and trail stewardship is the business of the PNTA.

I realize that I am spoiled by good trails.  Now that I'm working with the PNTA, I,m even more proud of it!  BIG THANKS TO OUR YOUTH TRAIL CREWS AND OTHER PNTA VOLUNTEERS!

lake anne crew
Lake Anne Trail Crew-PNTA Leaders: Cody Trout (2nd from lft), Christian Warman (far rt)

M Weiss Lake Anne photos
Lake Anne Trails Spots
 Photos by Martha Weiss, PNTA Board Advisor

Not A Trail "Digger",  but want to help?

You don't have to be a PNTA member or an expert trail builder to join in the reqard of keeping up our trails and supporting local kids doing the good out door work.  Help us reward the hard work of our youth crews.  See Youth Trail Crew Sponsorship Program on our web-site; or contact Lewis Trout (Regional Trail Coordinator) at 3960-854-9415.


 From the Desk of the Director of Trail Operations


Again, the PNTA has had a great year in regards to the work done by our youth crews and volunteers.  All told to date, over 23,500 hours have been spent laboring on the Pacific Northwest National Scenic Trail and tributary trails; a total of over $512,000.00 in labor costs, at the federal volunteer labor cost of $21.79 per hour.


On the Olympic Peninsula we had a crew at Lake Quinault, partly funded by Title II and partly by the National Forest Foundation; a SKY Crew in Clallam County, funded by Title II and RTP; a SKY Crew in Jefferson County, funded by Title II and RTP; and our Quilcene Ranger Corps, funded by Title II and CMTL Dollars.


In the Cascades we had a SKY Crew, funded by Title II dollars; we've had four Job Corps Crews, funded by CMTL dollars; as well as the great work by the Skagit, Whatcom, Island Trail Maintenance Group along with youth volunteers from the three local high schools.  There was also one Eagle Scout Project that took place on the Trail.


In the Pasayten we had two SKY Performance Crews, funded by CMTL dollars, as well as youth volunteers from the Oroville High School, and many hours from the Okanogan Valley Chapter of the Backcountry Horsemen.


In the Colville we had one SKY Crew, funded by CMTL dollars that spent the entire summer working on the Kettle Crest Trail, as well as the many hours from the Ferry County Chapter of the Backcountry Horsemen.


In the Rocky Mountain area there were many hours spent on the PNNST by the Montana 

Conservation Corps (whose hours I have not yet received) along with work on the Trail by the 

Cabinet, Eureka, and Kalispell Chapters of the Backcountry Horsemen and theTobacco Valley High Country Horsemen.


We offer our sincere thanks and appreciation to all those who got their hands dirty helping us to make the dream become a reality.



Happy Trails,


Jon Knechtel

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Sponsors of the PNTA Youth Performance Trail Crew Program


A big thank you to the following local businesses who have chosen to sponsor a youth crew member. Youth are important to not only our future but the communities that they are a part of and investing in them today brings with it returns for tomorrow.


Handy Mart of Sedro Woolley, WA

Loggers & Contractors Supply, Inc of Sedro Woolley, WA

Skagit River Steel & Recycling of Burlington, WA


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North by Northwest

Pacific Northwest Trail

Craig Romano and Chris Townsend Photo by Ted Evans

Craig Romano is a consummate trail writer and agreed to share a side bar 

for his upcoming book Day Hiking Eastern Washington (with Rich Landers) (Mountaineers Books) due for release in March 2013.


By Craig Romano:


 As fate would have it-we both ended up sharing a campsite together at Big Beaver Pass-me while researching my Backpacking Washington book, Chris while researching his book. 


Back during the backpacking boom of the 1970s, transplanted New Englander Ron Strickland was struck with a novel idea. How about adding another classic long distance hiking trail to our country's trail inventory? One that would accompany and rival the likes of the Appalachian, Pacific Crest, and Colorado Divide Trails. Such began his quest to build the Pacific Northwest Trail (PNT);  1,200 mile path from Cape Alava on the Olympic Peninsula to Montana's Glacier National Park.


