Hike a two-mile forest trail on the north side of Squak Mountain to reach the site of a former cabin owned by the Bullitt family. Only the massive fireplace and the foundation remain today. Optionally, extend your hike to Central Peak, the highest point on Squak Mountain (no view,) and make it an interesting loop by returning via the Old Griz and East Side Trails.
From the trailhead, the Bullitt Fireplace Trail heads steadily uphill. Along the way you will pass signed junctions with several other trails. Stay on the Bullitt Fireplace Trail and it will take you to the cabin site.
Enjoy the forest here, not just the trees but all the moss and ferns too. In spring and early summer be alert for a few wildflowers.
In just under two miles the fireplace looms up about 50 feet off the trail on the right. Nearby, a rustic picnic table is available in case you want to sit for a few minutes.You can, of course, return to the trailhead the way you came. Or, for a more interesting but longer and more strenuous option see below.
Extending Your Hike
This option will add 1.5 miles to your round trip, with an extra 250 feet or so of elevation gain.
Continue on the Bullitt Fireplace Trail another 0.3 miles beyond the fireplace and reach a junction with the Central Peak Trail, where you turn right. In an additional 0.3 miles, with about 200 feet of elevation gain, reach the 2024-foot "summit" of Central Peak.
The fenced summit area is occupied by communication towers, and an official benchmark is installed just outside the fence on the south side. There is no view here. There often is a portable toilet available.
To continue, head back down the Central Peak Trail the way you came. In less than 0.1 mile, turn right on the Old Griz Trail (Most likely named after an old miner. There are no grizzly bears in the park.)
The next 0.4 miles of the Old Griz Trail pass through some of the most beautiful forest you will see on Squak Mountain. Take time to enjoy it. The light is best in the early morning when the sun comes through the trees at a very low angle.
Pass a junction with Phils Creek Trail (this is the Green Trails map spelling. The park folks prefer "Phil's," with an apostrophe.) Continue another 0.3 miles on the Old Griz Trail to reach a T-junction with the East Side Trail, where you turn left.
The East Side Trail offers a fairly level traverse for 0.8 miles, then rejoins the Bullitt Fireplace Trail at a junction you will recognize from your incoming hike. Follow the Bullitt Fireplace Trail a mile back to your trailhead.
Historical Note: Charles Stimson "Stim" Bullitt (d. 2009,) who had the cabin built in 1952 as a weekend retreat, was an avid outdoorsman and an active climber well into his 80s. The Bullitt family owned and managed Seattle's KING radio and TV stations, and had extensive real estate holdings that included 590 acres here on Squak Mountain. The cabin was not used often and it fell into disrepair. It was vandalized repeatedly, and eventually it burned. Later, the Bullitt family donated the land to the state to form the nucleus of Squak Mountain State Park.