Notes from Newcastle: The Prices of city trail maintenance

July 2, 2014

By Christina Corrales-Toy

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As the pleasant summer months approach, there is no better time to explore the city’s vast trail network under blue skies and warm temperatures.

You can find longtime Newcastle residents Jim and Peggy Price on the trails in rain or shine, though.

The husband-and-wife team is very active when it comes to preserving and expanding Newcastle’s walking trails. They were among the founders of the Newcastle Trails organization and continue to remain deeply involved in the nonprofit.

Peggy had a direct hand in designing, routing and building the Terrace Trail and the eastern portion of the May Creek Trail. She now spends a large portion of her weeks working on the CrossTown Trail, which will span from Coal Creek Parkway to Cougar Mountain Regional Wildland Park.

Many Eagle Scouts have her to thank for helping them complete their final projects while she dutifully supervised and assisted on their trail extensions.

You can’t talk about the Newcastle trails, without mentioning the Prices, but to them, their passion for the outdoors is just a way of life.

Peggy’s love of trails started early, thanks to annual family camping trips, while Jim picked his up as a boy growing up in Illinois.

The duo met as University of Washington students when Peggy joined Jim’s hiking club.

“After about four hikes, the club was down to two people — the ones who would hike and camp in the rain,” Peggy said.

The last ones standing eventually married a year and a half later, before relocating to Alaska, which features a playground of outdoor activities for the two. They moved to Newcastle in 1986.

The Newcastle Chamber of Commerce has already honored both with Diamond Awards, but with the work they do to promote and expand the city’s greatest recreational amenity, they could easily be nominated every year.

Up next, the Prices will continue their work on the city’s trails and take time to hike a newly rebuilt section of the Pacific Crest Trail near Glacier Peak this summer. The Pacific Crest Trail stretches from Canada to Mexico.

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