Feel the Burn- Bike to Work Day 2015

It’s time to dust off your seat and oil your chain because this Friday, May 15 is the annual F5 Bike to Work Day. Join your fellow PNW two-wheelers and get your morning dose of cardio! Cycling is one of the best forms of exercise because it’s a low impact activity (great for all ages), environmentally friendly and a proven stress reliever. What more could you want? The weather is expected to be partly cloudy with a high of 70°. So no more excuses!

King County Parks invites you to pull out your beach cruiser, unicycle or standard road bike and come visit us on the Burke Gilman Trail at Log Boom Park. From 7:00am- 9:00am we will be handing out King County Parks swag, tire patch kits, Clif Bars, regional trail maps and some good ol’ high fives .

Cougar Mountain Trail Run 2015

Cougar Mountain Trail Run Series. You’ve Been Warned 2015

This last Saturday we kicked off the first of our Cougar Mountain Trail Run Series, pulled together by the amazing Seattle Running Club. Weather was perfect, so in classic NW fashion, everyone had a smile on…until they ran it off.

So register up and come run your face off in a King County gem.

Saturday, June 13, 2015. 8.2 & 14.5 mile + 5 km: 9:00 a.m. Start.

Saturday, July 11, 2015. 10.8 & 19.5 mile + 5 km: 9:00 a.m. Start.

Saturday, August 8, 2015. 14.5 & 26.2 mile + 5 km: 8:30 a.m. Start.

Sunday, October 25, 2015. 19.5 mile & 50 km + 7.6 mi: 8:00 a.m. Start.

The registration and start will be at the Sky Country Trailhead off of 166th Way SE (NOT at the Red Town trailhead). Join the event on Facebook and register online today! We look forward to seeing you out on the trail.

Not enough pics for you? Get your fix over here.

Cougar-Squak Corridor

“Give me solitude, give me Nature, give me again O Nature your primal sanities!” – Walt Whitman

Cougar Mountain

We like to believe that keeping our parks clean, safe and open is doing a service to our community. We get up every morning and go to work for an agency we truly believe in. Admittedly though, you can put your head down and just get caught up in the day to day. It’s mail like this, and the fact someone took the time to share it, that pulls our head up out of the weeds and reminds us of the bigger picture. That there is someone out there, in some phase of their life, that is quietly appreciating a portion of our 28,ooo acre system. They are reflecting. It reminds us that we are extremely fortunate to work for this park system and know that a fern we may have relocated as we laid out a trail, a branch we removed for cyclists’ safety, unlocking the doors to our aquatic center, a freshly mowed lawn, a tree planting – any or all of it may have touched someone at the moment they needed it. For this we are grateful.

This is a letter to all of those who work at the King County Parks department.  Please feel free to circulate this as you deem appropriate.

We are lucky to live in a gorgeous part of the country and our parks are jewels.  In the past, I haven’t been able to use them as much as I would like.  Lately, I’ve had lots of time.  I was laid off about nine months ago and am still looking for a job.  Needless to say, it can get a little depressing.  I went into one of the darkest phases of my life in recent history and then … it happened.

I started going to Cougar Mountain park on a regular basis.  Usually, I go around 7:30 or 8:00am in the morning.  I started going to just get out of the house so my wife wouldn’t see me depressed.  I started going on short trails and gradually went to longer and longer routes.  I am now losing weight, enjoying the beauty of the park, feeling grateful and re-energized in my job search.  My little “hiking therapy” sessions turned me around 180 degrees in the past month.  For this, I want to say “thank you” to everyone in your department.

Parks are not just a place to play, but also a place to reflect and, in my case, heal and recover.

I don’t know where I would be right now if it weren’t for those trails and the time I’ve spent on them.  Thank you for your work, thank you for doing a VERY important job and thank you for helping me.  You will never truly know what you’ve done for me but I had to express my gratitude.  Your parks save people (at least saved me).

With gratitude,

J

Run (in the), forest, run!

14146271846_5f8bef083e_b

Saturday, May 9 marks the first race in the annual Cougar Mountain Trail Run Series. Since 2003, participants have raised over $140,000 for King County Parks. Way to go runners! There are a total of five races throughout the summer and fall. Participants have the option to run one race or challenge themselves to complete the whole series. These races are a great supplement to standard marathon training as the course meanders through lush marshes, hulking trees and moderate hills. Listed below are the races and start times:

Saturday, May 9, 2015. 5.1 & 10.8 mile: 9:00 a.m. Start.

Saturday, June 13, 2015. 8.2 & 14.5 mile + 5 km: 9:00 a.m. Start.

Saturday, July 11, 2015. 10.8 & 19.5 mile + 5 km: 9:00 a.m. Start.

Saturday, August 8, 2015. 14.5 & 26.2 mile + 5 km: 8:30 a.m. Start.

Sunday, October 25, 2015. 19.5 mile & 50 km + 7.6 mi: 8:00 a.m. Start.

The registration and start will be at the Sky Country Trailhead off of 166th Way SE (NOT at the Red Town trailhead). Join the event on Facebook and register online today! We look forward to seeing you out on the trail.