This was not your average, epic, climb-a-mountain destination run. In fact, it was the opposite. I enjoyed driving out to the hills with no intention of strangling my quads. This time of year is perfect for restful runs and excuses of all kind. Whenever I set out to explore a new trail the ultimate goal is just to enjoy a new surrounding and enjoy a (hopefully) empty trail.
I had not heard of Grand Ridge until I saw it on the race list for Evergreen Trail Runs. Through out high school I ran the trails of Tiger Mountain, adjacent to Grand Ridge, but never gave a thought to veering off my habit of running the same trails.
On this particular day I really could not have cared less where I was running, I just wanted to get out of the city and find some peace in the hills. So I set out by myself and drove into the Issaquah Highlands for a little forest jog. This trail is only 7 miles in total distance (one way) and has a measly ~1100 ft total of elevation gain. It was perfect for a solo venture not far from Seattle. I parked my car in Central Park, which was a little deceiving at first because the "trail" is a concrete path skirting a line of cookie-cutter houses. Less than half a mile down there is a pond that marks the entry to the actual trail. If I hadn't known there was a trail race here I would have turned around thinking some wannabe trail runner called the beginnings of the path a trail.
The Washington Trails Association built a bridge in 2011. When I was reading about this trail online I feel like ALL I could find was the "WTA Bridge." I realized the two were associated so I became intrigued. The WTA website writes that it is "the highlight" of the trail. It's marked loud and clear on the trail map too so I highly anticipated the bridge on the run. Honestly, it was just a bridge... in the forest. There are lots of them on maintained trails in Washington. Yay for one more!
I'll be keeping this trail in mind when I head out for a run on Tiger Mountain and need to add on some extra "fluff" miles.
Grand Ridge: Exit 18 from I-90. Park at "Central Park"
Distance: 14 miles round trip
Elevation Gain: 1100 ft
I am an outdoor and travel junkie who is currently completing my doctorate in occupational therapy overseas in rural Fiji. On Sweet World Travels you will find stories of my life with my husband, the communities we serve, and the many adventures we take.