Cougar Mountain ranks among United States’ top trail-running locations

October 25, 2011

By Staff

Cougar Mountain Regional Wildland Park is among the 25 best places for trail running in the United States.

Runner’s World magazine named the Issaquah Alps peak to the list in a recent issue.

“Every urban area should be blessed with a trail running sanctuary as sublime as Cougar Mountain Regional Wildland Park,” the magazine noted.

The mountain boasts a 36-mile trail system. King County Parks and the Seattle Running Club produce a popular trail running series in the park each year.

Runner’s World offered effusive praise for the 3,115-acre park.

“Starting from one of the four main trailheads, a creative trail runner can link a variety of twisty-turny loops to create a run of just about any length and difficulty, though all are certain to include cascading waterfalls, lush fern undergrowth, foot bridges over bubbling creeks, massive glacial boulders and several scenic viewpoints (and perhaps also long-closed mine shafts, Cold War missile silos, bobcats and black bears),” the magazine said.

Cougar Mountain does not include missile silos per se, but the peak hosted a Nike anti-aircraft battery during the Cold War.

Seattle Running Club members donate about 150 hours each year to trail maintenance on Cougar Mountain. The annual trail running series has raised more than $70,000 for King County Parks to support maintenance and improvements.

Cougar Mountain is the only Washington destination on the Runner’s World list.

The announcement came less than a month after Outside magazine ranked Issaquah among 19 cities on the Best Towns 2011 list.

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