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Sculpin
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PostSat Dec 29, 2018 10:51 am 
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Why does the map of Cougar Mountain Wildland Park show the abandoned clay pit as "no public access"?  I cannot find any recent information on this.  Both WTA and NWHikers have no recent TRs that I can find, but folks were going in there back in 2010.

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Even my best friends, they don't know, that my job is turning lead into gold. When you hear that engine drone, I'm on the road again, and I'm searching for the philosopher's stone - Van Morrison
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RandyHiker
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PostSat Dec 29, 2018 11:11 am 
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Sculpin wrote:
Why does the map of Cougar Mountain Wildland Park show the abandoned clay pit as "no public access"?  I cannot find any recent information on this.  Both WTA and NWHikers have no recent TRs that I can find, but folks were going in there back in 2010.

I think liability concerns is why it is officially closed.  The last time I was up there there wasn't any sort of barrier,  just a warning sign.   It was easy to walk to a large boulder near where the road meets the pit and enjoy a snack and the view.

Venturing farther into the pit is possible,  but this time of year tends to be quite mucky with sinking into the soft clay deeper than the ankles or more quite likley.
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Malachai Constant
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PostSat Dec 29, 2018 3:21 pm 
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The area past the pit is shown on the map as closed to hiking as wildlife habitat. Back in the day there was a trail past clay pit Peak to Wilderness Peak it passed a couple interesting features. Beware lions , tigers, and bears, oh my!

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"You do not laugh when you look at the mountains, or when you look at the sea." Lafcadio Hearn
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Damian
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PostSat Dec 29, 2018 4:02 pm 
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The pit is a nice walk when frozen.  Otherwise it’s a muck mess.  A visit to the perimeter is usually all you need.

The proliferation of signs, rules, irrelevant names and even a qoute by Henry Ford by the old ballpark have no place on Cougar Mtn.  Likewise the “Your Big Backyard” corn everywhere. 

Still a great place though.  And some of the original trails including the "Blackwater Trail" MC mentions can still be followed to the dismay of the do-gooders who continually tear them up.
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ThursdayHiker
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PostMon Dec 31, 2018 8:06 am 
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The Clay Pit was used by Mutual Materials for decades as a source for raw material for it's brick making plant in Newcastle.  King County purchased the land in 1999 for $750k with an agreement that Mutual could use the pit until 2040.  Mutual then sold its brick plant to a developer and no longer had a need for the clay.  3 or 4 years ago King County started a restoration project.  It included replacing top soil and hydroseeding.

As far as being closed to the public, I'm not sure.  Most of the year it is too muddy to enter anyway.
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