Today I walked 15 miles fully geared, and it was.. eh.
While browsing all the standard trail sites, I found a trail that went on for an advertised 17 miles, and thought “Well hey, it would be interesting to take all my gear on a long(er) hike and see how I like my new pack/base weight!”.
The grand conclusion is: It was okay. And basically, I won’t go back nor can I say I’d recommend people use it for conditioning for their thru-hikes. It was just.. eh?
The Tolt Pipeline trail (“trail”) is a utility road that people happen to run/walk/bike ride/horseback ride along because it’s there. It rolls up and downhill most of the way, but oddly wasn’t exactly what I’d consider a workout.
This is a residential walk. I knew this before I went there, but I didn’t know just how residential it would be. You are essentially walking through people’s backyards most of the way with some scattered breaks in the trees, and by the end of it you are literally in someone’s yard with no posted signs notifying you of this. I had to use my eagle eyes to make out a “Private Property” sign a bit down the road, and decided to turn back.
Access is weird. There isn’t just a parking lot to get to it. There’s a parking lot near it, but it cuts off maybe two miles of the trail without you really realizing it. You can park at wherever the trail intersects a road (which is too often), but I’m not going to go out of my way to find better access to it.
It wasn’t a total waste of time or anything, but I’m kicking myself for not driving out to Snoqualmie. The trails may be shorter, but they require a bit more exertion and you typically end up on top of a mountain somewhere along the way. On the Tolt, I ended up on top of someone’s lawn. Very strange. We live and we learn, and at least it was a new experience.