Monday, September 7, 2020

Suggestions for Accessible Hikes in WA from Facebook's WA Hikers and Climbers

In addition to  the usual suspects (Gold Creek Pond, the Iron Goat Trail, and Rainy Lake), there were lots of good, fresh ideas, including the following (no order, no or minimal editing, no endorsement, probably not comprehensive -- I think more comments have already appeared!):

Hurricane hill in Olympic National Park‚ (they just paved the whole trail a few weeks ago)


Big Meadow Loop at Hurricane Ridge

Trails at Hurricane Ridge in Olympic national Park (paved, but some steep) 

Madison falls

Olympic Discovery Trail


Quinault Forest Nature trail


Picture Lake near Mt. Baker! (ADA, paved)


There's about 150 yards of paved trail at artist point by Mt. Baker ski area. Not much but excellent views with lots of other little places nearby in the same area.


Shadow of the Sentinels by Mt. Baker (boardwalk) through old growth forests with several view points and picnic spots. All ADA accessible.


If you do head up to Mt Baker make sure you swing at through boulevard Park is completely paved and or wheelchair accessible and a gorgeous walk on the waterfront!


Paradise, at Mt. Rainier, has some paved, but steep trails, such as the Skyline Trail to Myrtle Falls


Carbon river on Mt Rainier (first 5ish miles, make sure the chair has big wheels for this one)


Chambers Bay Beach Access, University Place, WA 98467

411 S 348th St, Federal Way, WA 98003

(Chambers bay has a pair of Osprey that have a nest)


Deception Falls. Off of Highway 2 (may have closed gate, so no access)


The Foothills Trail that runs from Puyallup through Orting and on to Buckley (paved)


Cedar river trail


Soos creek trail


Magnuson park waterfront trail are all wheelchair friendly.


Greenwater lakes trail


Sammamish River Trail i(paved)


Centennial Trail from Snohomish north to Arlington is paved.


Rhododendron Trailhead just north of SR 92 at Lake Stevens and heading north.


Nisqually wildlife refuge (wooden boardwalk)


Old Sauk River trail (ADA, gravel loop) on Mt Loop Highway


The Ho River trail, on the Olympic Peninsula (paved for the first couple of miles, flat)


Anacortes, Fidalgo island : 3 different paved trails with water views, Tommy Thompson trail that goes over Fidalgo bay ,the Guemes  Channel trail  by the ferry terminal, and the loop at Wa park


Padilla bay trail in Bow (paved)


Part of Rockport State Park.


Tradition Lake Loop (Around the Lake Trail) of Exit 20 (High Point) on I90 (wide gravel path)


Puget Power Trail  (not paved, but a hard-packed access road) at High Point, exit 20


Friends Landing, Montesano, Wa.


The Willapa National Wildlife Refuge (ADA, 0.3 mile round trip)


Franklin falls had a stroller/wagon trail that ends with a little sort of picnic area by the river.


Ebey waterfront trail


The Theler Wetlands trails in Belfair


Mima Mounds in Capitol Forest (1/2 mile ADA accessible path)  


The Big Four Ice Caves has a paved/boardwalk pathway and picnic area on the Mountain Loop Hwy. It is not accessible (steps) after the boardwalk.


Des Moines creek (paved all the way up along side the creek. And not too steep going up). There is the marina as well with the boardwalk out over the water.


Fucia falls


Miles of trails along the Skagit County sound are paved and quite flat.


Erinswood, the new ADA trail in Index at the bottom of Heybrook Ridge!



Snoqualmie Valley Trail ( hard-packed gravel)


John Wayne Trail / Iron Horse Trail  (grave), bring headlamps for tunnels


Coal miners trail in cle elum (road, hard packed gravel)  connects Roslyn, Cle elum, and Ronald


Chehalis Western Trail through Olympia and down past Tenino (paved and flat)


Stimpson Forest Preserve , Bellingham, is full of great access trails.


Bradley Lake in Puyallup is paved all around.


Nathan Chapman park on 144th in Puyallup ,


Cross Kirkland Corridor between Bellevue and Kirkland. (mostly flat and wide)


I-90 Trail. It follows along I-90 from Seattle to Bellevue (paved)


Whistle lake in Anacortes (Not paved but very flat and wide)


Snoqualmie falls


Point defiance has a beautiful park with a ton of accessibility


Bpa trail in federal way (paved)


Downtown Issaquah Rainier Trail.


Deschutes Falls


North Creek County Park, wetlands in Bothell


Bridal Trails State Park in Kirkland and Bellevue


Mt. Grant on San Juan Island



The Mount Baker Snoqualmie National Forest has videos of many of their accessible trails, narrated by a man using a wheelchair so you get a better idea of just how accessible they are.‚Ķ See More

Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest - Recreation







Sunday, September 6, 2020

WA Hikers and Climbers (Facebook Group): The Power of Numbers

For several months, my husband has been a member of the Facebook group, "Washington Hikers and Climbers."  For several months, he has been encouraging me to join this group, extolling the outstanding photography and positivity.  For several months, I have ignored his suggestion, because the large majority of the group's posts are not appropriate to the specific needs of wheelchair hikers. 

However, I am now a convert and, perhaps, an evangelist for the group.  For starters, the group proves the power of numbers.  The group is huge -- currently over 150,000 members.  This means that if even only a small fraction of the people have an answer, the number of answers will still be numerous.  In addition, by definition, these are the people who know Washington's trails.  They are the ones using the trail systems, checking the online trail resources, and building/maintaining the state's trails.  Although they may not note all of the details necessary for a successful wheelchair hike, they have the exposure to trails that allows them to notice and take note of accessible trails.  Also, even though the vast majority of group members do not hike with wheelchairs,  they may know people who do, or they themselves may be temporarily in need of an accessible trail for some reason.  Finally, the pictures are amazing!

The problem with numbers is, of course, a problem of too much information -- in this case, an overabundance of posts with pretty pictures.  That is not a bad problem to have, and it is one that can be easily solved.  Access the group from your Facebook account, and click on the ellipsis (...) in the top right corner.  Click on "Unfollow Group," and you will stop receiving posts from this group in your feed (don't worry;  you still belong to the group).

The group has built an amazing set of topic filters, so you can search for the posts that are applicable to you.  Simply click on "Accessible Hike" on the right of the page (you'll need to scroll down a bit or do a "find" to get there)), and you'll be shown the posts that match this topic.   There are currently over 50 posts in the "Accessible Hike" category.  As with the WTA keyword filter, this filter may show all posts mentioning the accessibility of a hike (good or bad), rather than definite accessible hikes, but it is an excellent starting point. 

A brief search show that 2-3 times each year, someone asks about accessible trails.  A couple of weeks ago, one of the group's members posted a query as to wheelchair-accessible trails.  That post generated nearly 300 comments.  Although the comments don't always address the specific needs of a wheelchair hiker, they are one more source from which to garner ideas for accessible trails.  

A huge shout-out to the group's administrators and moderators for the inclusion of accessible hikes as a category in their topics.  A huge shout-out to the group's members for their notes and comments about accessible hikes.  My plan is to compile the recent suggestions for wheelchair-accessible hikes in an anonymous and de-personalized format, and then to post the list here.  I encourage WA wheelchair hikers to join this group (and maybe there are similar groups for other areas?).  Stay tuned ...