Summer is the season to claim your favorite trail

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(Courtesy photo)Claiming your trail can make you smile as seen in the photo of Friends of Scotchman Peaks Wilderness volunteers.

The high country is melting off in the rugged Scotchman Peaks, and soon the paths into the heart of the West Cabinets will be open for adventurous lovers of the outdoors — all the way to the top. It’s hiking season, and time to claim your trail.

There are a number of ways to do that.

Dave Kretzschmar is an avid lover of trails, particularly in the Scotchmans. “I love the Scotchman Peaks,” he says. “I’ve been rambling their trails ever since I arrived here. They are rugged and wild and the hand of man is light on the landscape. I love backpacking, hiking, skiing and foraging in the Peaks. I love bringing people to visit and hike to the top.”

Kretzschmar also likes working on trails. As a Friends of Scotchman Peaks Wilderness volunteer and employee of Kaniksu Land Trust, he claims his trails by helping line them out and teaches high school and elementary school kids the basics of trail building as well.

FSPW offers several opportunities to claim your trail: join one of their group hikes, lead a hike as a volunteer, become an FSPW trail ambassador or join the FSPW Allstar Trail Team.

The Trail Team has exciting projects this summer, including badly needed maintenance on the Goat Mountain trail in Idaho and a weekend on the Star Gulch trail in Montana. The FSPW Trails Training Day is June 1 at Eddy Creek Campground in Montana, and will include training for cross cut certification using the new Forest Service National Saw Policy.

Trail Ambassadors will be on the Scotchman Peaks trail to educate other hikers about dealing with wildlife — particularly mountain goats — Leave No Trace and the Scotchman Peaks. Training day for Ambassadors is June 8 at the Scotchman Peak trailhead.

Being a hiker or hike leader is always a good way to claim your trail. FSPW has openings for both.

Trail season is upon us and the Scotchman Peaks are open for many ways to claim your trail.

Information: scotchmanpeaks.org/volunteer

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