Soon forming the Pacific Northwest Trail Association, Strickland and a good number of tireless volunteers set out to promote, construct, and maintain the new trail. Utilizing existing trails along with new tread, the PNT traverses a good chunk of northeastern Washington. And while parts of the trail still exist only on paper (following roadways were no tread yet exists), much of the Pacific Northwest Trail is currently hikeable; and more than a handful of backpackers have already through-hiked it. The trail has been receiving more attention lately as the result of President Obama signing a bill in 2009 designating the Pacific Northwest Trail as our newest national scenic trail-a status that the PCT and AT hold.


There are lots of hikes in this book that you can hike along portions of the Pacific Northwest Trail. They are a diverse lot and offer some of the best hiking in Eastern Washington.  Hike the PNT on the following hikes in this book; 


Similkameen Trail (hike no. 1), Whistler Canyon (hike no. 2), Antoine Trail (hike no. 3), 

Southside Trail (hike no. 4), Clackamas Mountain (hike no. 10), 

Thirteenmile Canyon (Hike no. 17), Thirteenmile Mountain (hike no. 18), 

Eds and Bald Mountains (hike no. 19), Sherman Peak (hike no. 21), 

Columbia (hike no. 22), Copper Butte (hikes no. 27 and 28), 

Ryan's Cabin Loop (hike no. 31), Sentinel Butte (Hike no. 32), 

Abercrombie Mountain (hike no. 45), Crowell Ridge (hike no. 51), 

Gypsy Peak (Hike no. 52),  Shedroof Divide (hike no. 54). 




Craig Romano grew up in rural New Hampshire, where he fell in love with the natural world. He has 

traveled from Alaska to Argentina, Sicily to South Korea, seeking wild and spectacular landscapes. 

He ranks Washington state, among the most beautiful places on the planet, and  has hiked over 

15,000 miles of it from Cape Flattery to Puffer Butte.  He is a columnist for Northwest Runner,Outdoors NW, 

and Seattle Met; and author of nine books, among them Day Hiking Olympic Peninsula, Day Hiking North Cascades, Day Hiking Columbia River Gorge, Backpacking Washington, and Columbia Highlands:

Exploring Washington's Last Frontier, which was recognized in 2010 as a Washington Reads book for its contribution to the state's cultural heritage. When not hiking and writing, he can be found napping with his

wife, Heather, and cats, Giuseppe and Scruffy Gray, at his home in Skagit County. Visit him at and on Facebook

at  "Craig Romano Guidebook Author."


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Something More...


LEE MANN STUDIO                             

Mt. Baker Lee Mann Studio
Mt. Baker Lee Mann Studio


I dropped in to the Lee Mann Studio in Sedro Wooley, just around the block from PNTA office.  This is their print and framing studio, with a fine gallery of outdoor photographs, sized for a room display,poster or postcard prints. I met with Bryce Mann and Tracy.  Lee Mann has since passed away.  In the footsteps and with an equally sensitive eye for the outdoors is the continued work of his son Bryce. Bryce appears every bit as passionate about the details and the broad strokes illumined in the outdoors. His photographs the natural light and these images reveal the landscapes as vivid as we feel them. His work represents days of outdoor exploring and many hours waiting for the good light; the mist in the trees, sunsets, or the perfect autumn hues to appear. 


Bryce grew up spending youthful hours working in his dad's darkroom, burning and dodging the light, until all the flecks and flaws were smoothed out.  These days with digital photography, the manipulation of images can be computer enhanced quite quickly,  Bryce remarked that there are some photographers that appear to digitally copy the same sunet colors into every evening shot.  He talked about how all sunsets have a different pallet and array of color and cloud.  The natural variances are the best.


Please take advantage of their studio gallery if you are in the area.  Check their website for available times:


Bryce has offered a 15% discount for all PNTA card carrying members.  Check it out.  The need for holiday gifts is just around the fall corner.  Thank you Bryce and Tracy!


Note: Lee Mann Studio donated one of their prints to the Washington National Park Fund for use as WashingtonState License Plates. Washingtonians can now sport one of my photographs on their bumper and help a good cause!   Contact: for more information.


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Cascade West Region


The Skagit, Whatcom, and Island county volunteers (SWITMO) have had a busy summer and will continue their busy schedule. There are two more work parties planned this year for the 1st and 3rd Saturdays in October feel free to call to find out more information. 


