Celebrating Ten Years as a National Scenic Trail
As Pacific Northwest Trail enthusiasts, we owe a lot to our friends in our trail community.
Over the last forty odd years, many have made important contributions to the PNT. Creating what trail founder Ron Strickland imagined would be “America’s finest national scenic trail” has been a colossal effort that has touched and enriched many lives.
All of the tread and trail information that we enjoy today were built on the bedrock foundation of those who came before us. Ron Strickland’s observation that every PNT hiker “walks with the ghosts of those who walked the trail before them,” rings true today in the pages of the
Pacific Northwest Trail Digest
, as well as hiker’s comments left in online forums and in
Guthook’s Guide to the PNT
While Strickland must be considered the father of the trail and acknowledged as the author of the first book-length guide, Ted Hitzroth, should be considered the creator supreme of all PNT maps. A professional cartographer, Hitzroth scouted and hand sketched what would become the first maps of the trail on his historic 1983 thru-hike with Strickland. For the 2012 season, he produced the first set of strip maps that the Association distributed as a volunteer.
In 2019 every member of our trail community should also give thanks to an unsung hero in the trail’s history.
In 2008, the PNTA’s former Director of Trail Operations, Jon Knechtel delivered testimony before congress advocating for the PNT to join the national trails system. Ultimately, he succeeded. On March 30th, 2009 President Barack Obama signed into law the
Omnibus Public Lands Act of 2009
, and the Pacific Northwest Trail became the Pacific Northwest National Scenic Trail, after decades of advocacy work by the Association...