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.
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.