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    Tim Birmingham reviewed Saint Edward State Park and Big Finn Hill King County Park

    over 4 years ago

    Saint Edward State Park:
    Another close-in treasure, and for being a state park practically in the city, hard to find fault in high measure here. Note: number one exception would be the pit toilet at the lake.

    Most of the trails at Saint Edward are rated Moderate – and those a bit generous – but there are stretches in some – North, South Ridge, Grotto, South Canyon – that are challenging, i.e. Hard, but single diamond, definitely not two.

    Lovely greenery, some old growth forest, quaint old alter at the Grotto, many types of birds, including a bald eagle that flew lazily past us at the Lake Washington shore at the confluence of the North, Seminary, Grotto and South Ridge trails. Lots to see, pick your poison with trail difficulty.

    As mentioned by others, some of the trails are multi-use, so be mindful of the mountain bikers…they even wander onto some of the trails wherein they are not supposed to be. I have to believe in warmer weather, the traffic will be heavier, but if you’re looking for good, close-in trails, hard to go wrong at S.E.

    Oh yeah, don’t forget your Discover Pass. If you do forget, you can park at Big Finn Hill Park, and take a frontage trail over.

    Tim Birmingham reviewed Grand Ridge Park Trail

    over 4 years ago

    Started at the Central Park Trailhead, fully anticipating easing over to the Grand Ridge Trail and going out 2 or 3 miles, perhaps to the WTA log bridge, have lunch, and head back. We hooked up with another hiker who was going to check out the Coal Mine Loop Trail, he having heard of old foundations and footing from the mine, and wound up doing just the loop (roughly 3 miles, including the asphalt path we took west from the soccer fields over to the housing on NE Falls Drive, and back), and while we did find a few substantial footings from long-gone structures, we didn’t find much evidence of the mine presence.

    We did, however, find an abundance of ferns, multiple (read many) moss, lichen and mushrooms, a few hikers, and a fair number of mountain bikers (and a couple of unicyclists), despite quite cool and threatening weather. Beautifully lush and green (we’ll be back in Spring, if not before, to see what will surely be bountiful flowers), and the recent rains renewed several little creeks.

    Another little treasure compliments of King County Parks.

    Tim Birmingham completed Grand Ridge Park Trail

    over 4 years ago

    Tim Birmingham saved Grand Ridge Park Trail

    over 4 years ago

    Tim Birmingham reviewed Squak Mountain Trails

    over 4 years ago

    We came in the north side, from Mountainside Drive Trailhead (exit 18, I-90), with a planned set of trail segments. The steady climb (only the width of the trails qualifies as easy) and constant flora and fauna distraction had us abandoning the ‘script’ early.

    Started on the Bullitt Fireplace (we’ve seen reference to Bullitt Chimney) Trail, and took in parts of the Central Peak, Bullitt Gorge, Chybinski Loop, and West Peak trails (the latter a fun surprise in a kicked-our-senior-citizen-tails kinda way. Didn’t see THAT coming!)

    We both spotted the Bullock’s Oriole at the same location, though we were there, separately, at different times in the day. Multiple squirrels of different colors, interesting changes of trees, from conifer to deciduous, and back. Ferns, moss, lichen and mushrooms in abundance – a treasure trove.
    Between King County Parks Cougar Mountain/Squak Mountain Corridor) and the State Parks Squak Mountain SP), this is a wonderful hiking experience. We’ve still a good part of this to explore, but if what we’ve seen is indicative, we’ll enjoy the rest, as well.

    Tim Birmingham saved Gray Whale Cove Trail

    over 4 years ago

    Tim Birmingham saved Muir Woods Trail

    over 4 years ago

    Tim Birmingham saved Old Railroad Grade

    over 4 years ago

    Tim Birmingham saved Wilderness Peak Trail

    over 4 years ago

    Tim Birmingham reviewed Wilderness Peak Trail

    over 4 years ago

    Tim Birmingham completed Wilderness Peak Trail

    over 4 years ago

    Tim Birmingham reviewed Discovery Park

    over 4 years ago

    Another great, close-in treasure. We just did the Loop Trail (2.8 mi) today, and though it was gorgeous, and the first Saturday of 2014, it wasn't as crowded as it could have been.

