First Saturday Hikes
The 2019 hiking season kicks-off in the West Duwamish Greenbelt, the largest urban forest in Seattle, with our popular first Saturday hikes. Each hike starts at 10 a.m. usually at the 14th Ave. SW and SW Holly Street trailhead, but check here for more hike details closer to the date. Everyone and all ages are welcome. Parts of the trails are graveled and well-constructed; other parts are not formally maintained, so come prepared for possible muddy patches.
Here’s the schedule:
May 4 Finding insects with Amber Chiozza of Scarabs: the Bug Society. See her exhibit “Crevice & Comb, The diversity and dwellings of wasps and bees” at the CORE Gallery, 117 Prefontaine Pl. S. Meet at the Pigeon Point Park trailhead, 4714 21st Ave. S.W.
June 1 . “Walking Native Land” on National Trails Day with Ken Workman of the Duwamish Tribe. Walk from the Chinese Garden at South Seattle College to the Duwamish Longhouse and Cultural Center on West Marginal Way and back. Two miles, 200 feet of elevation gain on some unimproved trails.
July 6 Native plant identification with Steve Richmond of GardenCycles.
August 3 Geology and land use history with Paul West and Craig Rankin.
September 7 History of the greenbelt with Matt Groshong, Randy Nelson, and Craig Rankin
October 5 Mushrooms with Kim Traverse of the Puget Sound Myco Society
Thursday walks at noon.
Also walk every Thursday when South Seattle College is in session with WDGT volunteers, including college faculty and staff, who lead a 45-minute hike through different portions of the greenbelt each week. The length and direction of each hike depends on the wishes of the hikers.
On April 6, 2019, expert birder Scott Markowitz from the Tahoma Audubon led the first of the “First Saturday” hikes at Pigeon Point Park. The bird hike began at 10:00 am at the very moment that the sun broke the rainy weather that had been projected. The group of about 18 participants watched a hummingbird perform a territorial “J-dive” dance, analyzed song sparrow calls, inspected the mossy nest of a bushtit and watched a sharp-shinned hawk out-maneuver angry crows- just to list highlights. The known owl resident was not present, but the group found a pellet beneath its tree and discovered skeletons of small animals on which the owl had snacked. .
South Seattle College librarian Randy Nelson led a group on a history hike, describing the streetcar line that ran through the Greenbelt, the sand and gravel operations that left an old road, and the proposal for a Soundway through the greenbelt.
In August 2018 70 of us hiked a Puget Park trail following Puget Creek with Ken Workman 4th generation-great grandson of Chief Seattle. Ken talked about growing up in this neighborhood, finding quiet and an escape from the city in the woods, and about the continuing presence of Duwamish ancestors in the very soil and trees of the greenbelt. A video of his talk/walk will be posted soon.
Come Back to Your Senses, a one-hour mindfulness walk led by Andrea D’Asaro of Awaken to Mindfulness and Ken Workman.
Andrea began guiding the group with mindful breathing practice and continued with slow and then faster walking to wake up the senses and calm restless minds. They paused along the way to observe each sense perception and experience the wisdom of the forest with fresh eyes.
Ken spoke about the connection between Native culture and mindfulness and cultivating a deep connection with the earth.
National Trails Day
For the second year in a row, along with the Nature Consortium, we participated in National Trails Day, June 2, 2018, offering guided hikes in the West Duwamish Greenbelt.