We finely had the snow melt enough to get to the higher trails for the forest service. Crews started on Hannegan Pass trail in August clearing and fixing the thread. They  moved a little south and worked the Lake Anne trail.  Where there were a lot of rocks to work with and downed trees to remove.  The crew thought the cross cut saw was neat for the first two trees but not so neat after that.  The crew moved back north and worked around Twin Lakes.  They worked on trails leading out from Twin Lakes and the campsites at the trailhead.


A Job Corps crew improved a connecting stock trail on the East end of the Mt. Josephine trail system to the 313 road.  This improved trail is off the end of the road that goes below the lakes and heads east.


One Eagle Scout project was finished in August on Blanchard Mt.  The project was to remove a bridge and install a culvert, fix the thread, and place rocks along the sides of the trail where it had been built up.


We had a volunteer group from a Master Hunter class work on rocking in the trail above the Eagle Scout project in prep for the Job Corps crew's project to fill in the thread.


In the coming months we will be working on the Mt. Muller trail.  We also plan to  visit high schools to discuss volunteer opportunities.  We have also set up a new youth trail crew sponsorship program to allow us to hire more local youth to work on trail projects in our communities and will be working to raise funds this winter for the 2013 trail projects.  The main idea is to have local money for local youth to work on local trails.  The money raised will only be used to cover the youth crews' wages and food costs.


Lewis Trout

Cascade West Regional Coordinator

Office phone 360-854-9415  -- Cell phone 360-333-7767



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Many Steps make a Trail  

Notes from the eastside of the Olympics


A continuous trail corridor through the lowlands takes years to assemble.  The PNT follows Snow Creek drainage Jefferson County SKY and Ranger Corps have maintained these trails and battled the hard roadbed of a Road to Trail Conversion on Sleepy Hollow to create additional trail linking more recreational trails.  Mountain bikers, hikers, and equestrians are all seeing the value to this linkage with Discovery Bay. 


Down by Discovery Bay Jefferson Trails Coalition led a successful fundraising effort this spring for trail design of the Olympic Discovery Route near Highway 101.  When built, those trail users may have direct access to the PNT from the Bay.  Washington Conservation Corps with North Olympic Salmon Coalition reclaimed the mouth of the Bay with tree plantings, native shrubs, and removal of fish toxic waste.  The Jefferson SKY Crew Leader this summer, A.J. Garcia had madethat reclamation effort before starting with the PNTA.  In addition, the Quilcene Ranger Corps' Joe Wilson led his second summer of trail crew work on Sleepy Hollow taking the quality of the work by the youth to a new standard of excellence improving the trail loop potential.


Soon, a Forest Service timber sale will be complete on lower Snow Creek and another PNTA crew will be unleashed between two road segments by the 2851 road: this crew may be a Job Corps group provided by the scheduling of our Trails Director.  Jeff Chapman of the Backcountry Horsemen, and Jeff Selby of the Jefferson Trails Coalition, and Daniel Collins, PNTA Regional Coordinator have evaluated trail segments to link Four Corners through Anderson Lake State Park and southward toward Discovery Bay.


All of these steps, and a steady commitment to the Trail are making this effort a "winner".  

A big thanks goes out to our youth crews for this summers work!



Daniel Collins

Regional Coordinator

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Vets - Chris, Sam, Matt, Kent, and Cherie
Vets - Chris, Sam, Matt, Kent, and Cherie

West End Vets Trail Crew - Make a Difference on the Pacific Ranger District




Sarge's Place is a transitional shelter for men and women who served in our armed forces.  The Shelter supports the Veterans of the West End of Clallam County and extends its doors to Jefferson County to include any wayward 

Vet passing through with vocational rehab, work skills, and employment opportunities to name just a few of their services.  With PNTA assistance, the Vets Crew was formed and is now a full fledged volunteer trail crew maintaining campgrounds, tackling trails on Mt Muller and soon the Bogachiel - PNT, with their front country skills and PNTA tools.


