Tri-City mountain trails are area gems. Here’s how you can help polish them

Tri-City mountain trails are area gems. Here’s how you can help polish them

It’s no secret that Badger Mountain and new sister trail on Candy Mountain, have turned into a leading outdoor recreation destination for Eastern Washington.

The mountain parks, with their majestic views, offer more than nine miles of well-maintained trails and support year-round hiking, mountain biking, wildflowers, bird watching and stargazing.

Badger has been hiked by 200,000 people this year alone.

But keeping the mountain trails in great shape for all to enjoy is no small undertaking.

“We hear a lot that the trails are great, but it takes a little work to keep them that way,” trailmaster Jim Langdon said. “These trails have been built and maintained all by volunteers.”

In that spirit, the Friends of Badger Mountain seek volunteers to help with trail maintenance throughout the year. The mission is regular maintenance to maintain the best possible trail conditions.

Recently, teams of volunteers from REI, Bechtel NextGen and Boy Scout Troup 126 worked to recover the gravel along Sagebrush and Canyon trails, completing more than a mile.

This past Sunday, a crew worked on the Candy Mountain Trail parking lot and then worked the first 100 yards of the Badger Flats Trail.

Volunteers also installed information kiosks and a set of basalt educational monuments at the Candy Mountain trailhead.

The Boy Scouts also worked with the landowner and placed two new resting benches on the summit of Candy Mountain. CH2M Hill also will add basalt benches along the Candy trail — two along the trail, and three benches and two tables at the summit.

“We’re really happy to see anyone — teenagers to retirees, come out,” Langdon said. “It’s a great way to spend a morning, get in a good walk and a good workout.”

Upcoming work will focus on the Canyon Trail, recovering gravel that has moved off the edge and any other repairs that are identified.

The Friends of Badger Mountain are waiting for approval to work on a second Candy Mountain trail. TThe project will convert the old road that parallels the lower part of the Candy Mountain trail to form an approximately one-mile-long loop, all on easy trail.

Trailmaster Jim Langdon said that there will be work parties most Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays until Thanksgiving or until snow fall prevents further work.

The work will use rakes and hoes to cut back weeds, recover gravel that has left the trail and re-level the trail bed.

To help, call ahead and arrive early. Volunteers will walk to the summit before work starts. Bring gloves, snacks and water, and dress for the weather.

“This is a wonderful way help our community,” Langdon said. “You get to look up at the mountain and feel good that you did something great.”

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