Trail Work

Building and Maintaining the Pacific Northwest National Scenic Trail
PNTA Sawyer Crew

Along the 1,200 mile Pacific Northwest Trail, the PNTA engages a wide variety of organizations and individuals in the construction, maintenance, and protection of the National Scenic Trail corridor. After successfully advocating for congressional designation for the PNT in 2009, our work to fully protect the trail continues.

Trail maintenance and construction on this mountainous northern route also offers unique challenges. Due to its remote location and east-west orientation, most of trail corridor remains snowbound until summer, leaving a challengingly, short season to work with, typically, just eight weeks long.

Experience the PNT Event
Local youth were introduced to trail skills at our Experience the PNT Event in 2015
Hikers in the Mt Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest beneath Mount Shuksan. Photo by Alex Maier.
Hikers in the Mt Baker-Snoqualmie NF beneath Mount Shuksan. Photo by Alex Maier.
2016 Job Corps students repaired puncheon bridges under Cody Pohren
2016 Job Corps students repaired puncheon bridges under Cody Pohren
Tryg Culp
Tryg Culp, Eastern Washington Regional Coordinator, 2003-14
Double Bucking
Large crosscut saws require teamwork to use
Clearing Trails
PNTA crews muscle a down tree blocking the trail
PNTA Okanogan Crew
PNTA trail crews rehabilitate tread
QRC 2007
The Quilcene Ranger Corps employs youth 13-15 years of age
BCHA Pack Train
Volunteers with the Back Country Horsemen of America pack tools and supplies out to trail crews
Performance Trail Crew
Our Eastern Washington Performance Crew is led by Bodhi Ackerman.
BCHA Volunteers
Director of Trail Operations, Lewis Trout and BCHA volunteers at work in the Pasayten Wilderness
Time the tides correctly and the PNT on Whidbey Island can be a walk on the beach. Photo by Suzanne Bess-Wollborg.
Time the tides correctly and the PNT on Whidbey Island can be a walk on the beach. Photo by Suzanne Bess-Wollborg.
Quilcene Ranger Corps
In 2017, the QRC worked on the Tubal Cain trail under Assistant Crew Leader of Jenae Shannon.
PNTA-Job Corps Trail Crews construct gabions to reinforce the banks at Blum Creek
PNTA-Job Corps Trail Crews construct reinforce the banks at Blum Creek
The Pass Lake Trail in Deception Pass State Park offers year round hiking on the PNT. Photo by Eric Wollborg.
The Pass Lake Trail in Deception Pass State Park offers year round hiking on the PNT. Photo by Eric Wollborg.
Cowboy Dinner Fundraiser
a moment from our 2015 Cowboy Dinner and Auction in Sedro-Woolley
National Trails Day 2017
PNTA and SWITMO celebrate National Trails Day with the dedication of the Tursi Trail
SCA Students
In 2016, PNTA and the Student Conservation Association formed a partnership to maintain the PNT
Experience the PNT Event

PNTA crews were responsible for more than 11,800 hours of maintenance on the Pacific Northwest Trail in 2017; a contribution valued at $290,606 by the US Forest Service.

PNTA Crews

Our Youth Programs offer both paid employment and volunteer community service opportunities to local youth, ages 14-18. Currently, the PNTA operates two seasonal programs in Washington. Our Quilcene Ranger Corps maintains trails in the Olympic region of the Pacific Northwest Trail, and our Performance Crews build and maintain trails in Eastern Washington and the North Cascades.

PNTA-Job Corps Trail Crews work with young adults, ages 16-24. These young men and women are often from local alternative schools, such as Job Corps, that specialize in reaching students who are struggling socially, economically, or academically. Crew members achieve personal growth, learn teamwork, trail stewardship, and Leave-No-Trace Ethics, all while working and living in a rugged, backcountry setting.

Each season, a team of experienced sawyers, on our Performance Logout Crew, services hundreds of miles of trails in the Colville National Forest, keeping them free of down trees and open to equestrians, cyclists and hikers.

Performance Trail Crew
Our Eastern Washington Performance Crew is led by Bodhi Ackerman.
QRC 2007
The Quilcene Ranger Corps employs youth 13-15 years of age
PNTA Okanogan Crew
PNTA trail crews rehabilitate tread
2016 Job Corps students repaired puncheon bridges under Cody Pohren
2016 Job Corps students repaired puncheon bridges under Cody Pohren
Double Bucking
Large crosscut saws require teamwork to use
Quilcene Ranger Corps
In 2017, the QRC worked on the Tubal Cain trail under Assistant Crew Leader of Jenae Shannon.
PNTA-Job Corps Trail Crews construct gabions to reinforce the banks at Blum Creek
PNTA-Job Corps Trail Crews construct reinforce the banks at Blum Creek
Tryg Culp
Tryg Culp, Eastern Washington Regional Coordinator, 2003-14
Performance Trail Crew

In 2016, PNTA leadership and oversight of partner organizations: BCHW, SCA, and WTA on the maintenance of five popular trails which form part of the PNT in Eastern Washington led to very successful season. All told, volunteers donated 2,806 hours to the effort.

Trail Maintenance Partners

The PNTA maintains tread all along its 1,200 mile path, but we don’t do it alone. We partner with a variety of federal, state, and municipal agencies in the maintenance of the trail corridor, which spans across three states, seven National Forests, three National Parks and a variety of other public and private lands.

Local trail clubs also play an important role in the maintenance of the Pacific Northwest Trail, which in turn, helps benefit their communities by providing economic opportunities and trails for everyone to enjoy.

The Skagit-Whatcom-Island Trail Maintenance Organization (SWITMO), has been our partner in maintenance of the PNT in the Puget Sound and North Cascades since 1999. Dedicated SWITMO volunteers have played an outsized role in the creation of the PNT trail corridor and other recreation trails in Skagit, Whatcom and Island Counties.

We also work with a variety of organizations including the Back Country Horsemen (BCHA), Student Conservation Association (SCA), Washington Trails Association (WTA), Montana Conservation Corps (MCC), and many others.

The Back Country Horsemen of America plays a key role in the maintenance of the Pacific Northwest Trail and other outdoor infrastructure across the United States. The BCHA are a national non-profit organization of volunteers, with chapters in 31 states, including Washington, Idaho, and Montana.

BCHA volunteers play a critical role In the backcountry by using their pack stock—horses and mules— to supply trail crews with needed supplies and heavy tools. In designated wilderness, where mechanized equipment is not permitted, pack stock offer the most practical means of transporting equipment to remote worksites and spike camps.

BCHA Volunteers
Director of Trail Operations, Lewis Trout and BCHA volunteers at work in the Pasayten Wilderness
SCA Students
In 2016, PNTA and the Student Conservation Association formed a partnership to maintain the PNT
BCHA Pack Train
Volunteers with the Back Country Horsemen of America pack tools and supplies out to trail crews
National Trails Day 2017
PNTA and SWITMO celebrate National Trails Day with the dedication of the Tursi Trail
BCHA Volunteers
The success of the Trails Stewardship Act Depends on You. Late in 2016, Congress signed the National Forest System Trails Stewardship Act, H.R. 845 and S.1110, into law. Created to help address the growing maintenance backlog caused by a lack of funding for trails at the USFS, the Trails Stewardship Act seeks to increase the amount of trail maintenance performed by volunteers by 100% by 2021.
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