The Hansville Greenway is There for You

It’s 3 p.m. on a cool fall day and the dog is waiting, leash in his mouth. Streets with cars and no sidewalks turn dog-walking into a chore. Instead, I walk the dog on the Hansville Greenway where the 10 miles of intersecting dirt trails provide an adventure. My thanks? I take a bag along and carry dog droppings home. It’s the least I can do.

The Greenway with its canopy of cedars, red alders and Douglas firs is the gift that keeps on giving to Hansville. The trails generously maintained by volunteers year round attract runners, hikers, even people strolling to recuperate after an illness or surgery. Volunteers keep foliage like thorny blackberry bushes from blocking trails, replace bridges, and lay slip-proof wire netting on hills and bridges to protect hikers as much as possible.

I escape life’s daily bustle on the trails. Instead of driving, I can walk through the Greenway to events at the Community Center. Bountiful patches of Oregon grape, salal and thimbleberry absorb nearby road noise before it reaches my ears. I hear quacking wood ducks and mallards and chirping redwing blackbirds and cedar waxwings. On lookout platforms at Lower and Upper Hawks’ Ponds, I savor the quiet and observe lily pads from their exuberant birth in the spring to their brown and crackly departure in the fall.

The Greenway’s trees offer protection. I’ve walked from one end of the Greenway to the other in the rain and emerged nearly as dry as I started. In the right season I eat blackberries and red huckleberries along the way.

Factor in the visible history—logged stumps with notches where planks were inserted for loggers to stand—meeting friends out with their dogs and sighting the occasional deer or bald eagle and the Hansville Greenway is a never-ending treat. Thanks to the energetic volunteers who take such good care of it for all of us.

Cynthia Taggart