Photos from recent trips I've led for Everett Parks and Recreation.  Photo captions are under each picture.  Navigate through the photos by clicking the arrows on the sides of the photo.  Clicking on photo will expand the size.  Enjoy! 

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Winter registration is now open, so all trips through April are available for sign-up. See the Parks Registration site
Hike 11/30  Heliotrope Ridge

This trail normally doesn't see many hikers this time of year, but with the snow cover being fairly light, and the trailhead being drive-able (just barely), this was a delightful hike. Snow and ice thinly covered the trail the whole way, making traction devices very helpful. The usual creek crossings that can be challenging were mostly frozen over and were much easier. We hiked up about 2.5 miles and 1500 feet of elevation to reach the Coleman Glacier viewpoint. The up close view of the crevassed glacier is quite an impressive sight. High clouds kept the sun from shining most of the day, but views were still excellent, as we could gaze northward all the way into Canada.

Walk 11/29  Hansville Greenway with Breakfast in Kingston

Black Friday turned out to be a blue sky Friday as we headed across the sound for breakfast and a walk. First stop was at the Borrowed Kitchen Bakery and Farmhouse Cafe in Kingston. Breakfast was excellent, and the baked goods were yummy too. A short drive to Hansville followed, where we explored the series of trails that form the Hansville Greenway. It was a pleasant mix of walking through forest, open fields, and wetland terrain. Especially nice were the viewing platforms that were built that overlook the wetlands. We walked briskly to stay warm in the 35 degree temps, so it didn't take long to log about 4 miles.

Hike 11/9  Big Creek Loop

Our string of dry weather days came to an end, but it was still a great day for a nice forest walk in the Olympics. This trail is near Lake Cushman in the southeastern corner of the Olympic Mountains. It's about a 5- mile loop which was meticulously designed and built, and it's a treat to hike. The smooth trail is very nicely maintained, making it easy to enjoy the passing scenery. Several wooden foot bridges span the numerous creeks and streams, and many have been carefully built around the nearby terrain features. This was a peaceful gem of a hike, perfect for a gray November day.

Hike 11/6  O'Grady Trail - Green River Natural Area

King County Parks has to have one of the best systems of urban/ suburban hiking trails found anywhere in the county. There are so many nice natural areas to explore, often just outside the fringes of busy suburbia. This area outside Auburn was a perfect example. The O'Grady Trail system has plenty of fine woods walking to keep you busy for hours, and solitude is almost assured. We hiked a series of excellent trails totaling about 6 1/2 miles, only running into a handful of people, including three horse riders. We had occasional glimpses of the Green River, and got plenty of exercise on the ups and downs along the trails.

Walk 11/4  Chambers Bay Loop

This area on Puget Sound south of Tacoma was once the site of the busiest sand and gravel pit in the country, but is now a Pierce County park centered around a world-class championship golf course. Our walk took a 3-mile plus loop around the grounds, which is reminiscent of a Scottish seaside. Views from the 250-foot high bluff above the course are very nice, including several islands such as Fox, McNeil, and Anderson. The trail is paved and nicely developed with amenities, including an elevated walkway over the railroad tracks along the waterfront. The sunny weather made this an excellent morning of walking.

Hike 11/3  Suiattle River Trail

It was a nice sunny Sunday in the Cascades as we traveled far up into the Suiattle valley east of Darrington. The forest road takes you within ten miles of Glacier Peak, and the trail quickly enters the Glacier Peak Wilderness Area. We only covered the first 3.5 miles of the trail, but it continues for many many miles across the wilderness, and is kept in excellent condition for the many backpackers who use it during the year. This is a beautiful old growth forest, with giant trees, tons of moss, scores of mushrooms, and the ever-present sound of the rushing river. Our group was small and quiet, but it was perfect for enjoying a relaxing day on the trail.

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