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The project facilitates the transformation of deteriorating logging roads into a scenic trail network that can be enjoyed by hikers, trail runners and other outdoor enthusiasts.

 

 

Putting Old Roads to New Use on the South Fork Snoqualmie Trail Project

photo of biker on mountain trail

 

 

As you pedal up and around the corner, the fog parts. Sunlight pours down on the flanks of a snow-capped peak while the brightly colored heads of wildflowers dance jauntily in the breeze.

It’s hard to believe the narrow ribbon of dirt you’re riding used to be a logging road. But what once was a 10 foot wide gravel swath is now a narrow, beautiful singletrack trail ideal for mountain biking, hiking and more.

Located in the South Fork Snoqualmie River Basin, along the south side of Interstate 90 between Olallie State Park to the west and Snoqualmie Pass to the east, the South Fork Snoqualmie trail is a terrific example of multiple organizations coming together to transform a formerly logged area into a non-motorized recreation opportunity.

Just a few years ago, this almost forty-year old clear cut was traversed by logging roads. With beautiful views and significant elevation it had the potential for fantastic riding and hiking, but lacked any form of singletrack trail network. Today the roads are being removed and in their place is seven miles of gorgeous, sustainable singletrack.

photo of trail crew at work in rocks

 

Phase 2 of the project is currently in progress and is slated to be completed before the snow flies. Funding for this project has come from the Federal Recreational Trails Program (RTP) administered in Washington by the State Recreation and Conservation Office, as well as from private donations. Phase 3 construction will begin when additional RTP funding is secured.

Once all phases of the project are completed, 22 miles of trail will have been built, and this new, high mountain trail network will dramatically increase the total mileage of trails open to mountain bikes along the I-90 corridor. Plus, it will eventually tie into the existing John Wayne Pioneer Trail as well as the to-be-constructed Mount Washington Trail in Olallie State Park— which received funding this year.

Photo of bicyclists working on trail

 

This project was initially proposed in 1995 and has received support from numerous agencies including Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust, the Cascade Chapter of the Sierra Club, and the Washington Trails Association, who all recognize the growing demand for new trails open to mountain bikes in the region.

Evergreen has worked closely with the USFS and Mountains to Sound Greenway to coordinate with their Road Decommissioning Project, and leveraged the broad volunteer community in the process.

Ultimately, the joint venture between Evergreen and other local organizations has resulted in a unique opportunity to turn removal of deteriorating logging roads into a scenic trail network that can be enjoyed by hikers, trail runners and other outdoor enthusiasts. At the same time, these new trails— just 45 minutes from Seattle— provides a stellar opportunity for the growing mountain bike community to enjoy an alpine riding experience close to home.

 

For more information:

For more information on the Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance visit http://evergreenmtb.org/home/index.php

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