I hiked Margaret’s Way yesterday.
As is the case each time I hike this trail, I remember with fondness and gratitude former trail colleague and outdoors advocate Margaret Macleod. For over 20 years, Margaret was the Interagency Trails Coordinator for King County, City of Issaquah, and Washington State Department of Natural Resources. Through her persistence and talent for bringing people together, hundreds of acres of open space have been preserved for wildlife habitat and outdoor recreation just minutes from Seattle.
It wasn’t so long ago that the land traversed by Margaret’s Way was a private campground. When the campground became history, the land was acquired for timber harvest. Thanks to some quick action by local citizens, King County and the Trust for Public Land, the acreage was purchased and saved for public use and as a wildlife area.
The 216 acres were incorporated into the Cougar/Squak Corridor Park and was officially opened to the public in 2015 with the opening of Margaret’s Way trail. It was the perfect tribute to a woman who spent much of her life preserving open space for the next generation.
I know that nothing is permanent in our world. A puppy today, a dog tomorrow. Sleepy suburb 20 years ago, today a metropolis. I hope, though, that our public lands are more than a temporary status. The faster our cities grow and technology evolves, the more we need close-to-home wild spaces that help us connect to nature.