One of our signature events is St. Helens Festival of Trails aka SHIFT & it is coming up in a few weeks (8/15-8/18). This year we have a unique opportunity to maintain the Sheep Canyon-Loowit-Toutle Loop, which has only seen sporadic maintenance in the past 10 years, as well as our regular maintenance work with the trails near the Marble Mountain Sno-Park base camp.
We are also excited to introduce NWTA’s Trail Sustainability Institute. This institute will focus on education around building and maintaining our trails using sustainable methods that respect the environment while providing access to outdoor recreation. Our efforts will be directed toward cultivating land stewardship and ultimately conservation of our beautiful, beloved region of the PNW.
If you are interested in participating in the trail maintenance education course at SHIFT please indicate that during registration. This class is limited to 12 participants. REGISTER TODAY!
Want to know more about the work we are doing on the Sheep Canyon-Loowit-Toutle Loop? Below you will find an excerpt from Jim LeMonds WriteTekNW website. Jim is also one of our Mt. St. Helens trail stewards & is responsible for organizing all the trailwork we do at SHIFT.
The Sheep Canyon-Loowit-Toutle Loop:
If you check it on a map, you can use either Blue Lake or Red Rock Pass as your starting points; if you start from Red Rock, you will add about 6 miles to this out-and-back. When you reach the Blue Lake Trailhead, you ride up to the Huckleberry Saddle on the Toutle Trail, then jog slightly right to connect with Sheep Canyon. From there you ascend to the Loowit, take a left and head north down Crescent Ridge until you reach the South Fork of the Toutle. From there it’s back to Blue Lake on the Toutle Trail.
Only sporadic maintenance has been done on these trails in the past 10 years. We think the loop is definitely worth putting into play. This ride has old-growth, great vistas, serious climbing, rock, and some fun DH. If you ride it as an out-and-back from Red Rock, it is approximately 18 miles. If you do it from Blue Lake, it’s about 12. BE ADVISED: It is not a normal 12.
We plan to put five crews out there at SHIFT. This means we need about 40 people who can quickly climb several miles to get to their start-points. Nathan Frechen and several friends from Trans-Cascadia put in a 10-hour day cutting out trees blocking the trail all the way around the loop. Our focus will be on brushing and tread work.
Does working on this loop interest you? REGISTER TODAY & Jim will be in touch.
Marble to Ape Canyon: This one has also been in the works for several years. There are several ski trails between Marble and Ape Canyon: Pine Marten, Sasquatch, the Unnamed Trail, Pine Creek and a proposed new section. Together, they form a line from Marble Mountain Sno-Park, which has plenty of parking, to Ape Canyon, which doesn’t have nearly enough.
The Pine Marten, Sasquatch, and Pine Creek trails are already in decent shape and will get a bit of an upgrade at SHIFT. The Unnamed Trail will be brushed for the first time. We will be flagging the proposed section which is the missing link. We have received positive feedback from the USFS about getting this section approved. It will be flagged and submitted for review this summer. Fingers crossed for a positive result.
We will have several smaller crews working on these lines at SHIFT.
Does work in this area interest you? The work in this area is great for trail stewards of all ages. REGISTER TODAY!