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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Trail Update: Jan 14….What a day!

What a day! What an inspiring community!

On Saturday, January 14, a record-setting 37 volunteers brought their good spirits and love for the outdoors to our community trail project. Our best turn-out yet!

We gottta whole lot done, too.

The elevated rock trail is complete (woo-hoo!).

On the hill, volunteers installed 3 rock walls, cleared and shaped tread, and naturalized trail side.

Volunteers also helped me (Jenny) film scenes for a short video project I’m doing for a class at UW (such good sports – thanks, guys! – it will be shared in a couple of weeks)

Along with our dedicated crew of core volunteers, we were joined by students from Sedro Woolley High School and Fite Fire EMS and staff from United General District 304.

Our next work party is scheduled for Saturday, January 28. Sign up today.

See ya, soon!

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Trail Update: The plan for our Jan 14 work party

We are looking forward to getting back to work and seeing our trail friends!

Our first work party of 2023 is Saturday, Jan 14. We’ve got work for everybody…

  • Finish elevated trail – Our goal is to complete the raised section of trail before lunchtime.
  • Trail side restoration – Trimming trees, cutting back briars, transplanting ferns, and naturalizing so the trail looks like its always been there.
  • Soil work on the hill – We will be filling and leveling sections of trail by transferring soil from “borrow pits” using a wheelbarrow.
  • Rock work on the hill – There are sections of the trail that need rock walls built and gravel fill so that we can drive equipment deeper into the trail system.

As usual, Jenny is going to be taking pictures and video, but this time it’s for a class project (she’s a grad student at the University of Washington, Communication Leadership). She’ll be looking for a few trail volunteers to help set scenes and say a line (or two) to the camera.

Please wear your Skagit Trail Builders T-shirt. If you don’t have one yet, let us know and we will set you up.

We expect the weather to be moderate – 45-50 F with occasional sprinkles. Bring a raincoat, lunch, and water.

We’ll have hot drinks available at the trail head. Beth and Ed are bringing fresh-baked scones!


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Trail Update: We got so much done at our Dec 10 work party thanks to our amazing volunteers!

Thirty volunteers showed up on a rainy cold Saturday and got to work! The results….rock work in the flood zone is nearly complete AND we extended the trail beyond our most optimistic goal.

We are so grateful for the community support that has helped make this trail possible!

Volunteers from Scratch and Peck Feed and Sedro Woolley High School Earth Club added to our roster of dedicated community volunteers and made a big difference in our progress.

Special thanks to Adam at Treelines for donating a fire pit to warm-up our crew.

In addition to an amazing build day, our volunteers participated in releasing salmon fry into Hansen Creek. This was done in coordination with Skagit Fisheries Enhancement Group and the Children’s Museum of Skagit County.

Visit our project page to learn more about the trail plan for Northern State Recreation Area, then sign up for a winter work party. We get back to it on Jan 14, 2023.

See you soon!


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Trail Update: Plenty of fun stuff happening at our Dec 10 work party

There’s a lot of fun stuff happening at our Dec 10 work party – we hope you’ll join us.

We will be clearing brush and shaping the new trail. This work is fun, social, and dirty, great for families with kids!

In the flood area next to Hansen Creek, we plan to finish the elevated trail. We need 2 people to run power carriers and 3-4 people to stack and rake. (If you would like to learn how to drive a power carrier, let us know! No experience required, just a willingness to learn and commit to safety)

Work party volunteers are also invited to take part in a salmon fry release at Hansen Creek. Skagit Fisheries Enhancement Group and the Skagit Children’s Museum will be gathering at the Thompson Dr footbridge at noon. Anyone who would like to attend can take an early lunch break and walk with Jenny to the release site. The release will take 10-15 minutes.

At the Pump House Trailhead we’ll be popping up the tent and enjoying hot drinks and holiday treats during our lunch break.

Trail volunteers are also invited to our after-session meeting to enjoy dinner, review the day’s work, and make plans for our 2023 work parties. Volunteer input is encouraged and appreciated!

