Gulch group introduces Trail-A-Muk

By Kevin Chaney | Aug 01, 2012
Photo by: Kevin Chaney Steve Bertrand, of the Japanese Gulch Group, is coordinator of the first ever Trail-A-Muk 5K run/walk through the Japanese Gulch, scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 11. The fun run leads runners through lower and upper gulch trails.

Run-A-Muk fans will be happy to know there is now another 5K run/walk in Mukilteo through the trails of Japanese Gulch – this one, for you and your dog.

The first ever Trail-A-Muk, hosted by the Japanese Gulch Group, is set for Saturday, Aug. 11, with a 9 a.m. start. The fun run starts and finishes at the Rosehill Community Center, 304 Lincoln Ave. in Mukilteo.

Runners and walkers will follow Mukilteo Lane to the gulch, wind through trails in lower gulch, up into the upper gulch and then back to Rosehill.

Registration is from 7-8:45 a.m. It is a non-competitive, dog friendly event.

“We are hoping to use it as a tune up for the Run-a-Muk, which will be coming up as part of the Lighthouse Festival,” said Steve Bertrand, coordinator of the event. “We’re hoping to get people out and helping them get fit, so that they’re ready to go with Run-a-Muk.”

The annual Run-A-Muk 10K run or 5K run/walk is Saturday, Aug. 25. The race starts at 8 a.m. For more information, go to

Todd Hooper, JGG president, said Trail-A-Muk will help introduce the Japanese Gulch to the community and hopefully inspire them to bike, hike or walk their dog through the trails. He said the group plans to make it an annual event.

“We love putting on this event for the community, [so they can] access Japanese Gulch and see the activities that can take place there,” Hooper said.

Bertrand said Trail-A-Muk could turn into a competitive event in the future, as the trail system improves over time.

The JGG was founded in 2007 with the mission to save and preserve the undeveloped land in Japanese Gulch as parks and open space. Funds raised though Trail-A-Muk will go toward the city’s purchase of the last 97 acres.

The city is currently in negotiations with the owner of the property. Mukilteo has purchased about 25 acres of the gulch so far, some of it located in Everett. Everett has offered to de-annex the property, as long as it is kept as parkland.

“[The 5K’s] sole purpose is to heighten awareness by getting people into Japanese Gulch and enjoying portions of the land that have already been purchased,” Bertrand said.

“It is a unique opportunity for the community to save land set aside for everyone to enjoy as a park versus a parking lot.”

Bertrand said the JGG is hopeful they’ll get a good turnout for the event, as many in the community have already shown their support in their efforts to save the gulch.

He said their work is far from over. The 97 acres owned by Metropolitan Trust is worth an estimated $7 million.

“With anything, to pull things off like saving a 100-acre area here, it’s a community effort,” he said. “We are just hoping that we can get more people on board in terms of supporting the Japanese Gulch.”

“We are in it for the long haul, and we hope to someday see this as a park for everyone to enjoy.”

A post-event social is scheduled for 10 a.m. at the Rosehill Community Center. Refreshments will be served.

Pre-register online at by Aug. 10. Registration fees are $25 for adults or $15 for 12 and younger.

For more information, contact the Japanese Gulch Group at

Kevin Chaney is an intern for the Mukilteo Beacon.

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