Did that squirrel just take my sign?!?

Welcome, Fitness Challenge participants and curious onlookers.

In the coming months, The Plog, along with King County Parks’ Facebook page will be your go-to location for updates about the King County Parks Fitness Challenge, a fun way for King County employees to fulfill the Healthy Incentives program and go for gold.

Today is the first day to get out and get working on the challenges. A few folks were so excited about the King County Parks Fitness Challenge that they started over the weekend. Unfortunately, not all of the signage was up, so no codes for them. If this was you, thanks for your enthusiasm! And please email me at fitnesschallenge@kingcounty.gov and let me know where you were so I can help you out.

The sign that Parks Mascot Douggie the Douglas squirrel is displaying is an example of an end-point sign. The ‘code’ that you will be looking for is actually a word. In this case, the sign was sitting atop my computer, so an homage to the floppy disk seemed appropriate. There will be signs at trailheads or starting points (or there should be, unless Douggie has been out adding to his cache). Keep your eyes peeled for these l’il helpers, so you know you’re going in the right direction.

Since this is the first year of the King County Parks Fitness Challenge, we would love feedback and information about where you’ve been, pictures, and clarifications of routes so that we can continue to improve this program in the future. 

A few updates and clarifications:

  • Dockton Historic Trail map 
  • Disk Golf Course map at Lakewood Park
  • Ring Hill South updated driving directions: Travel East along NE Woodinville Duvall Road and turn right on NE Old Woodinville Duvall Road. After turning onto the Old Woodinville Duvall Rd, turn right onto 232nd at a Y in the road. Continue South on Meyers Road/232nd Ave NE and turn left onto NE 147th Street. The road will end at the trail head.
  • Cougar Mountain Wilderness Peak updated hiking directions: From the parking lot go .6 mile up a gentle hill to the Wilderness Creek-Wilderness Cliffs junction. From this junction you can continue 1 mile on the Wilderness Creek trail to take the Wilderness Peak trail at Shy Bear Pass. From that point it is .4 miles to Wilderness Peak. From the W. Creek/W-Cliffs junction you can also reach the Peak by hiking 1.3 miles on the W-Peak trail and you’ve made it to the highest point on Cougar Mountain at an elevation of 1595 feet.

22 thoughts on “Did that squirrel just take my sign?!?

  1. Hiked both sides of Cougar Mountain on June 2nd. Found the code at the east side Peak hike, but no code for the west side Coal Creek Falls. Nothing near the bridge crossing nor at the base of the Falls. We passed the Falls and kept climbing the trail in case the code was up above the Falls even though the directions said the Falls were the ending point. Didn’t find the code further up the trail either so turned back around to look again around the base of the Falls. No such luck. Perhaps it was originally posted near the Falls but hikers got tired of it being included in all of their waterfall photos so they tore it down? Not sure, but I’d like to know the code and perhaps maybe there should be a more established site for the replacement sign at that location. Thx.

    BTW, love this program! It has inspired me to become a hiker and biker. Bought my first real “adult” bike because of this program after having never biked since I was a kid. Now I find myself biking every weekend on trails that are not part of this program. Hiking and biking is fun. I wish I would have known this 20 years ago. Silly me.

    1. Hi. You can email us at fitnesschallenge@kingcounty.gov and we’ll get you the code you need. This sign disappears more then you could ever imagine. We secretly plotted to get people out enjoying and exploring their King County Parks so we’re glad to know that our evil genius has inspired you. Follow us on Facebook. It’ll give you some other ideas of places to go and things to do!

  2. I rode the Boot Camp trail at Duthie Hill Park twice and never did see the sign with the code word. It’s kind of tough to keep your eyes in the trees while keeping your tires on the narrow winding trail.

  3. I agree about Finn Hill Park, had the same problems a few weeks ago.

    Meanwhile I have a suggestion – add a few key Seattle Parks! Suggestions: Discovery, Arboreetum, Seward, Magnusen, Lincoln. You could also add in awesome public/private areas like Kubota Gardens!

    The biggest issue I have had with this program is having to transport myself out to these (some far flung) parks when I live in the heart of Seattle.

    Thanks again for this great program!

    1. Thank you for your feedback. We’ve just fixed the sign. After the fitness challenge is over we’ll be sending out a survey about the program. ‘More parks please’ is something we are definately considering should we continue the program in 2013.

  4. Hiked Finn Hill Park last weekend and still sign problems. Enter off of Juanita Drive at the main entrance and park by the ballfield on the right. Walk along the path past the right outfield to find the sign high up. You soon reach a fork and take a right (no sign here). Up the trail you see signs to the right. After circling the soccer field, look to the left to find the code sign. The word is messed up and needs to be re-written (hill?). Anyway, the walk is way too short and I recommend hiking the other side of the road. More trails and very nice forest!

