The Asahel Curtis Nature Trail is a nice stroll through an old growth forest. The trail is short, under a mile, and informative. There are many trees and bushes that have interpretive signs next to them, providing a little forest education while you walk. The trail is named after photographer Asahel Curtis, who fell in love with the great northwest in the late 1800's and 1900's.
The trailhead itself is right next to the Annette Lake trailhead. While the Annette Lake trail climbs, the Asahel Curtis Nature Trail is relatively flat, gaining very little elevation in a loop that is less than a mile long.
The trail follows along, and crosses, Humpback Creek with a few wooden bridges - that are hard not to stop at and photograph. There are times the trail becomes a boardwalk over wetlands. There are numerous benches along the way, in which to sit and enjoy the old growth forest around you.
It's a fresh, green experience with tall trees of western Hemlocks, Douglas Firs, Red Cedars, Ferns and flowering bushes...depending on the time of year. Moss covers the ground and the trees, including those that have fallen long ago.
We've used this trail a few times after coming back down from Annette Lake. It's a nice trail to bring anyone from out of town, who might not be ready for the more challenging hikes of Snoqualmie, yet would like to experience some of the fresh air and old growth evergreens the northwest has to offer.
Winter 2011 Update: It's been a harsh winter in the northwest and the trail has taken a bit of a beating. By most indications, the trail can be used, if you don't mind climbing over a few fallen trees along the way, or walking around them in some snow that lingers. After the snow melts each year, the various crews are quick to clean up.
To get to the Asahel Curtis Nature trailhead, take I-90 to exit 47, Asahel Curtis/Denny Creek. Turn south at the exit stop sign and continue to the end, then turn left on Forest Road 5590 for a half mile. There are facilities to use before taking the trail. A Northwest Forest Pass is required to park, which you can pick up along the way at most any gas station.
Asahel Curtis Trail is an easy loop of less than mile, with only about 180 feet in elevation gain. This trailhead is right next to the Annette Lake Trailhead.