This is our last work party before winter break. Dress for wet weather – layers and a raincoat. Bring lunch and water. Plan to arrive at the trailhead no later than 8:55 am – our safety meeting starts at 9am.


Trail Update: 30 volunteers built a lot of trail!

We had 30 volunteers at our Nov 12 work party, breaking our previous record of 29! They made extraordinary progress.

  • The portion of trail we’ve been building up with rock (in an area that is prone to flooding from the creek) is nearly complete. We think we’ll get it done at our next work party.
  • We had an awesome crew working farther up clearing ferns, leaves, branches, and building up brand new trail with mineral soil.
  • Another group continued work at the meadow, opening up more view of Hanson Creek.

A big thank you to Beth and Ed who got up early to bake fresh scones for the crew!

Our next work party is scheduled for Dec 10, 2022. We hope you’ll join us in creating this amazing community asset. All ages and abilities are welcome. We’ve got work for everyone!


Trail Update: The plan for our Nov 12, 2022 work party

So far we have 30 people signed up for our Nov 12 work party. It’s going to be another great turnout!

Here’s what we’ll be working on:

  1. Loading and delivering rock: As usual, JT will be working the loader at the rock piles filling power carriers. There will be 3 power carriers delivering rock to the trail site. We’ve got a few people trained as drivers, but we are always looking to share this skill – let us know if you want to learn how to drive a power carrier!
  2. Culverts and rock at the trail site: We are continuing the work of building up the portion of trail that gets flooded by the creek. Craig and Adam will lead teams of 2-3 people.
  3. Extending the trail: Art and 3-4 team leaders will guide the work of clearing more trail – trimming branches, cutting brush, digging ferns, raking tread. We need lots of people for this. This is lighter work than rock; great for families!

We are expecting mostly sunny weather and light winds with temps in the mid-40’s. Dress in layers, bring gloves, lunch, and water. We look forward to seeing you!


Trail Update: Best turn-out EVER!

We had our best turn-out ever on Saturday, Oct 22! Thank you to the teams from Scratch & Peck Feeds, United General District 304, students from Sedro Woolley High School, and our steady crew of community volunteers. We had 29 people at the work party.

They cleared blackberries, dug up root balls, hauled rock and gravel, and built up another portion of trail. This section of trail is prone to flooding from the creek, so we are laying in culverts and building up the elevation. It’s a lot of work, but we want our trails to be accessible year round and for generations to come.

Big thanks to our volunteers who bake! Beth and Ed helped us celebrate the season with fresh scones and pumpkin spice cookies.

Our next work party is scheduled for Nov 12. We hope you’ll join us in creating this amazing community asset.


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Trail Update: We’ve got 35 volunteers signed up for Oct 22! Here’s the plan.

Holy Smokes! We’ve got a record-setting number of volunteers attending the next work party – 35 people. We love it! We can’t wait to see you all on Saturday!

We’ll be continuing the work raising the segment of trail prone to flooding and doing restoration work on the creek side meadow.

Here’s the plan:

  • Team 1: Rocks & Gravel. Just like last session, JT will be at the trail head loading the power carriers with rock and gravel. We will have 3-4 people delivering material to the trail site.
  • Team 2: Rocks & Culverts. Adam and Craig will be leading 8-10 people in setting rock and culverts.
  • Team 3: Forest Gardening. Lynn will be leading a team of 10-12 people on restoration work in the newly cleared meadow overlooking the creek.
  • Team 4: The next section of trail! Art will take 8-12 volunteers up the hill to work on tread, brush clearing, and blackberries.

The weather will be cool and rainy (thank goodness!), which will clear wildfire smoke and dust from the air and put a little moisture in the tread. Bring a raincoat, water, lunch and a snack.

We’ve got lots to get done this year. All ages, sizes, abilities and skills are encouraged to join us in creating this amazing community asset. See you soon!

To see more updates, join us on Facebook and Instagram!