#4 in the Northwest book, January 30, 2010; Easy – 4 miles round-trip, 350 feet of elevation gain
A typical cool and overcast Pacific Northwest winter day. On this hike were Becky, Ben, Meg & Mike.
We got Android phones not long before this (you can see consulting the mapping app in the photos from our last hike), and this hike was my first attempt at recording a hike with Google My Tracks. I didn’t do it right, and I only captured about half of the hike.
I’ll spend more words on gadgets and gear in another post; for now, we have a story to tell. This hike was part of the Maple Trail system in the vast Forest Park. We used the trail head off NW Saltzman Rd. You start out hiking on the road for nearly 1/2 a mile before entering the Maple Trail on your left. The trail climbs through a forest of bigleaf maples, sword ferns and western hemlock. Hiking in January means damp and mud, but also a gorgeous soft light , deep greens, spidery trees, and views that stretch further than a growing season would allow. There was tranquility to be found on this trail. We didn’t follow the out and back route listed in the book, but instead made a “lollypop” loop by walking along the Leif Erikson Rd until we reached an unmarked path heading back down to the Maple Trail. This would be the Adventure Portion of the hike as the trail was very, very steep and slippery. Luckily there were no falls or injuries in our party! Along the entire route we only encountered 2 other hikers.
Notes: For some reason, there are no photos from this hike. The Maple Trail is open year-round, but be aware of mud and slippery trails in the winter. This hike offers endless variations and routes and in the spring the trilliums are worth coming back to see.