Join Tom Dabrowski and other representatives from the Idaho Trails Association (ITA) at the Expo on Sunday, February 25, for the presentation, “Local Favorites: Classic North Idaho Hiking Trails.” You’ll be able to learn about local trails, how they’re maintained, and hear some words of wisdom from the folks who frequent them.

Tom is an experienced (which, he says, means old) backpacker and mountain climber. In his role as President of the ITA, he get to do what he loves often. During the presentation he will share some of his favorite Idaho hikes. He says for an early spring hike around this time of year he’d recommend the Shoreline Trail in Farragut State Park. The trail is snow-free, and boasts stellar views across Lake Pend Oreille, which Tom says is a beautiful clear green.

A group of ITA Volunteers are ready to work on the Beehive Lake Trail north of Sandpoint, Idaho (Photo: ITA)

ITA Volunteers are ready to work on the Beehive Lake Trail north of Sandpoint, Idaho (Photo: ITA)

In addition to learning about some great local hikes, Tom will discuss how we can help keep these trails on our public lands open for generations to come. While the ITA had 215 volunteers last year who hit the trails on 21 projects statewide, working hard to saw logs, clear brush, and repair trail tread, the ITA still needs volunteers.

“There are 10,000 miles of hiking trails in the state. Because of cuts in federal budgets, many of those trails are not being maintained and could be lost,” says Tom.

During his presentation, Tom will discuss 2018 plans for trail work in Idaho. The ITA is a nonprofit, founded in 2010, and needs help to maintain all the non-motorized trails throughout the state. If you’re interested in volunteering, the ITA will teach you the necessary trail maintenance skills and will provide tools.

Two volunteers use a crosscut saw to cut out a tree that had been blocking trail for years (Photo: ITA)

The ITA plans to start the year with trail care in four new areas of the state, and will include at least 11 week-long work “vacations” in 2018. During these week-long trips, the ITA uses horse packers to haul in gear, food, and “a really good cook” for volunteers.

Learn more about opportunities to get out there and help maintain our beautiful local trails with fellow outdoor enthusiasts, and other ways you can help support the ITA, at the Expo. In addition to all the great technical info, Tom says he just may share a secret or two from his experience in the backcountry.

“One of the most highly guarded secrets for folks here in northern Idaho—even more important than national security secrets!—is where to hike during huckleberry season,” says Tom.

Make sure to attend his presentation at 11:45 a.m. at the Spokane Convention Center, where he just may share the location of a huckleberry jackpot.

You’ll also have the opportunity to test your crosscut saw skills at the ITA Expo booth.

A job well done! (Photo: ITA)

To read about hikes in Idaho’s Silver Valley, check out this past OTO article called “Silver and Gold.”

About the Spokane Great Outdoor and Bike Expo:

Where: The Spokane Convention Center, 334 W Spokane Falls Blvd, Spokane, WA 99201

When: Saturday, February 24, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. and Sunday, February 25, 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Tickets here

More Info here