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St. Helens work parties set in September

Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument in cooperation with volunteers from the Washington Trails Association and the Mount St. Helens Institute, has nearly completed construction on a new trail near Ape Cave, and is seeking additional volunteers to participate in completion of the final section of trail.

Volunteers broke ground on this new trail on National Public Lands Day in 2012. This new one-mile trail will link the Ape Cave Day Use Area to a new scenic vista of the volcano's southern flank. Volunteers have constructed all but the last few hundred feet. The goal is to have the trail project completed by October 2013.

"We're pleased to see the Monument adding hiking opportunities,” says WTA Program Manager Ryan Ojerio. “Our volunteers are excited to be involved in a new trail project that leaves a lasting legacy for generations to enjoy.”

The Ape Cave Viewpoint Trail work party will be Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 14 and 15, from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Information and registration: http://bit.ly/168F9OH.

The National Public Lands Day work party will be Saturday, Sept. 28, from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Information and registration: http://bit.ly/1cShvYH.

The Ape Cave Viewpoint Community Trail Project will provide the public with additional opportunities to explore the unique natural area that surrounds Ape Cave. When completed, it will provide a scenic vista of Mount St. Helens. “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,” says Monument Manager Tom Mulder. “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.”

Phase 2 of this community project will include a viewing platform and an accessible trail joining the viewpoint to a new parking lot, estimated to be completed by Fall 2014.

The Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument, WTA and the Mount St. Helens Institute are seeking volunteers to join in this community effort by joining one of the upcoming work parties to complete the remainder of the trail in time to open it to the public on National Public Lands Day.

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