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Ira Spring Trail - Mason Lake — Monday, May. 30, 2016

Snoqualmie Region
Ira Spring Trail - Mason Lake by Surviving Urban
Like others we parked along the road but did not have to walk as far as some. I have not done this trail since the bridge was put in and I must say it's bitter sweet. I miss hopping rocks across the creek. Good move to put the bridge in it is functional and it also looks great! There are a couple smaller trees down along the trail before the Bandera/Mason Lake junction, they are easy to step over. Once you drop over the ridge toward the lake there are maybe a half dozen large trees across the trail most of which you can climb over and one that you can crouch under to get by. The bugs were out in force, annoying but nothing bit me. Dogs were out in force also, barking at the lake. There were several off leash dogs and quite a number of dog poop bags left along the trail. Please carry your dog poop with you and remember if your dog packs it in, pack it out. One Pitbull with a massive head who was off leash came right up to my 12 year old son. Although he is 12 he is small and still under 80lbs. I have been hiking and backpacking with my wife and kids for years and the only times I have ever felt unsafe has been by dogs.(The majority of these aggressive dogs have been some sort of pitbull/terroir. Not an attack just a fact from my experience. )They have cornered me and my family, growled and taken aggressive stances toward us. I don't mean to rant, but this is real and makes me super nervous. Most times this happens I get an excuse from the owner that it's my hat, my kids coat, the fact that I am male or some other reason on why it's our fault their dog is aggressive. I say all this in hopes that a dog owner who lets their dog run off leash in a leash only area may have some perspective into why someone like me may feel uncomfortable when their dog who is the same size as my kid or bigger comes up to us. We don't know you or your dog. Now with all that said, every dog we saw seemed pleasant. I also saw a few plastic bottles in the privy by the lake. I don't understand this. People please don't put trash in the toilets either at the trailhead or in the backcountry. One more small rant is that along with the leash requirement posted at the trailhead there is a group size limit as well. No more than 12 people in your group. When I arrived at the trailhead there was a group that was saying they had 16 people. Please look into the rules, regulations before hitting the trail. At least read what's posted on the board. Sorry for the rants, I really don't enjoy ranting and it makes me seem like a crunchy old man. Other than that it was such a beautiful day and we enjoyed the hike!
Ira Spring Trail - Mason Lake by Surviving Urban
Ira Spring Trail - Mason Lake by Surviving Urban
Ira Spring Trail - Mason Lake by Surviving Urban


Also upset about off leash

I believe we ran into that same pitbull. We were hiking with friends that had two very sweet huskies, and the pit came running around the corner at them and started growling while our friends pulled as far back as they could. I tried to address the few hikers coming downhill that could be the dig's owner with a "please leash your dog, it's not legal to have them off," but no one responded. As they passed I got more adamant and kept saying "excuse me, whose dogs are these??" One man finally turned around and said they were his, and when I again asked him to leash the dogs he actually turned away and kept walking. I wish I knew how to get these people in trouble. We were scared like you and I'm sorry your son was involved! If anyone on here has any idea how to report people like that, I'd love to know. It is so sad to be scared on such a beautiful hike!!

Posted by:

seattle_local on May 31, 2016 11:39 AM

The issue regarding dogs off leash will not be solved.

Sorry for your encounter but these situations with aggressive dogs have happened to me at least a dozen times with dog owners. They will not abide by the leash laws no matter what you say to them. I will not ever bring my dog on a hiking trail because of these type of confrontations and unfortunately that is my suggestion for you. They can get out of hand and there is not much you can do unless you are willing to escalate a situation to a point that you may later regret. I even had several wanting to pick a fight with me over this issue when they are in the wrong. You can report it to the forest service and they will ensure the signs are up at the trailheads reminding people but other than that you are on your own. They do not have the resources to do anything about it. You can try to follow them and get a license plate number but that is a lot of effort on your part and it probably won't do any good. The questions is how far are you willing to take a confrontation like this to get your point across especially if you have family with you? I will tell you that having some type of protection that people can see greatly reduces the chance of confrontation with people at least this has been my experience. These kind of confrontation can make your blood boil knowing that there is not much you can do about it. Sorry for the encounter but I do know what your going through and you have to let it go or it can consume you with anger. Maybe you should get Jesse Jones on Kiro 7 to heighten the awareness and maybe the forest service will look into more.

Posted by:

Mike on May 31, 2016 07:18 PM

Agreed, tough problem to solve.

I really hate being the guy who is ranting online. I just feel like the numbers of hikers is increasing and hopefully some might read this and think twice before letting their dog run free in leash only areas. I have seen so many happy nice dogs and that is awesome. I have also seen so many owners who have their dog on leash and hold them close while we pass by. I always am super grateful for these owners. I think educating people is huge, maybe bigger signs would help. I actually have carried bear spray with more concern over dogs than bears, I might start again.

Posted by:

Surviving Urban on May 31, 2016 09:46 PM

I usually don't say anything unless the dog gets aggressive

Thankfully the dog was not aggressive toward us. It did come right up and basically put it's nose on my sons chest. My son weighed himself tonight and was thrilled he was 71 lbs, no match for a large dog. It just makes me uncomfortable. When I see a dog off leash in an area where they should be on leash I think two things. 1. They don't realize the regulation or 2. They know and just don't care. If that's the case then it makes me even more concerned as we have an owner doesn't care. Also if they don't care they certainly wont like having someone tell them to leash their dog. Here's to happy trails with happy hikers, dogs and dog owners!

Posted by:

Surviving Urban on May 31, 2016 09:55 PM