Sunday, December 10, 2023

Hiking and clean up with 'Friends'

Staff Writer | March 30, 2023 1:00 AM

SANDPOINT — Want to spend some time out on the trails this summer? Friends of Scotchman Peak Wilderness has a few ideas on how you can do that — and improve local trails at the same time.

FSPW announced its trail projects for 2023 and invited residents to sign up to help out.

FSPW is the local organization dedicated to the preservation and conservation of the 88,000-acre wilderness area located on the Idaho-Montana borders and locally accessible via Hope and Clark Fork.

Projects to maintain the many trails and scenic view area within the range are already set with the earliest project taking place in mid-April, Cameron Rasmusson, FSPW public information officer, said. The projects will offer volunteers not only a valuable experience of giving back but also the chance to hike trails at different levels of difficulty while enjoying the wild scenery of Scotchmans Peak.

“It is hard work, in a variety of weather conditions, working with traditional manual tools. It also is extremely rewarding to work alongside other volunteers that love nature enough to donate “sweat equity” to ensure that these trails remain navigable for all hikers to enjoy,” Rasmusson said.

On April 22, the organization will kick things off with the first event of the season to celebrate Earth Day. This project will focus on cleaning up the havoc of winter clearing the Star Peak trail of downed trees and branches, trimming back plan growth, and making the trails more user accessible.

In May things will pick up with two projects. Early in the month, volunteers will have the opportunity to become CPR certified and learn wilderness first aid with a two-day event on May 6-7. Later on, May 27 will feature another clean-up project for Star Peak trails where volunteers can expect the same clean-up tasks as the April event.

The projects and events pick up in the swing of summer with five events planned for June including multiple clean-up efforts and tracking hike day where participants will learn about local wildlife and a family bike ride and fishing adventure to Thompson Falls. With even more planned for the month of July families and hiking enthusiasts will be able to learn about the wild wilderness and needn’t look further than Hope.

To learn more about FSWP, sign up for projects and more, go online to

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