Pumice plains, old growth forests, epic trails and one giant volcano.  The 2018 St. Helens International Festival of trails is in the books.  Over 100 volunteers converged on the Marble Mountain Sno-park for this annual weekend of riding, stewardship and camping at Mt. St. Helens National Monument.   Attendees ranged in age from 3 to 83 with a hearty contingent of families camping out for the whole weekend, not doubt a result of the youth and family programs NWTA has kicked off this spring.  The wildfire smoke that had been lingering in the Willamette Valley had cleared out at high elevations and volunteers were met with blue, sunny skies and warm temps.

After social rides Friday, volunteers hit the trails on Saturday, brushing, clearing and improving the tread on these multiuse trails.  In all, over 31 miles of trails were built, cleared, opened and maintained; a hearty feat indeed! Northwest Trail Alliance can’t thank our volunteers enough, as mountain bikers and National Monuments aren’t often known for going together. However, the PNW is known for doing things a little different than the norm, and our work proves that conservation and recreation can go hand-in-hand.

The trails within the monument, are some of the most storied in the Pacific Northwest.  Ape Canyon, Plains of Abraham, Loowit Trail, Sheep Canyon.  These trails bring riders from around the country.  All with impressive reminders of the explosive powers of volcano, whose shadow they all reside.  All this work would not have been possible without generous support from Cyclepath, Pivot Cycles, Hopworks Urban Brewing.