Taking the Trails

When backpacking and hiking in Lewis County’s outdoor spaces, follow these tips to help reduce your impact and keep our natural beauty intact.

Check Trail Conditions & Pass Requirements:

Before heading out, check trail conditions, closures, and any alerts. Local ranger stations or online resources can provide this information. Pass requirements will vary and may require a parking pass. Check your destination’s website or call ahead to know what to expect and how to be ready.

Wear Appropriate Gear:

Wear sturdy and comfortable hiking boots and dress in layers to accommodate changing weather conditions. Use moisture-wicking clothing to stay dry.

Carry Essentials:

Bring a map, compass, or GPS device. Carry enough water and snacks for the duration of your hike and bring a first aid kit. Bring The Ten Essentials: navigation, sun protection, insulation, illumination, first-aid supplies, fire starter, repair kit and tools, nutrition, hydration, and emergency shelter.

Have a Plan B:

Make a backup plan in case of trail or trailhead is closed or at capacity.

Follow Trail Markers:

Stay on marked trails to avoid getting lost. Pay attention to trail markers and signs.

Inform Others:

Let someone know your hiking plans, including your expected return time.

Respect Wildlife:

Observe wildlife from a distance and do not approach or feed wild animals. . Animal attacks are extremely rare, but it’s a good idea to brush up on tips for how to respond if you encounter a bear or a cougar.

Stay on Designated Trails:

Stick to established trails to minimize environmental impact. Avoid creating new paths, especially in sensitive ecosystems. When hiking with dogs, check to see if the trail or area is open to dogs. Pack a leash and poop bags.

Pack Out What You Pack In:

Carry a small trash bag to pack out all your garbage. Leave no trace and keep the environment clean.

Check Weather Conditions:

Be prepared for changing weather conditions and dress appropriately and bring rain gear if needed.

Time Your Hike:

Plan your hike according to daylight hours. Start early to allow ample time for your hike and to avoid hiking in the dark.

Respect Private Property:

Be aware of any private property boundaries and respect landowners’ rights.

Stay Hydrated:

Carry an adequate supply of water, especially on longer hikes. Hydrate regularly to prevent dehydration.

Leave No Trace:

Follow the principles of Leave No Trace to minimize your impact on the environment.

By following these tips, you can have a safe and enjoyable hiking experience in Lewis County. Always be prepared, stay aware of your surroundings, and respect both nature and fellow hikers.