Trail Update: Trail side restoration on March 25

Here is a photo of the Pump House Trail in it’s lovely, lush, spring-time glory to remind you that warm sunny days are just around the corner!

Our next work party is scheduled for Saturday, March 25. We will be focused on two tasks:

  • Trail side restoration & prepping areas of bare soil for seeding spring grass
  • Capping new trail with gravel

We begin every work party with a safety meeting at 9 am. Plan to arrive at the Pump House Trail head around 8:50 am so you have time to sign in and grab a cup of coffee.

Volunteers under the age of 18 need to bring a minor waiver form signed by their parent or guardian (if this is the first time they are volunteering in 2023).

Bring water and a hearty lunch. We’ll have hot drinks and the fire can for warming up!

Thanks to the new Sedro Woolley Starbucks for donating coffee and Treelines for the fire pit.

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Trail Update: The big meadow is ready for seeding, thanks to our awesome volunteers!

We had 29 volunteers (30, if you count Harper the Dog!) join us at our work party on Saturday, March 11.

They worked in two main areas: spreading ballast on muddy trail and prepping the big meadow for spring grass seeding.

We enjoyed the company of 8 new human volunteers and Harper the Digger Dog. Thanks for coming out, everyone!

Harper the Digger Dog helps uproot blackberries from the big meadow.
Video taken on March 11, 2023 at Hill Creek Trail at Northern State Recreation Area in Sedro Woolley, WA.

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Trail Update: Mar 11 work party… let’s get back to it!

A broken side-rack was replaced.
New tools were ordered
…and flat tires were fixed!

We had to cancel our last work party due to extreme cold weather, but the time was used well. We completed repairs and ordered new tools. A big thanks to Skagit County Parks and Recreation for keeping us equipped!

Our next work party is scheduled for Saturday, March 11. Here’s the plan:

  • Capping trail tread with crushed rock
  • Trail side restoration work
  • Prepping areas for spring grass seeding

We will have hot drinks and our toasty fire pit from Treelines going at the trail head. The new Starbucks location in Sedro Woolley is donating coffee.

The weather is expected to be cool, so dress in layers and bring a hearty lunch!

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Trail Update: Feb 25 work party cancelled!

We seldom cancel a work party, but this time it seems prudent.

The ground and stockpiled materials are frozen and it’s just too cold for people to work outside. There’s also a chance of snow. Jerry and JT have decided that tomorrow is a perfect day to stay inside and drink some hot chocolate.

Our Feb 25, 2023 session is canceled….enjoy your snow day!

Our next work party is scheduled for March 11 – we hope to see you there!

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Trail Update: Welcoming volunteers from WSU on Feb 25, 2022.

This Saturday, Feb 25, we are welcoming a team of volunteers from Washington State University (WSU) Research and Extension Center in Mount Vernon. Thanks to Dr.Lindsey for organizing friends and colleagues for a day of trail building!

Here’s our plan for the day:

  • Fill, grade, and level using native soil
  • Spreading and compacting crushed rock
  • Final capping with fine gravel
  • Preparing the meadow for spring grass seed
  • Trail side restoration – transplanting ferns, spreading leaves to make the trail look like it’s always been there!

We are anticipating cold (but dry) weather – please dress warmly and bring water and a hearty lunch.

At the trail head we will have the fire pit stoked and hot drinks for all. Our safety meeting begins at 9am, so plan to arrive a little early.

If you haven’t already signed up, it’s not too late. Visit our website form.

We look forward to seeing you on Saturday!

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Trail Update: Photos from Feb 11, 2023

We had 21 cheerful volunteers at our Feb 11 work party, digging blackberry crowns, spreading gravel, and building rock retaining walls.

February is the gloomiest time of year here in the Pacific Northwest, but our work parties have been hitting all the good weather (hope I’m not jinxing it!!).

Major thanks to all the folks in the community who give their time and good energy to the community trails project at Northern State Recreation Area!

Our next work party is scheduled for Feb 25 – please sign up through the form on our website.

