When the rain pounds on the pavement in front of my house all day I know the best place to walk my dog, Watson: the Hansville Greenway. Not just any trail. We head to the Ponderosa entrance where the trees are tall and provide some cover.
We hike through the Trillium Loop (left at 7 on the map) to the Great Hall (left at 6) and usually turn right at 5 and head to the Quiet Place where we can watch the raindrops splash on Upper Hawk’s Pond. We often return on the other half of the Trillium Loop (straight at 6, right at 10, left at 7) and marvel at how dry we stayed.
When Watson and I want a good workout—usually on dry days—we warm up through the Alder Wetlands, off Twin Spits Road, gasp up Cora to where the trail picks up at 25 and follow it over the bridge and past two switchbacks to Bear Meadow (8). The trail continues downhill and uphill to the Briar Patch, then connects with trails in several directions.
Another favorite workout trail is off Thors Road to the 90 stairs leading down to the beach at Point No Point. Going down is great and heading back is a test of your muscles and respiratory system. At the other end of Thors Road is the Chatham Trail, which offers a steady workout of steep hills and some of the best mud of the Greenway. We rarely see anyone else on this trail.
Speaking of mud, the new trails off Benchmark easily vie for first place. Good boots turn the challenge of a growing pond between 41 and 42 into fun but watch out for thorny blackberry vines on the sides. Oh, to be 10 years old on these trails!