Posted April 17, 2019
Since April highlights the magic of nature in springtime and Earth Day, it’s a great time to get outside and explore the outdoors. As winter comes to a close, we’re feeling especially blessed to live in the Pacific Northwest. This special place is renowned for its magnificent backdrop of water and mountain views.
At McCormick, enjoying the Earth is as easy as stepping outside — nature is all around you. This focus on preserving nature is evident from the moment you enter McCormick. The quiet, meandering entrance leading to your home is surrounded by towering evergreens. As you wind your way through McCormick you will encounter trailheads, parks, playgrounds, a fairway or two, and more of these towering evergreens. Our firs and cedars tower above wooded trails that beckon you to take a walk. You may come across a pond that gives you an opportunity to rest, to reflect. Not only is nature your backyard, you are surrounded by acres of untouched green space, and a serene golf course.
Did you know that Japan actually promotes forest therapy (known as shinrin-yoku)? It’s a doctor-recommended, research-based activity called “forest bathing,” helping you relax as you take a walk in nature. As shared in a 2018 feature story on Forest Bathing by KIRO Radio, “when we go on a hike you usually have a destination in mind, watching the trail and trying to get to a waterfall, get to a lake, get to a point of interest. In forest bathing there is no destination. The point is to just be. We won’t cover more than a mile of trail, usually, in a forest bathing session. We’ll stop when we need to stop and wander about. It’s okay to go off trail. The birds are chirping, just stop and take that in.”
Now that the weather is warming up, why not try some of this forest therapy? Take a stroll on the Big Pond Trail or Huckleberry Trail, where you’re immersed in pristine nature and surrounded by native habitat. It’s a peaceful way to spend part of your day — but don’t be surprised if a deer jaunts out of nowhere, or some small animal scurries by. As shared in the KIRO Radio feature story, the point is to just be. To stop, listen, to breath, and to take it all in.
Big Pond Trail at McCormick, which starts at Deer Park, offers a quintessential Pacific Northwest experience. It’s a place where you can enjoy pristine nature. The trail is picturesque any time of the day. If you go early in the morning, you’ll catch a view of the sun peeking through the trees. The crisp air is fresh. If you stop for a minute and let the spell of nature wash over you, you’ll feel ready to conquer the day. Flanked on both sides by majestic, tall trees, the trail winds its way around Big Pond, and offers a terrific view of the water. If you decide to do the entire loop, it should take about an hour — longer if you decide to make a few stops along the way and let the tranquility soak in.
Big Pond Trail has several smaller, offshoot trails as well, so you can truly be “lost” for a few hours of exploring (or, as the Japanese may say, forest bathing). It’s truly hard to believe that this secluded area is just a stone throw’s away from city life. Grab your dog, too — this is a pet-friendly neighborhood.
The history behind the McCormick Woods Golf Club is very relevant to this topic! The club was built in 1986 by architect Jack Frei in accordance with the Audubon Society to optimize its serene location. McCormick Woods is one of Washington’s premier public golf experiences. “The course features natural lakes hidden amongst towering firs and cedars. At McCormick Woods, your scenic golf experience becomes a tranquil escape.” https://www.mccormickwoodsgolf.com/golf-course/
Experience the natural beauty of our Pacific Northwest paradise. Take the time to explore a little beyond our beautiful McCormick. Several Kitsap County Parks are close by, where you can enjoy hiking, walking, biking jogging – or forest bathing. Turn April into your kickoff month for outdoors activities while celebrating Earth in the process!
Do you love to explore McCormick or Kitsap Peninsula’s trails? Find us on Facebook or Instagram and share your pictures. We’d love to see some of your favorites. In the meantime, we leave you with this quote, an excerpt from our Emerald City’s namesake Chief Seattle, set atop a picture from the summit of McCormick’s neighbor, Green Mountain.