For questions, please reach out to

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Trail Update: Work Party Feb 11

Since our last work party on Jan 28 progress has been made behind the scenes! Skagit County Parks and Recreation installed the trail head kiosk and our equipment had been repaired! JT, Jerry, and Art have been hard at work prepping the trail site for our volunteer work party on Feb 11.

Here’s the plan:

  • Prepare the upper meadow for spring seeding
  • Finish the rock retaining walls that are in progress
  • Spread a thin layer of ballast rock on the muddy sections of trail
  • Trail-side restoration (beyond the stock crossing)

There’s light work and there’s heavy work and lot of work in-between. We’ve got work for all ages and abilities! Everyone is welcome to join the project. (Please note that we have a little over 1/2 mile walk from the trail head to the trail site, some of it through bumpy gravel and unfinished trail slippery with mud).

Bring a raincoat and dress in layers. Bring lunch, water, and a snack. We will have our Treelines fire pit set up and hot drinks available at the trail head.

Fill out the online sign up form to let us know you are coming. If you are under 18 and haven’t filled out a minor waiver form for 2023, we will need you to bring that as well.

See you there!

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Trail Update: Well…the weather was perfect!

The weather was perfect and our volunteers were amazing, but our equipment was not.

At our Jan 28 work party, we had multiple equipment problems. This delayed the delivery of essential rock, gravel, and soil, leaving some of our volunteers waiting around. Looking on the bright side, at least they were waiting around in sunshine! Yes?!

Despite the delays, we did make good progress. A long section of rock retaining wall is set and near completion. One team worked on decommissioning borrow pits while another cleared duff and back filled low spots with rock and soil.

Weather dependent, a few volunteers will go out this week to finish the rock wall that was left incomplete.

Our equipment is being repaired and should be good to go by the next work party, which is scheduled for Feb 11, 2023.

A special thanks to our volunteers who helped film a “tools training” video. Unfortunately, some of the scenes didn’t turn out – challenges with background noise, light, and failed batteries. We are going to reschedule filming for spring.

If you haven’t seen our recent video Basics of Trail Building, we hope you’ll check it out. Our volunteers did such a great job delivering lines. Thanks!

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Trail Update: The plan for our Jan 28 work party and a NEW VIDEO!

Check out our video! The Basics of Building a Trail with Skagit Trail Builders.

At our last work party I got help from some of our volunteers shooting scenes for a video about Skagit Trail Builders. It’s a project for my video storytelling class at the University of Washington, but a fun piece of content for STB, as well. Win-win, right?

Thanks for your help! Enjoy the video!

Our next work party is coming up quick…this Saturday, January 28. Here’s the plan:

  • Trail side restoration – like Adam says in the video “naturalize trail side so the trail looks like its always been there”. Transplant ferns, spread leaves, and move in pretty moss-covered logs. This is lighter work, great for kids!
  • Rock retaining walls – this is an cool opportunity for volunteers to learn a new skill – how to build a sustainable rock retaining wall. Positioning rocks to nest together and back filling with gravel.
  • Filling low areas – we’ll be moving mineral soil from “borrow pits” to low spots in the trail. Art will fill wheelbarrows with soil using the excavator.
  • Trail tread – shaping trail tread using rakes and Mclouds (the 3-pronged flat things). Very zen.
  • Decommissioning “borrow pits” – sounds pretty serious, yes? It means we will be filling the holes created by digging out soil.
  • Spreading ballast rock – there’s a soil ramp leading up to the meadow that needs ballast rock applied so that we can drive heavier equipment up the hill. This will depend on whether we have enough power carriers and drivers.

I’ll also be filming scenes for the next video project – let me know if you’d like to BE A STAR! (We’ll be talking about tools).

If you haven’t signed up yet, it’s not too late.

Meet at the trail head at 8:55 am – the safety meeting starts at 9 am. As always, dress in layers and be prepared for rain and chilly conditions. Bring lunch and water. We’ll have hot drinks and a fire pit for warming up at the trail head.

See you there!

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