If you’re looking for a good winter hike where you won’t have to worry about snow, the Trail of the Giants at Pack Forest near Eatonville is a good option.
Start at the parking lot at the main entrance to the forest and take the Hugo Peak 2.5 miles then continue along a dirt road to Kirkland Pass and the start of the Trail of the Giants.
The trailhead GPS coordinates are N 46 50.309 W 122 17.500.
The trail winds through an old growth forest that survived a fire in 1927 that wiped out most of the forest. The highlights on this trail are two enormous 800-year-old trees. One is 230-feet-tall and seven feet in diameter. The other is nine feet across, but shorter because strong winds clipped the top.
The hike will about six miles round trip. Maps are usually available at the trailhead.
While you won’t have to worry about snow on this low altitude hike (the highest point is 2,000) the wood planks on the trail are very slippery on rainy days.
A few years back I talked to Louise Caywood, a horseback rider from Spanaway who frequently uses the trail.
"Pack Forest is a great place to go in the winter," Caywood said. "It’s a good place to take the family hiking."
DIRECTIONS: Follow Highway 7 toward Elbe. The entrance to the forest is on your left, 0.3 miles past the intersection with Highway 161. The first turnout is for horse trailers and second, main entrance is for all other users.
MORE INFO: Call 360-832-6534 or visit packforest.org.