Escape into Nature

A hike under blue skies and spring warmth to the Lower Hawk’s Pond lookout platform on the Hanville Greenway is as good as meditation for restoring your soul. And now the platform is safer for hikers off all ages.

This spring, Greenway volunteers installed graspable handrails on both sides of the stairs that lead to the platform. The wooden rails sit on wide flat handrails that were too big for hands to fit around. Now hikers can hold onto support as they climb, which is especially helpful when the 10 or so steps are wet.

The platform is the perfect spot to listen to redwing blackbirds sing and marsh wrens stitch-stitch-stitch. Birds perch on cattails while ducks paddle and quack in the water around them. Binoculars often offer a good view of eagles in the distant cedars.

The platform bears a plaque to honor Weencie Fite and Lauren Keen. Memorials from their families helped build the lookout that replaced an old tower over the pond years ago.

Weencie was a long-time area resident who supported the trails in every possible manner for a woman in her 90s. Lauren was the daughter of Chip and Linda Keen, who owned the Hansville Garage. She died of a sudden illness.

The platform overlooks a wetland that beavers, coyote, mink, mallards, red-tailed hawks and more call home. Built-in benches offer a place to sit and admire pink-flowering spirea, bog laurel, pond lilies, even muskrats. The area is bright with morning birdsong, peaceful in its afternoon stillness.

Lower Hawk’s Pond is closest to the Ponderosa Blvd. Greenway entrance. Follow the signs and take your binoculars.

Cynthia Taggart