Centralia — The Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument, in cooperation with volunteers from the Washington Trails Association and the Mount St. Helens Institute, have nearly completed construction on a new trail near the Ape Caves and are seeking additional volunteers to help complete the final section of trail, Sharon Steriti, public affairs assistant for the Gifford Pinchot National Forest, said in a news release.
This new one-mile trail links the Ape Cave Day Use Area to a new scenic vista of the volcano's southern flank. Volunteers broke ground on the trail on National Public Lands Day in 2012 and have constructed all but the last few hundred feet. The goal is to finish by October.
"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," Monument Manager Tom Mulder said. "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."