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Western Washington Biking and Hiking

"Pack Forest"

Pack Forest
Photos and Article by Steve Parsons

Looking for a great location not far from Tacoma, Washington to do either a short hike or mountain biking, with breath taking scenery while at the same time a terrific learning experience? The Pack Forest on Hwy. 7 is just the place. Founded in 1926 as a demonstration and research forest for the University of Washington's College of Forest Resources, research continues there today. There are many well marked "Self Guided" trails each with something educational and enjoyable along the way. You will learn what's being done to better manage our forest and everything within them, from the trees to the wildlife. For the mountain bikers there is a nice 10 1/2 mile ride, when done counterclockwise. From the parking lot it starts out a tough 4 miles uphill on forest roads rewarding you with great views of Mt. Rainier, Eatonville and even the Olympics on a clear day (once you reach the top). Then kick back and relax for the next 6 1/2 mile coast back to the parking lot.

Murphy Ponds
One of the Murphy ponds.

Along the way are several small ponds. To get to the Murphy ponds follow the 1070 road about 1/2 mile, they will be on the left, if your patient with a fishing rod you might land a rainbow or two. Whether hiking or biking keep an eye peeled for deer and the occasional elk. Should you decide do the same loop clockwise (just make sure your brakes are in top condition for the final 4 mile "steep" decent). There are also other trails for the mountain bikers. Maps and additional info can be obtained at the office adjacent to the parking lot.

For further information please call (360) 832-6534

Driving instructions: Leave Tacoma Washington, south toward Mt. Rainier on Hwy. 7 approx. 30 miles. You will see a big sign on the left side of the road that reads "PACK FOREST".

NOTE: Enjoy your day out and remember if you pack it in, please pack it out (don't leave a mess for others to pick up). Also before fishing any lake, stream or river in Washington State be sure to check the Fish & Game Regulations for the area you are fishing.

If you are looking for some real outdoor exercise check out these four sites. The first is put together by the Seattle P-I, it includes "Hikes of the Week", "This Week's Trail News", and "Feature Stories". The second is put together by the Cascade Bicycle Club, it includes information on local organized rides, and a complete Cascade Bicycle Club Ride Calendar for 2002 - 2003. The third is a new addition to the Gifford Pinchot home page and links to many exciting places to bike within the Gifford Pinchot National Forest. Finally, the fourth is put together by The Pacific Northwest Trail, it is home to many outdoor activities. A foot, horse, and mountain bike trail stretching from the Continental Divide to the Pacific Ocean across Montana, Idaho, and Washington.

To find out more follow this links,

Seattle P-I (Hiking)
Organized Rides (Biking)
Gifford Pinchot Rides (Biking)
Pacific Northwest Trail (Hiking, Biking & Horseback Riding)

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