    The Loop has no elevation gain to speak of, and hardly any incline/decline, and with well-placed trail makers and wide paths, this is a trail for all abilities. The South Beach and Hidden Valley trails accesses from the Loop add some down and up, but likely no more than 200 gradual feet.

    Spread out nicely, with plenty of side-trail options, it can accommodate a lot of people - and surely does - but it's a worthwhile visit. Overlook the water; study the lichen, mushrooms, ferns and moss; and ogle the massive old growth - a little something for everyone, even the runners, of which there were many. Take your dog(s), and welcome, but please, be mindful of the space of others, both two- and four-footed.

    Tim Birmingham completed Discovery Park Loop Trail

    over 4 years ago

    Tim Birmingham updated The Mary Bowerman Memorial Trail (Fire Interpretive Trail)

    over 4 years ago

    Tim Birmingham reviewed Fort Funston

    over 4 years ago

    Walk the dogs, take a hike - Ft Funston fun. Mostly great people (and dogs), beautiful beach, dune, and city views. Quick, easy access from the City, or from Pacifica, where we stayed. Maybe a little steep, but manageable and worth it. Can be windy, wet, and cold, but the several times we've been, we only got windy, with a little cold. So far - knock wood - no precipitation.

    Tim Birmingham completed Fort Funston Trail

    over 4 years ago

    Tim Birmingham reviewed Anti-Aircraft Peak Trail

    over 4 years ago

    Our third visit to CMRWP, and we're no less enamored of the park than before. Big rains overnight, and really, only a couple of spots on Shangri La west of the trailhead were tenuous. Still lovely - sad that folks are "bored" by the area - and we'll continue to explore this nice, close-in venue. The others we encounter are always friendly, and understand 'sharing' the trail.

    Tim Birmingham reviewed Sky Country (Cougar Mountain) Trail

    over 4 years ago

    Although shortened by our propensity to stop and take pictures, we found the trails off the Sky Country Trailhead to be as well-maintained and lovely as the others we've experienced in the wildland park. The runners and hikers were friendly, and for the most part, observant of trail and leash etiquette and rules, and this brief outing's loop - Coyote Creek, Klondike Swamp, By Pass - was very enjoyable, and strengthened our sentiment that this will be a favorite and frequent venue for us.

    Tim Birmingham reviewed Carkeek Park Salmon

    over 4 years ago

    With a big windstorm on Saturday, and looking for a spot for a quick walk, we decided to try Carkeek Park. We actually had a lot of sun, moderate traffic on the trails, and an excellent time.

    From the parking at the east end of the Lower Meadow, we to the Hillside Trail, cut across to the Lower Ridge Trail, and took the South Bluff trail down to the mouth of Piper's Creek where we were treated to salmon coming into the creek. We dawdled a bit, trying to catch a photo of the effort over the first "ladder", but moved on up the creek. Took the Brick Road Trail to the Hillside Trail and back to parking. A quick and easy 1.5 mile jaunt. Nothing special, but nice since we thought the storm was going to wipe out our weekend.

    There are other options, on both sides of NW Carkeek Park Road, and the inbound salmon run promises entertainment.

    Tim Birmingham completed Carkeek Park Salmon

    over 4 years ago

    Tim Birmingham saved Lake Valhalla Trail

    over 4 years ago

    Tim Birmingham reviewed Rattlesnake Lake Trail

    over 4 years ago

    Tim Birmingham saved Iron Goat Trail

    over 4 years ago

    Tim Birmingham followed Eric Yabu

    over 4 years ago

    Tim Birmingham saved Little Si Trail

    over 4 years ago

    Tim Birmingham saved Mount Si Trail

    over 4 years ago

    Tim Birmingham reviewed Iron Goat Trail

    over 4 years ago

    My wife and I really enjoyed this outing, taking the Windy Point Crossover to start (at our age, we didn't want to have to descend fatigued...a wise choice, as it turned out), and because of our midday start, had lunch at the Windy Point Overlook, just 1.25 mi. We then traversed the upper grade to the Corea (sp?) Crossover and back the lower grade to the Interpretive Center.

    Informative history boards, good variety in trail type, never-ending vistas, and loads to photograph. We'll be back - Wellington and Martin Creek trailheads beckon - and we won't come alone.

    Kudos to those who have made this possible.