Locals hit trails in annual Hike-a-Thon

July 27, 2010

By Kirsten Johnson

The only thing better than hiking for exercise is hiking for a worthy cause.

Two local women are participating in the seventh annual Hike-a-Thon, a monthlong benefit put on by the Washington Trails Association each year.

Each registered hiker collects donations and sponsorships for the association throughout July and then, beginning Aug. 1, spends the entire month hiking Washington’s beautiful trails.

Every dollar collected goes toward the maintenance of local trails, as well as creating new trails across the state.

About 60 hikers have registered thus far, including Helen Owen, of Issaquah, and Rosie Sgrosso, of Newcastle.

Sgrosso is participating in the Hike-a-Thon for the third year in a row. She has been hiking avidly for the past 15 years. She is hoping to raise $1500 for the association.

“I do a lot of hiking. It’s almost an obsession,” she said. “I want to raise money to keep the trails beautiful, so that the younger generation will be able to enjoy them, too.”

This August, she is looking forward to hiking every weekend and at least one day during each week.

“I have friends that I hike with and we calculate how many hikes I can squeeze into the month of August. It becomes a big social event,” she said.

She hikes everything from 10-mile hikes to shorter hikes with her husband and 4-year-old son. Some of her favorite in the area include Kendle Katwalk near Snoqualmie Pass, Rattlesnake Lake near North Bend and Franklin Falls, a kid-friendly 1-mile hike near Denny Creek.

While Owen first began hiking in 2008 to lose weight, she now hikes regularly year round. She hikes regularly on the Poo Poo Point trail, just off of Issaquah-Hobart Road, and Tradition Lake Plateau near Issaquah.

“There are so many local hikes around here,” she said. “It’s hard not to find a good one.”

This will be her second year participating in the Hike-a-Thon. She said she hopes to hike a total of 150 miles during the Hike-a-Thon and raise up to $1,000 in donations for the association.

“As many trails as we have around here, they get hiked to death,” Owen said. “It’s really important to have organizations like the WTA to help maintain these trails.”

Kirsten Johnson: 392-6434 or isspress@isspress.com. Comment at www.issaquahpress.com.

How to help

Both Helen Owen, of Issaquah, and Rosie Sgrosso, of Newcastle, are asking for donations. Donate to Owen here and to Sgrosso here.

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