St. Helens International Festival of Trails 2023

Over 50 dedicated volunteers joined Northwest Trail Alliance for the St. Helens International Festival of Trails (SHIFT) August 18-20. This annual NWTA tradition brings together volunteers of all ages for trail work on trail systems in the Mt. St. Helens District of the Gifford-Pinchot National Forest.  

Saturday’s work party required a quick change in plans, as fire protection levels rose 48 hours before the event – prohibiting the use of all chainsaws and machines. This meant that everyone had to transition to loppers and handsaws. It made things difficult, but we had people who were up to the challenge! Despite the new development, volunteers spent hours accomplishing the following.

  • The Pine Marten section, right out of Marble Mountain Sno-Park, was cut back
  • The Sasquatch trail was trimmed
  • Approximately half of Smith Creek was cut out
  • Seven trees were removed between Red Rock and Blue Lake (by hand!)
  • Butte Camp trail was cleared
  • Brushing was done on the 238 south of Red Rock

With a base camp at Marble Mountain Sno-Park, volunteers not only dedicate themselves to all of this amazing trail work, but enjoy dinner afterward and loads of fun all weekend with social rides, camp fires (when allowed, of course!), and new this year, an intense corn hole competition!

Huge thanks to every single volunteer, with shoutouts to Nathan Frechen and Paul Hobson who spent time in the weeks before doing recon for the needed trail work. Thank you to Jim LeMonds, Juntu Oberg and Nancy Stone, who always dedicate so many hours to organize this event. Special thank you to Mt. St. Helens Institute, who’s contribution to this event fed all of our volunteers! 

We’re looking forward to SHIFT next year, and hope to see you there!