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Parking for the Cushman Trail can be found at the trailhead on Grandview Street, which also offers restrooms. Another trailhead with restrooms and a drinking fountain is located on Hollycroft Wye NW. Trail users may also park in the large lot for the Pierce County Park and Ride on Kimball Drive or at the trail's southern endpoint on 14th Avenue NW.
I've ridden Foothills and Burke-Gillman trails since getting my bike, and they are primarily level mile after mile. Cushman was a different sort of bear. Though it wasn't a long trail, or exceedingly aggressive, It gave both the brakes (on my bike) and my legs a work out. It was a bit difficult to follow the trail, as a first-time user, as it jumps across some city blocks. Not the most scenic trail, but I'll go back for the exercise value.
Super nice trail with awesome views of Mt. Rainer and surrounding country. The trail does have a couple of incomplete links, forcing you to ride on the road for a bit, but it's pretty well marked.
It's also a very short and easy connection to the Scott Pierson Trail. It's a shame the trail doesn't continue on for the ~1mile to connect the two trails, but the missing bit is super short.
Overall, super impressed with this trail!
This is a hilly paved trail consisting of three sections. There are street portions connecting the trail sections.
The paved trail sections are very nice.
WARNING! Do not park in the south end parking lot. Breakins are very frequent and there are no Sheriff's patrols.
Went to do this trail with my 5yr. Old and 9yr old. Didn't know it has steep hills and goes through the middle of down town. Had to have them ride on the sidewalks. Crosses multiple roads with speeding traffic. Hills have grades up to 10% for up to 1300ft. If taking kids have them walk it or in a controlled stroller/tandem bike.
New trailhead at Burnham Dr, right next to Home Depot. Small parking lot with restrooms. Very nice. Trail itself has lots of long hills. Poor signage at several places where you have to ride on city streets before rejoining the next leg of the trail. Lots of dog feces along the path.
Nice trail, nice concept. Leash laws for dogs not enforced, too many owners do not clean up after their dogs.
On July 26, 2013, I thoroughly enjoyed my ride from the War Memorial parking lot just east (or is it really south) of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge to Gig Harbor. I stopped on the bridge several times to take in the gorgeous views, then did the same on the return trip to my car.
On the way into Gig Harbor I decided to head downtown (lunch, a beer, rent a kayak, whatever) instead of continuing to the end of the Cushman Trail, so I turned right on Pioneer Way and carefully descended 260 feet straight down into the charming city center, knowing full well that I might be walking my bike back up that monster hill after my downtown visit. However, I was hopeful that I could find an easier way back up to reconnect to the trail.
Thanks to some directions from the local fly shop (where I bought two salmon flies), I found a much nicer way back to the trail -- Soundview Drive -- which starts just a block east of Pioneer Way. The climb is considerably longer, but far less steep than Pioneer Way (less huffing and puffing), and the views of the Sound and Mount Rainier are to die for. Soundview then connects to the Cushman Trail at the visitor center/restroom facility on Hollycroft Street. From there I continued on the trail, back over the Narrows Bridge (stop, stop, gawk, gawk), and then to my starting point.
On my next trip I'll try yet another route that is even closer to the water than Soundview Drive. The Reid Drive/14th Avenue route (which can be accessed at the intersection with Hollycroft) looks like it might be a winner. Based on the TrailLink map (I love these maps), it appears that there is little elevation gain on this route -- and the sound/mountain views might even be better. Of course, these alternative routes would work nicely in either direction.
Has anyone taken the Reid Drive/14th Avenue route? If not, I'll report back next time I ride my steed into Gig Harbor.
Keep on Bikin'!
Tom from Hansville, WA
OUR FIRST CUSHMAN TRAIL REVIEW - Courtesy of Carvendive - riding a new trike. He has forwarded this for posting. Enjoy.
The “Cushman Trail”: From the Gig Harbor Park and Ride to the South East end of trail - 6 miles RT. (Tacoma Narrows option included.)
Rating 5 for the Tacoma Narrows view otherwise I’d rate the Cushman trail as 4.
There is parking at the Gig Harbor Park and Ride in the middle of the Cushman Trail and at the East trail head just off 14th Ave. This report describes the ride from the P&R, east to the trail head at 14th Ave., 3 miles away.
Departing the parking lot we headed east where you first go up a long hill and then around a couple curves and then down a short hill to Soundview Dr. From there you turn right and proceed to Hollycroft St where you turn Left.
At the Olympic Dr NW intersection, Soundview becomes 56th St NW. Cross Olympic Dr and immediately turn Right and you are back on the Cushman trail. Within a block you cross one more street (Hollycroft Wy NW) and then it’s trail all the way to the next trail head. This section follows the power lines along the side of Hwy 16. The trail has some small hills and is well paved its entire length.
Although not part of the actual trail, the natural thing to do at this point is to cross the Tacoma Narrows Bridge which adds another 2.5 miles to the ride for a total RT of 11 miles. To get to Tacoma Narrows: at the East end of the Cushman trail turn right onto 14th Ave and then turn right at 24thSt NW. Once across the Highway 16 overpass, turn left onto the Pedestrian / Bike path.
This addition turns it into a FANTASTIC ride as long as you don’t have a fear of heights! The bridge is 187’ above the water and a 8’ wide walking/biking path on the south side of the south span. The path has a concrete barrier between it and the traffic lane and substantial railing on the water side (thereby eliminating some of the fear of height).
On a CATrike Road
A TRAILBEAR TRAIL NOTE... Want a longer ride? Add the Scott Pierson Trail. It runs from close to the I 5 x WA 16 junction five miles to the far side of the Narrows bridge. It is a freeway ride. Bring the I Pod. Crank up the volume.
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