Central Cascades Hike Scouting


Creating a little tour of a very big backyard

Written and Photographed by Carrie Krueger, Director of Marketing

It’s thrilling to be offering the tiniest of tours of our new back yard. 48,000 acres is an awful lot to show off, so for our member hikes this year, we’ll have to settle for just a peek at all our land in the Central Cascades has to offer.

Mapping the route for these member hikes proved tricky. The landscape is inherently rugged and steep. Despite our efforts to weave together the fractured landscape, property ownership is still disparate and a desirable path may cross many boundaries.  Some of the land is crisscrossed with trails used by a variety of recreationalists but not necessarily suited for hikers.

I was lucky enough to spend a day with our forest team searching for the perfect hike. It was not just another day at the office! Over the course of several hours, I took in old growth, stunning views, restored landscape and places in need of work.  I was most struck by the birds and butterflies. They seemed to be everywhere, even following us as we explored.

The trek also allowed me to talk with our forest team and hear more about the work they are doing to develop a management plan for the land. If you’ve ever done a home remodel, you know that having a plan is critical. Think about creating that vision and the practical details for 48,000 acres! The need for restoration is evident as is the potential for community benefit in the form of jobs and recreation. This land can be a real win for people and for nature.

As we hiked, we mapped every twist and turn using GPS, noting elevation gains and asking ourselves, “Would this be fun for a group hike?” With you in mind, we came up with a route that we think is beautiful, challenging but not too hard, features beautiful views and most important tells the story of why these lands matter and why we need your support to protect and restore them.

Join us on what we hope will be the first of many adventures in your new backyard. We’ll be taking people out on our new route August 8, September 16 and October 4

You can get details and RSVP at WaEvents@TNC.org.

Hope to see you out there!