Hike of the week

What: Arachnophobes beware: This sometimes frustratingly steep, narrow web-infested trek through the Tiger Mountain State Forest felt more like a Fear Factor challenge than a peaceful hike.

Where: Take I-90 east to Exit 20. At the end of the ramp, turn right then quickly make a left onto SE 79th Street. Continue and park near the turnaround. If the gate on 79th Street is closed, park on the shoulder and walk to the trailhead.

Length: 5.4 miles round trip.

Difficulty: Moderately difficult.

Low point: 520 feet.

High point: 2,120 feet.

Restrictions: Permit not needed, day use only, dogs OK on a leash.

Maps: Green Trails No. 204S (Tiger Mountain).

Notes: Several hours after completing this hike, I was still scouring my mind for a redeeming quality. I settled on two: It beats stewing in rush-hour traffic, and eventually it ended. To begin, step over a white gate then walk through a wood gate and past a pond on the right. Turn right at a fork and climb to a T-junction, making another right to stay on High Point Trail. As the whir of I-90 slowly fades, walk under a series of power lines and enter a forbidden forest, home to an endless horde of spiders. At 0.8 miles turn left onto Dwight’s Way. Stick to Dwight’s Way, following signs at each fork. Since this is a loop trail, remember to make nearly all right turns after this. In the midst of some seriously steep climbs, take West Tiger Railroad Grade downhill to Tiger Mountain Trail (also marked “TMT”). Stick to TMT and retrace your steps along High Point Trail back to the trailhead.

Mike Cane

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