Lilly Ragan, tax accountant by day, serves as ITA’s Bookkeeper and a member of the Advisory Board. We are so grateful to Lilly for the many hours she spends crunching the numbers for ITA as well as working hard on trail maintenance projects! We appreciate Lilly’s constant smile (even after trudging MANY miles in the pouring rain on our recent Sheep Creek project!) 

Lilly Ragan (left) on her first Women Only Weekend trip.

How and why did you first get involved with ITA?

My first trip with ITA was in the summer of 2018 when I was going through a pretty bad breakup. I found the project because I was trying to immerse myself in many new activities, one of them being a women’s hiking group. The hiking group had an open spot on their WOW trip with ITA, and I had the weekend free. I left the weekend sore and dirty, but feeling more empowered than I had been in a long time, while having met some really cool ladies at the same time.

What do you like about volunteering with ITA?

I love that it gets to me to new places in the state I’ve never been before. The last trip I went on was a trip along the Salmon River, a place I’d never visited, let alone spent a week working and exploring the canyon and creek trail.

What is an interesting fact about yourself?

For a middle school project, we had to take an aptitude test to pick a career to do a project on. One of the careers I was paired with was “bus driver”, and I can’t think of anything I’d love more than to live out of a school bus 🙂

Most memorable backcountry experience? 

Last summer I went on a backpacking trip with my dad that started at Stanley Lake. The point of interest we were trying to see was Bridal Veil Falls, but the trail to the falls wasn’t well marked, so at first we passed the trail, and meandered around enjoying the rain (a respite from the smoke in Boise) and each other’s company. Once we decided to backtrack to find the trail again, it had been raining the better part of the day, and the steep scramble up to the falls was pretty treacherous. Then, once we had finally made it to the top to see the falls, the thunder started rolling in, echoing around the mountain range, making us want to get down off the hillside as fast as possible. It was memorable, if a wet and muddy day!

Why are trails worth protecting?

Trails are worth protecting because Idaho’s hidden beauty is meant to be cared for and enjoyed. Like the story above, the trail to the falls wasn’t well marked or maintained, and while we could hear the falls from the main trail, we completely missed the trail to the falls the first time. It was a sight to behold, and I hope we can continue to maintain and protect our trails so we all have the opportunity to enjoy them and the beautiful sights they contain for years to come.