HIKE DESCRIPTION: An easy getaway without heading into the mountains, Bresemann Forest is 70 acres of woods with a web of short trails, a pleasant creek and pond, a small dam and a bypass channel for fish.
The small forest is located next to Sprinker Recreation Center in Spanaway. The woods are named for Gustave Bresemann, a furniture store owner who built a dam on the creek at the north end of Spanaway in 1873 to power his tools. The dam was replaced with the current dam in 1953 and, in 2007, Pierce County spent $300,000 to build a bypass channel around the dam for fish.
Morey Creek and Mill Pond are far enough from Military Road to avoid most of the traffic noise, making it a good spot for quick, peaceful getaway.
A trail loops around the forest, and a number of trails pass through the middle of the woods. Not all of the trails are official trails, and signs ask walkers and cyclists to stick to designated trails. The trails are short enough that visitors can wander without much fear of getting lost. And if a walk here is too short, it can easily be extended with a trip next door to Spanaway Park.
DIRECTIONS: From state Route 512, take the Pacific Avenue (state Route 7) exit and drive south to Military Road (152nd Street). Turn right and after a 1 1/2 blocks enter the Sprinker Recreation Center parking lot on the right. The trailhead for Bresemann Forest is located in the northwest corner of the parking lot near the SPIRE Rock climbing structure.
DIFFICULTY RATING: 1 (5 is most difficult, 1 is easiest).
MILES ROUND TRIP: 2.
ELEVATION GAIN: Negligible.
BEST TIME OF THE YEAR: Year round.
MAP: A map is available on the Pierce County Parks website.
ALSO: The trails are popular among local bird watchers. The trails are open to bicycles, but too short to be a worthy destination for mountain bikers. Dogs are permitted if they are on a leash and owners clean up after them. A toxic algae warning near the pond warns to keep pets away and to not swim. The forest closes half an hour after sunset. The trailhead sign encourages visitors to pick up trash they find along the trail. SPIRE (Spanaway Ice and Rock Education) Rock is located on the edge of the woods. The structures were built in 1976. There are several geocaches hidden in the forest. Visit geocaching.com for more information.