A great run with some clean singletrack after a slow warm-up along an old road bed, and some recent history—and creek crossings.
This is an abbreviated and modified version of a local half marathon. Don't be confused when you see the Rim Trail
loop and Bear Woods Loop Trail
; to get the most singletrack, you diverge off Rim Trail
onto Bear Woods, which runs more-or-less parallel to Rim Trail
, before connecting again and following Rim Trail
back to Hardy Creek. While this run is mostly obstacle free, expect blowdown and small branches, especially after recent wind activity in the fall/winter months.
The run starts from the Hardy Creek Trailhead and Picnic Area where you'll find a few amenities such as restrooms, picnic table, and ample parking. This route can be done in either direction, but I found going clockwise provides an easy 2.5 miles of warm-up.
Start up Hardy Creek Trail
(rocky/rugged) to the junction with Huckleberry Trail
; veer left and run along an old road bed of mixed/crushed gravel and dirt. At 2.25 miles, you'll come to a clearing and Annie's Cabin. Take a moment to browse around or continue on.
After another quarter mile, you hit the junction with Squirrel Creek Trail
; veer left and begin an incline for a smooth, soft singletrack incline to the junction with Bobcat Trail
. The Bobcat Trail
is the steepest section and is a bit more rugged path.
At the top, you'll hit the the junction with the Rim Trail
; turn left and traverse along more soft singletrack, including a portion of Bear Woods Loop Trail
(just follow the singletrack). There will be two small creek crossings to navigate.
Be sure to stay along the perimeter of the park before returning, as you run along the Rim Trail
, ultimately returning to the junction with Hardy Creek Trail
and the parking lot.
Most of the trees are fir with an intermix of western hemlock, western red cedar, and red alder, among others. There are little-to-no flowers along the trails, which are dominated by varying smaller plants and ferns.
Annie and her pet squirrel resided in this cabin in the early 1990s as her family helped maintain the local trails. The cabin served as their communal area.