  5. Went to the Lakewood Disk Park in Burien last week. To find the code park at the far south end of the parking lot and walk up to the small building that is straight ahead of you. It’s next to little kids play area and a covered open area. Go to the North side of the building by the Men’s restroom. The code is on the wall to the right of the door.

  6. Had a bit of trouble finding the signage on Big Finn Hill Park this weekend. Walked around the outfield areas of all the ball fields and initially could not located them. It was walking along the back of the Kirkland Little Leagues outfield that I finally notiiced that first sign which is 10-12 feet up the tree. All signage was located up about the same level, so make sure you keep looking up as you walk to trail so you know which path to stay on. Have Fun.

  7. It says in the FAQs that the codes will be 4 digits. I found one today at Tolt MacDonald Park that was way more than 4 digits and we fould a few yesterday that were 5 digits. Whats the deal, are we looking at the wrong signs?
    Warning: The sign at Duthie HIll Park is not on the Boot Camp Trail, it is on a small side trail that was cut in as a shortcut.
    Should also explain about the Preston Trail Sign location too. If you stay on the main trail, you will miss it. The last 100 yards or so are on a gravel road (don’t take the sharp right down the hill or you will go right by it, stay straight on to the gravel.

    1. Thank you for your feedback. The length of the code word is 4-6 letters long even though the description specified 4. We tried to correct that information in the blog post and in the registration email. We are printing new signs that make this code more explicit.

      Also, thank you for the details on how/where to find the code words. If you have any problems locating them let us know and we’ll email them to you pronto. This is a pilot program to get folks out and enjoying their King County Parks.

  8. Hi, two weekends ago we were at Maury Island Marine Park and had a hell of a time finding the place. We drove around for hours. We were thinking we’d use our smartphones if we had trouble finding the park. My wife’s smartphone was dying and mine just ain’t that smart. At least now I can say I know the south end of Vashon/Maury Island!

    So folks, PRINT YOUR MAPS before you go to Vashon.

    Meanwhile the Maury Island Marine Park end post sign code is barely readable. Someone needs to go in and re-do the lettering. It was not totally clear to me from the online documents where the post would be located. The post is down by the water, just up from the beach, where there is a cleared area and a single wood picnic table. The post is striped red on white like a candy cane, or barber shop.

    Thanks to KC Parks for this cool program!

    1. Thank you for your comment. YES, maps are good! The directions/descriptions also have some information about where to go and park. We are working on a re-design of the endpoint signs so stay tuned. If you have any problems finding any of the codes email us know at fitnesschallenge@kingcounty.gov and we’ll get you the information you need! Hope you had fun exploring your King County Parks…and Vashon/Maury Island.

  9. Kathryn, I feel your pain. We also struggled with the Finn Hill Park trails and signage. First off, it seems the directions take you to a parking area on the west side of the park but I believe the trail directions assume you’re starting at the parking lot on the east side of the park. Because it’s wooded and you can’t see the multiple ball fields, you naturally think you’re at the right one no matter which entrance you come in. Not necessarily so…Also, organizers, I would think twice next time about using a trail that has multiple splinters and no obvious main route. It was very hard to know if we continued on the designed trail or not. More signs would have helped. With lots of good luck, I found the exit sign very near Juanita on the entrance/exit road to the West entrance. I’m not sure how most people would beging to follow this trail or find the code.

    1. We apologize for any inconvenience anyone is experiencing. This is our first year with this exercise. Attempting to iron out the kinks as we speak. Currently developing more, and larger, signage to accommodate our Fitness Challenge locations. We will keep you posted and as always feel free to contact us if there is any confusion. Thank you again for your patience.

  10. I was just at the Lakewood Park and played a round of Disc Golf but I did not see the sign. I also could not find the pro shop, so it was a good thing I borrowed the equipment from a friend.

    1. The code is on the wall next to the men’s restroom. It’s that building by the children’s play area close to the South end of the parking lot.

  11. Still trying to find the entrance to the trail around the outfield at Big Finn Hill Park. If anyone has been there and can describe in detail how to find it I’d like to hear from you. I walked all over and couldn’t find the trail let alone the code! It’s a nice park and I’d like to go back with better directions.

    1. Staff are still getting the Fitness signs posted Kathryn. That specific sign will be up in the next day or so. We apologize, this is our first go at this, so still working out the kinks.

  12. I went to wilderness peak on Saturday and saw the signs leading up to the “top” of the Wilderness Peak trail. It says to sign into the “log” at the top, which I did. I thought it was confusing that you didn’t have any signage at the actual “top” of the hike, given you are asking for participants to fill in a “code”.

  13. We are very enthusiastic about the King County Parks Fitness Challenge. We have now (as of 1-14-12) completed 2 of the hikes. However, the “unique 4 digit ID code” remains less clear than it should be.

  14. This year we decided to be old school and have people write things down on paper. Maybe next year we’ll work on figuring out this newfangled technology.

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