Quality of life has very specific meaning for every individual. Choosing a home in a particular geographic location is often tied directly to those individual quality of life definitions to include proximity to recreation and environmental jewels. Pierce County, comprised of Tacoma, Gig Harbor, University Place, and beyond, is uniquely positioned within Washington State to provide a pivot or launch point for easy access to breathtaking recreation and natural settings.
The Olympic National Forest is one of those amazing milieu's. This National Park is located along the northwestern most corner of Washington State. Nestled along the southeast portion of this park, just 1 hour from Tacoma, Gig Harbor and University Place, Washington is a place called, The Staircase Rapids Trail. Towering old growth Douglas Fir trees and other Evergreens create a canopy of moss adorned branches, rocks and waterfalls.
The curvy drive along the Hoods Canal, Lake Cushman and Skokomish River provide time and opportunity for quiet reflection of journeys once made by mule and cart while hauling logs and supplies through the Olympic Peninsula. A dam on Lake Cushman, originally created by glaciers during the last ice age, now provides electricity to the growing City of Tacoma carried across the lines that span the Tacoma Narrows, an active supply since March of 1926.
.Sometimes it is hard to imagine how this location, so close to home, could remain so wild and free. Even in Spring, the peaks of the mountains wear dustings of snow from low passing clouds building pack to supply the lake below and in turn, electricity for the City of Tacoma and nourishment for flora and fauna in the seasons to come. The waters of the river and the lake are so aqua-green-blue, you can feel and smell the frigid, clean and cold temperature without even a touch.
The Olympic National Forest is within arms reach of any resident fortunate enough to have chosen to live and breathe within Tacoma, Gig Harbor and University Place. To ride in your vehicle and hour or so west while gazing at passing Bald Eagles, tufts of white bubbly current along river ways, tumbling lake beds and waterfalls provides a much different experience than driving north in commuter traffic for an hour or more. So, when considering what to do to enhance your quality of life by touching nature, absorbing pure wild west ambiance, throw the Olympic Peninsula and the Staircase Rapid Trails into the mix–I pledge to you, your exposure to this wilderness and beauty will bring you a sense of peace and awe, not just about what you have seen, smelled, touched and tasted, but that you live so close to such an unbelievable utopia.