New Year Day Hiking: Cedar Creek Park

Waking up to sunny skies on New Year’s Day – and it not being overly cold – got us talking about what to do with our day…at 11 am. Apparently having 3 kids has led us down that path. Late-hour hikers.

It seemed the perfect day to check out the new regional park, Cedar Creek Park, being put in between our town and the next town, a green belt that has narrowly avoided being built up due to the creeks running through it. A tiny area that still is what Maple Valley once was, when it was a weekend retreat for doctors and lawyers in mid-century, who came to camp, fish and get away from Seattle. This park is 11+ years in the making but is now hikeable – and so much more than one expects.

I think every map should look like this, although there is a real (and very good) print-friendly GPS’ed map online to grab.

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I have walked the neighborhoods many times around the park, as we live within walking distance of the new park, but didn’t know what to expect. So, walking into lush forest immediately was a bonus. CCP1

Walker was very excited to get outside. Sunny days in winter are to not be missed! And…his backpack this year fits now. He will be 4 come end of March. CCP2

This is the year we start training the boys for hiking. Alistaire is strong, so I left the backpack carrier behind (and considering he weighed in at 32 pounds last visit…..my back is grateful he walks so strongly). The sun was amazing, it makes me feel so good after grey days!

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We checked out the main loop trail, as some of the trails are still being constructed. The loop was nice, just enough elevation gain and loss to make it fun, with plenty of moss, ferns and webs to ponder. And a downed tree full of rock cairns ;-) CCP4

Just loving that they walk along with Kirk and I so happily. Slow maybe, but happy. Ford could have done the loop 3-4 times in what it took us, but he was patient. And far ahead. Alistaire will be 2 in February.

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Hiking along the upper ridge, it amazed me that the houses nearby were blocked out of sight, and sound as well.

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The trails incorporate an old road system through the area (old logging roads) for the second half of the loop, following along one of the creeks.

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This gate, barring the old logging road was interesting. They had installed the gate into the trees, and it was old. Can’t remember seeing that in a long time!

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It wasn’t a long hike, but all the boys had a good time, and we were home 5 minutes later. I’ll take that commute to a trailhead!

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