Day 52: Cushman Trail. Yesterday, my wife and I walked the Cushman trail beginning at the Wilkinson Farm Park (4118 Rosedale St.), a 16-acre wildlife park with wetlands, holly groves, meadows, community garden and trails. This Historic homestead includes a barn, house and outbuildings that will be stabilized for public access in the future. There are no restrooms, but they do have on-site parking that works perfectly for this leg of the trail. This is considered phase 2 of the trail and was recently dedicated in December of 2009. The picture to the left illustrates 2 points: (1) The newness and quality of the black top surrounded by lush mature trees and native plants. (2) the steep grades at 7 to 8% and long undulating bends. This phase, just like the earlier/older phase stretches 2.5 miles long and 16 feet wide. So, if you ran, biked or walked the whole thing, it’s 5 miles. This leg of the trail (phase 2) is certainly more challenging. It is a nice peaceful, quiet walk. Since we started at the Wilkinson Park, we also ended there and walked the holly groves to the wetlands/pond … a quiet, peaceful natural reserve.
Today, we walked a few miles beginning at the Trailhead Park, 2626 Hollycroft St. This go round, we loaded up the van with kids, a bike and one Rip Rider (new version of the ol’ Big Wheel). I wouldn’t attempt phase two with kids or bikes (just me?). This phase of the trail is relatively flat/level and much more suited to beginners, bikes, elderly and young kids. Additionally, this phase is showing its age as the pavement is weathered and scotch broom has strangled out other potential plant life. This could be due in part to the close proximity to Highway 16. Certainly this leg is a less natural setting missing that peaceful serenity we found on phase 2. And I hate to complain, but the bikes do travel awfully fast, so prepare you kids and be cognizant of traffic. All that being said, it was a convenient successful family walk and great exercise on this beautiful sunny day. Every great community is created with careful thought, community input and responsible planning. It’s obvious that a lot of people, planning, financial support and cooperation went into both phase 1 and 2 of Cushman Trail…Yet another reason to love Gig Harbor, Washington.