Hiking society honors Squak

August 4, 2009

By Angelo Grosso

Squak Mountain has been recognized as a Washington State hiking destination by the American Hiking Society.The organization’s goal is to promote and protect America’s foot trails and the overall hiking experience.

“Find solitude minutes outside Seattle while taking in the sights as you hike the Double Peak Loop in Washington State’s Squak Mountain State Park,” the society said in a press release. “You’ll find this 6.8-mile, moderately difficult trail a real gem, with lush vegetation and great views.”

Ken Konigsmark, of the Issaquah Alps Trail Club, agreed with the assessment.

“Washington State Parks and King County Parks have worked continually to expand and improve public park lands on Squak Mountain to a point where they now include over 2,200 acres that further link via public land connections to another 18,000-plus acres of public lands on Cougar and Squak mountains,” he said.  “Squak’s trails wind up and through lush, older forests and offer greater solitude than other local trails.”

This new acknowledgment isn’t surprising to Doug Simpson, who in 2004 wrote a book about Squak Mountain entitled, “Squak Mountain: An Island in the Sky.” The book gives the history of the mountain, as well as a guide to all the trails.

“It’s worth exploring,” Simpson said. “It may not be an easy mountain for beginners, but there are some very rewarding trails. It’s a great hiking experience.”

Most locals have heard of Squak Mountain, but for those who have not traveled on its trails or taken in its beauty, Issaquah City Councilman David Kappler said he could vouch for it.

“There are so many good trails,” he said. “It’s an undiscovered jewel for most trekkers. But for serious hikers, it’s a great experience. And the view, in all directions, it is so beautiful.”

Reach intern Angelo Grosso at isspress@isspress.com. Comment on this story at www.issaquahpress.com.

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