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Who Says You Can't Hike and Work?

Posted by Kara Chin at Aug 25, 2008 08:50 AM |
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Hike only on weekends and you’re automatically limiting yourself to a mere 8 or 10 days per month. Why stop there when Washington boasts many great, short hikes that can feasibly be fit into an evening out?

Hike only on weekends and you’re automatically limiting yourself to a mere 8 or 10 days per month. Why stop there when Washington boasts many great, short hikes that can feasibly be fit into an evening out?

As we head into our final week of the Hike-a-Thon, anyone can follow the lead of our Hike-A-Thon participants and make getting out on trail more frequently a priority.

In much the same way that planning for a day hike is different that planning an overnight backpacking trip, choosing a weekday hike calls for its own set of criteria. For instance, there are two key qualities of a great a weekday hike that you might not consider otherwise:
•    The trailhead is easy to find and quick to reach. When time is of the essence, you can’t be burning up time on a gravel road approach.
•    The trail is relatively easy to follow, minimizing your chances of getting turned around at twilight.

You’re more likely to make an after-work hike happen if you:
•    Get all your hike info and gear together the night before.
•    Eat a big lunch and pack snacks so you don’t have to stop for dinner.
•    Start work early so you can leave before rush hour.
•    Find friends and co-workers who are reliable and ready hiking partners.
•    Pack a headlamp. You’re likely to need it on the way out.

Depending on where you live or work, here are a few places to try after-work this summer!

Everett

Lake Serene is a superb wilderness trail just off Highway 2. This classic hike, with a beautiful lake encircled by rugged spires, can get crowded on weekends. Going mid-week makes it all the more serene.

Bainbridge Island and the Kitsap Peninsula
Hikers can stroll through over 300 acres of forest and wetlands on a trek to Gazzam Lake on Bainbridge Island.
Or, head out for a stroll down Indianola Beach, at the north end of the Kitsap Peninsula for a chance to spot seals and birds of prey.

Seattle-Bellevue-Redmond
Panoramic views of Squak Mountain, Lake Samammish and Issaquah, and even a peak-a-boo glance view of Mount Rainier can be yours after a short hike up to Poo Poo Point. Need more to get you off the couch? How about watching para gliders jumping off the mountaintop?
Try Little Si. Off exit 32, straight off pavement and into the parking lot, this is an easy to reach trailhead. The trail itself is clearly defined and short enough that you should be able to tackle it all, enjoying a quick sojourn on the summit before making your way back to your car. Many evenings you’ll be able to see climbers hanging from nearby rock crags, enjoying a little after-work activity themselves.

Tacoma-Auburn
Greenwater Lakes. An easy drive brings you to lakes and deep forest so quickly that you’ll forget about work entirely – never mind that you were just there.

Olympia
Just three miles north of downtown Olympia, Priest Point Park’s 300+ acres offers trails on either side of East Bay Drive and 1,000 feet of saltwater shoreline.

Vancouver
When co-workers ask how your night was, wouldn’t it be cool to say, “Oh I went to Battle Ground Lake, a crater created by a volcanic explosion and filled with spring water.” Not only that, but the park also offers stately firs and hemlock, so after a hectic day of work you can surround yourself in the calming quality of tranquil air.

Spokane
Iller Creek Conservation Area, just a short drive from Spokane, offers a 2.5-mile walk to a ridge with wildflowers and great views. WTA will be doing work on trails here this year. Get directions to the trailhead here.

You might get home a bit late, with barely enough time to brush your teeth, before you hit the hay, but I think we can all agree – an after-work hike sure beats watching TV.

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