Volunteers have several chances to help complete the first phase of a new trail near Ape Cave during work parties this month.
The Ape Cave Viewpoint community trail project will give visitors additional opportunities to explore the unique natural area that surrounds Ape Cave. When completed, it will lead from the Ape Cave day-use area to a scenic vista of the south side of Mount St. Helens. The work is expected to be completed in October.
Staffers from Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument, working with volunteers from the Washington Trails Association and the Mount St. Helens Institute, have nearly completed construction on a new 1-mile trail. Volunteers broke ground on this new trail on National Public Lands Day in 2012. Volunteers have constructed all but the last few hundred feet.
“Scenic vistas are important to visitors, allowing them to experience the sense of scale and magnitude of the natural forces which continue to shape the Mount St. Helens landscape,” monument manager Tom Mulder said in a news release. “Inspiring trailside viewpoints help educate and inform our visitors as well as encourage them to experience the forest on foot as part of a memorable recreation experience.”
The second phase of the project will include a viewing platform and a handicap-accessible trail joining the viewpoint to a new parking lot. That work is expected to be completed by fall 2014.
This month’s volunteer opportunities, led by Washington Trails Association, are:
Viewpoint trail work party: From 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Saturday and Sept. 15. This event also is a celebration of the association’s 20th year of trail maintenance projects. You can work one or both days.
National Public Lands Day work party: Will take place from 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Sept. 28. This will be one of hundreds of projects taking place that day nationwide during the annual celebration of all public lands in the United States.
For more information on each event, or to register, go to wta.org, or contact Ryan Ojerio at firstname.lastname@example.org or 360-722-2657. For more information about volunteering with the Mount St. Helens Institute, go to mshinstitue.org.