Because of my recent heart operation, we are off the bike until the bones heal. However, part of the cardiac rehab is regular walking. Not satisfied with marching up and down Railroad Avenue (on good days) or circumambulating the sidewalks and trails around Mason General Hospital (on bad days), we’ve been looking at the many short hiking trails around Mason County. Mason County Washington encompasses the lower arm of Hood Canal and several inlets of South Puget Sound as well as islands and the southern quarter of the Olympic Mountains. Therefore, there are lots of hiking opportunities.
We started with the county parks, but there are also a few city hikes of note in Shelton. One is the short Goldsborough Creek trail, that provides access to the former site of the Goldsborough dam that supplied power to the city of Shelton and later to the Simpson Lumber Company from the late 1890s until the late 1990s. In 2001, the 30-foot-high dam was removed, replaced with 34 concrete weirs spaced down the drop to allow salmon to climb past the former dam site to spawn in the headwaters in the marshes near Little Egypt Road.
The trail starts just past the Ford/Chrysler/Jeep dealer, at the driveway to the Pavilion (now the Shelton Senior Center), and follows the old dam road for about 400 meters before a side trail leads to the creek and then along the creek side back to behind the car dealership. In addition to the weirs, there are a number of trees that create obstacles and pools. In July, the creek levels are down, but the weirs are popular with white-water kayakers during the spring runoff. The forest is mixed lowland trees and shrubs, with abundant sea spray, just starting to bloom.
The lower loop trail is little more than 1Km. A less-distinct trail continues another several hundred meters to the Simpson Railway where it crosses the creek.
We walked this trail on July 4, 2014. A couple of hours later, I had a pulmonary embolism that was totally debilitating and required several days treatment and recuperation in hospital, so we were fortunate that the clot didn’t choose to move during this wilderness hike.