Suncadia Trails Snowshoe: Finding the Fish Shed

At the moment I am staying in the cozy home of some dear and generous friends. Their home is located near Suncadia Resort in Western Washington. I have always been curious about Suncadia, and in particular, Suncadia trails. This area is well-loved by many of my neighbors and friends, but I have never had the chance to spend much time here until now.

Being in this place has given me a wonderful gift: It has helped me fall in love with winter again. For the past many years, the months of January and February have been a slog and a stress-fest for me. Winter after the holidays has been a time to put my head down, endure the dark and the rain, complete a million projects, and hope for a breath once spring rolled around.

I had forgotten that winter has magic in it.

Mornings have brought the welcome sight of gently falling snow, with the forest beckoning me to come outside. And so every day I have gone walking.

A view of Fish Shed Trail as it meanders along Nelson Creek in the Suncadia Trail system.
About Suncadia Trails

There are more than 40 miles of trails in Suncadia that are open to the public at no charge, regardless of whether you are a guest of the resort. So while an overnight stay in one of the cabins or rooms is definitely dreamy, if you live in the Seattle area you could pop over and play in the snow just for the day.

Some of the trails are groomed nordic trails, which means that you can’t hike on them without snowshoes in the winter. It is good trail etiquette to wear snowshoes and avoid post-holing, which is when you plunge knee-deep into the snow and create a giant hole. This makes it really difficult for other hikers or skiers who come along after you to navigate the trail.

Fish Shed Trail, a nickname for part of the Eisenberg Loop, is a nordic trail, so be sure to bring your snowshoes. Although there was little to no risk of post-holing with the amount of snow on this trail, I nonetheless chose to honor the request on the sign and strapped mine on. If you need to rent some, you can do that at the Prospector Pro Shop (within the Inn). Cross-country skis are also available to rent. Click here to book your rental.

Trail Access

To access the trail, follow Swiftwater Drive toward the Nelson Farm. Just before you get to the farm there is a small parking area along the road near the trailhead. The trail is well marked and there is a large posted trail map if you want to get your bearings.

One other thing to note–this trail is pet-friendly, so you can bring your furry friends along to keep you company!

The Hike

The trail meanders along Nelson Creek down toward the Cle Elum River. The forest is peaceful, and the sound of the water running over the pebbles in the creek bed is incredibly soothing. This is not a long trek–only 1.2 miles from the trailhead to the fish shed (2.4 miles roundtrip), so I recommend taking your time and soaking it all in.

A quick peek at the nature therapy this Suncadia trail offers.

After reaching the fish shed, I couldn’t resist continuing on for a bit and exploring the trails along the river. You can keep going for as long as you want. The trails are well-marked and you can link in to the entire Suncadia trail network.

Paper copies of this map are available at the Lodge, or take a picture of it at the trailhead.

Whatever trail you choose this winter, I hope you find your way into the woods. There is rest there, and calm for your weary soul.

To find some additional options for winter snowshoeing, click here.

Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop away from you like the leaves of Autumn.

John Muir