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The Cushman Trail

When you need a close, quick hike

The Cushman Trail offers a perfect mix of hills, scenery and close proximity. Photo credit: Whitney Rhodes

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It's coming.

What you ask?

The Open. The 2015 US Open.

One of the largest golf events in the country (the world?) will be held in June at our very own Chambers Bay. And it is rapidly approaching like a ginormous, bloated Jabba the Hutt, taking everything over in its path.

I'm very fond of walking the trails at Chambers Bay. Besides having one of the most spectacular views imaginable, it's also a great workout. But in preparation of hosting tens of thousands of golf-crazed spectators our beloved Chambers Bay walking trails, central meadow, playground and beach will all be closed. Boo.

So I set off in search of a replacement. There is the always marvelous Point Defiance. But those trails can get very crowded on nice summer days. The Foothills Trail is great. But for the most part it's flat. I was lamenting this to my friend who suddenly presented a solution. The Cushman Trail.

On a recent sunny Sunday it was the perfect mix of hills, scenery and distance to satisfy my need for a close training ground. The trailhead parking is right off Highway 16. The trail is suitable for all users - bikes, dogs, strollers, runners, walkers. Come as you are. Even on a beautiful weekend day the number of people on the trail was light. Chambers Bay would have been a zoo.

We set off on the trail and I was pleasantly surprised at the rolling hills. They are the kind that sneak up on you. When you look at them they don't seem like much but then they sneak up and leave you gasping at the top. I have plans to return carrying a pack. It's a perfect weekday training route.

The trail dead-ends at a construction site. Soon it will continue on, over a bridge and up yet another hill. By the time we had made the round trip we'd covered a little over three miles. Not bad for a training route. And between the mountains peeking out, the bay, and the trees the views changed often enough to keep me interested. I think I may have found my new favorite weeknight trail.

When you are an outdoor addict like myself, it's important to find spots for quick jaunts. I can't always be running off to Mt. Rainier (as much as I'd like to.) Weeknight micro excursions allow me to burn off steam after spending an entire day in the office, and they allow valuable training time. If you want to go out and conquer Snow Lake, Mailbox, or Mt. Si, you need to be doing small things to keep your fitness up.

So until those golfers get off my proverbial lawn, see you on the trail?

If you go...

Take the Wollochet Drive Northwest exit off SR-16, continue onto Stinson Avenue, turn left on Grandview Street, and the parking lot is at the end of the road on the left. You'll also find bathrooms there.

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