Special thanks go to Molly Erickson, Recreational Manager of the Pacific Ranger District USFS who made the recommendation for a PNTA partnership, Cheri Fleck and Matt Breed Sarge's Place Executive Director and Operations Manager respectively who have led to the success of the group and work alongside their volunteers
Daniel Collins
Regional Coordinator


Volunteer Work Parties


The backbone of trail organizations like ours are the volunteers and members who through their efforts help to maintain what is one of our country's greatest assests, its wilderness trails and parks.  If you want to join a crew or if you, your club/organization or company want to put a crew together lets us know.  You can contact us at (360) 854-9415 or e-mail either Lewis Trout, Trail Crew Coordinator at or Jon Knechtel, Director of Trail Management at  If you want to let other volunteers join your crew we can add it to this list along with your contact information for those interested in volunteering.  


Tips to trail work:

     No matter where you work  wear long pants, long sleeve shirts, have work gloves, and plenty of fluids to drink.  If the crew is a day crew usually you will need to bring a lunch.  It all depends on the crew's organizer as to what you need. 



      Each person working on a crew will have to sign a liability release form.  Parents or guardians of those under 18 must sign for minors.


*******Work Parties*******


Skagit-Whatcom Trail Maintenance Organization

2012 schedule.April through October (First and Third Saturday of each month).  Except for National Trails Day the meeting place is the Cook Road Park-n-Ride, exit 232 from I-5 north of Burlington across from Starbucks.  Meeting time is 8:15 am.  For questions and more information call (360) 424-0407 or e-mail


   October 6th and October 20th


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  Youth Volunteer Vacations 


Pacific Northwest Trail Association's Youth Vacations are opportunities for high school students ages 14-18 to spend a week outdoors building and maintaining hiking trails in a safe, teamwork-oriented environment throughout the state. Learn more about the details and the schedule.


Service Trips for High Schools Students


Are you a high school student age 14 - 18 who loves to be outdoors? Are you eager to experience new challenges, learn new skills and meet new people? Learn all about the world of building and maintaining hiking trails, experienced in a safe, teamwork-oriented environment in various locations across the state. PNTA offers first-time participants front country trips, and more experienced students have the option to join a more remote trip in the backcountry.


Front country Trips:


PNTA Front country trips provide opportunities to experience projects near the ocean and in the mountains. All of our trips provide you with experienced crew leaders, a great project, some camping gear may be available (tents and sleeping pads provided for front country trips) and all of your meals for the week.


Advanced Backcountry Trips:


Those with experience, or Youth Volunteer Vacation experience may be eligible for one of our Advanced Backcountry trips. Participants on these trips will be backpacking in to the work site and will have a chance to advance trail and leadership skills under the supervision of a PNTA crew leader. Approval from a crew leader is necessary.


Youth Vacation Information:

  • You must be 14 -18 years old to join one of our Youth Volunteer Vacations
  • Each person working on a crew will have to sign a liability release form.  Parents or guardians of those under 18 must sign for minors.

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If you have any events you would like to have included or if you want to put together a volunteer work party and would like to have that information included in the newsletter you can contact us at (360) 854--9415 or e-mail us at  
In This Issue
View from the Executive Director
Executive Director's Bench
From the Desk of the Director of Trail Operations
Sponsors of the PNTA Youth Program
North by Northwest
Something More
Cascade West Region
Many Steps make a Trail
West End Vets Trail Crew
Work Parties
Youth Volunteer Vacations
Upcoming Events
Pacific Northwest Trail Guide
Join Today 
Your membership makes 
the PNNST possible. 
It supports  the construction, maintenance, and protection of the trail for current and future generations to enjoy.
To find out more about becoming a member click on the membership link below.


Upcoming Events 

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amz logo link to pathfinder book
Ron Strickland



         Ultimate Hiker's      

           Gear Guide

amz skurka book logo
Andrew Skurka


  Grizzly Bears  


  Razor Clams

Chris Townsend


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Great news up until now it's been difficult to get a hold of a copy of the PNT trail guide. But thanks to one of our followers on Facebook we were given the heads up that you can now get an affordable copy of the guide from:  Google's ebookstore.         
Trail Guide
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Oregon Trail Bullet Co

Pacific Northwest Trail Association
24854 Charles Jones Memorial Circle #4
Sedro Woolley, WA 98273