Tradition Plateau sits at the toes of Tiger Mountain, and consists of 445 acres of low-impact trails that wind throughout the forest. The trail system includes several interpretative trails, viewing platforms and even an outdoor classroom. If you are searching for a fun and family-friendly adventure, look no farther than Tradition Plateau. Although the park provides an expansive network of trails to choose from to plan your own tour of the plateau, this versatile route loops through the area following the Bus Trail, Wetlands Trail, Brink Trail (Big Tree Trail) and Swamp Trail.

©Melissa Farage

Set off from Tradition Plateau Trailhead, following the signs towards the Bus Trail. Immediately you will find yourself walking on a wide and well-maintained path that cuts through a grove of regal, mossy maple trees. Soon after a bridged creek crossing, hikers can glimpse the reason for the Bus Trail’s name. The rusty, skeletal remains of a sideways bus sit patiently within a nest of still underbrush. Continue to follow the Bus Trail straight as the path diverges to head across a plateau forested with Douglas fir, salmonberries and salal. After a brief crossing beneath power lines, the wooden gate to the Wetlands Trail stands before you. Enter through the gate to access the trail that twists and turns through the dark, mossy swamp. Take the time to glimpse Round Lake on the right side of the trail before continuing on.

©Melissa Farage

At the end of the Wetlands Trail, take a right onto the Adventure Trail. Follow the Adventure trail briefly until you reach the graveled Puget Power Road. The gate to the Brink Trail will be directly before you. Pass through the gate to reach a scenic thicket of salal and Douglas fir, scorched from a past fire. Continue on the Brink/Big Tree Trail as it forks off to the right. After several tight twists and turns through thick underbrush, the forest slowly opens to proffer its crown jewel: an old growth Douglas fir that is estimated to be between 200 and 400 years old. Gawk for a moment at the tree’s magnificent size, then continue along the trail. After a quick crossing beneath buzzing power lines, head through the gates of the Swamp Trail. This unique trail features storyboards that tell the story of Zoe, an adventurous raccoon who seeks advice from helpful swamp creatures while evading an Evil Swamp Monster that is rumored to dwell in the forest. Surely some outdoor fun for the family. The storyboards span the entire trail, and can entertain both the young and old within their forested setting. After reaching the end of the trail, take a left onto the gravel Puget Power Road to reach the Tradition Plateau Trailhead.

©Melissa Farage

Season: Summer

Difficulty: Easy

Variety: Loop

Open to: Hikers, dogs

Maps: Green Trails #204S

Passes and Permits Required: Discovery Pass

Facilities at Trailhead: privy

 

Driving Directions:

From I-90 take exit 20 and turn right onto the road that runs parallel to the interstate. Continue along the road to reach the Tradition Plateau Trailhead.

 

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