A group dedicated to preserving and promoting the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail has purchased private land in western Washington state to prevent a break in the path.
The Seattle Times reports that The Pacific Crest Trail Association on Wednesday bought more than 400 acres (162 hectares) in the Stevens Pass area from a private landowner for $1.6 million.
The association says the landowner had considered putting up a fence and cutting off public access to the trail.
The association says it would have been difficult to build a route around the private land, likely closing the trail in that area for several years.
The 2,600-mile (4,200-kilometer) trail from Mexico to Canada generally follows the crests of several mountain ranges, including the Cascades in Washington state and Oregon.