Trail Advocacy

Advocacy

We consider ourselves to be the primary protectors of the Pacific Northwest Trail and are the leading advocates on behalf of this remarkable National Scenic Trail.

Decades of advocacy by the Pacific Northwest Trail Association earned the Pacific Northwest Trail a place in our National Trails System in 2009, resulting in congressional designation as a National Scenic Trail—the gold standard among long-distance trails in America.

Today, we are working to permanently protect the Pacific Northwest National Scenic Trail corridor and to ensure that the PNT is well maintained and well managed for the enjoyment of all, including generations of long-distance trail enthusiasts yet to come.

Trail Completion

Approximately 300 miles of the current route of the trail corridor is located on motorized routes—gravel forest roads and blacktop highways. Each year, we work shoulder to shoulder with dozens of federal, state, and local governments, as well as people and communities along the length of the trail, to complete the PNT as a continuous non-motorized route. Mile by mile, we’re working with regional partners to relocate sections of the current route of the PNT off of roads and on to new tread.

Equestrian Trails
Removing down trees from trails improves access for equestrians
Crosscut Saw
A PNTA sawyer uses a crosscut saw to clear trails.
The Pacific Northwest Trail climbs into the subalpine zone in the Colville National Forest. Photo by Eric Wollborg.
The Pacific Northwest Trail climbs into the subalpine zone in the Colville National Forest. Photo by Eric Wollborg.
Kettle Crest Trail
Clearing trails of down trees improves access for cyclists
Beaches - Olympic National Park
A combination of sandy and rocky beaches lie along the shores of the Pacific Ocean in Olympic National Park. Photo by Tyler Yates.
Trail Conditions
PNTA - Job Corps crews work to install a stairway
PNTA - Job Corps crews work to install a stairway
A hoary marmot feeds on purple lupine in the Cascade Mountains.
A hoary marmot feeds on purple lupine in the Cascade Mountains.
The Selkirk Mountains may offer a slim chance to spot the Woodland Caribou in the last remaining habitat in the contiguous United States. NPS Photo by Ken Conger is licensed under CC by 2.0.
The Selkirk Mountains may offer a slim chance to spot the Woodland Caribou in the last remaining habitat in the contiguous United States. NPS Photo by Ken Conger is licensed under CC by 2.0.
A harlequin duck in Glacier National Park. NPS Photo by Jacob W. Frank.
A harlequin duck in Glacier National Park. NPS Photo by Jacob W. Frank.
A pine marten along the Pacific Northwest Trail. Photo by Alex Maier.
A pine marten along the Pacific Northwest Trail. Photo by Alex Maier.
A bull moose in Glacier National Park. Photo by Alex Maier.
A bull moose in Glacier National Park. Photo by Alex Maier.
A black bear in Olympic National Park
A black bear in Olympic National Park
Equestrian Trails

With over three quarters of the trails in the Pacific Northwest below US Forest Service standards, a growing maintenance backlog presents a serious test of member-supported trail associations.  

Trail Protection

The Pacific Northwest Trail explores a diversity of ecosystems and distinctly Northwestern communities along its 1,200-mile pathway from the Continental Divide to the Pacific Ocean. We’re working to preserve and protect the quality and variety of experiences that comprise the Crown-to-Coast route of the PNT, including rugged wilderness environments and the working landscapes of the Northwest.

Trail Funding

Building and maintaining trails requires funding. While volunteers play an important role in trail maintenance on the Pacific Northwest Trail, and make significant contributions to the upkeep of thousands of miles of our nation’s beloved trails, the role of our professional trail crews is an essential one. Trained and seasoned crew leaders have the experience to manage local youth, volunteers, and backcountry construction projects safely and to professional standards.

Each year, we meet with Congress to share the economic and social benefits that the Pacific Northwest Trail has had on the communities of the Northwest, and advocate for robust support of federal programs that support our public lands and the future of the Pacific Northwest Trail.  It is not widely known among outdoor enthusiasts that budget-cutting measures from Congress in recent years have left thousands of miles of trails in the Northwest unmaintained. Scarce funding at the US Forest Service and National Park Service has left maintenance backlogs across thousands of miles of trails in our National Forests (which make up over half of the trail corridor of the PNT) and in our National Parks (which comprise about 20% of the PNT).

With over three quarters of the trails in the Pacific Northwest below US Forest Service standards, a growing maintenance backlog presents a serious test of member-supported trail associations.  

As a result, community fundraising projects are an important facet of our work—the users of our trail and the communities along its corridor make important financial contributions to the PNTA. Their private support helps to keep the PNT maintained under circumstances where federal and state funding may be deficient.

Beaches - Olympic National Park
A combination of sandy and rocky beaches lie along the shores of the Pacific Ocean in Olympic National Park. Photo by Tyler Yates.
Andy_Porter_Mt_Shuksan_and_snow
Trail Conditions
The Selkirk Mountains may offer a slim chance to spot the Woodland Caribou in the last remaining habitat in the contiguous United States. NPS Photo by Ken Conger is licensed under CC by 2.0.
The Selkirk Mountains may offer a slim chance to spot the Woodland Caribou in the last remaining habitat in the contiguous United States. NPS Photo by Ken Conger is licensed under CC by 2.0.
A harlequin duck in Glacier National Park. NPS Photo by Jacob W. Frank.
A harlequin duck in Glacier National Park. NPS Photo by Jacob W. Frank.
A bull moose in Glacier National Park. Photo by Alex Maier.
A bull moose in Glacier National Park. Photo by Alex Maier.
PNTA Crews rehabilitate tread using hand tools
PNTA Crews rehabilitate tread using hand tools
A black bear (ursus americanus) with a salmon in Olympic National Park. NPS Photo.
A black bear (ursus americanus) with a salmon in Olympic National Park. NPS Photo.
Proper food storage helps to protect black bears and visitors in Olympic National Park. NPS photo by J Preston.
Proper food storage helps to protect black bears and visitors in Olympic National Park. NPS photo by J Preston.
A waterfall along the PNT in a temperate rainforest. Photo by Michael Sawiel courtesy of Outdoor Project. All rights reserved.
One of many waterfalls along the PNT in the temperate rainforests of Olympic National Park. Photo by Michael Sawiel courtesy of Outdoor Project. All rights reserved.
Coho salmon jumping along the Sol Duc River in Olympic National Park. NPS Photo.
Coho salmon jumping along the Sol Duc River in Olympic National Park. NPS Photo.
A bull Roosevelt Elk in the Hoh Rainforest. NPS photo by Shawn Sheltren.
A bull Roosevelt Elk in the Hoh Rainforest. NPS photo by Shawn Sheltren.
Harbor seals and other marine life in the Puget Sound add to the variety of experiences found on the PNT. Photo by Alex Maier.
Harbor seals and other marine life in the Puget Sound add to the variety of experiences found on the PNT. Photo by Alex Maier.
Beaches - Olympic National Park
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