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571 views • posted 12/29/2017 • updated 10/16/2019
This project reconstructed 2.7 miles of the Lake 22 Trail and leveraged construction of a one mile loop trail around the lake.
The trail's primary objective is "easiest hiker" with current use estimated of about 20,000 visitors a year.
The trail is located within the Lake 22 Natural Research Area (RNA) which was established in 1947 to preserve a remarkable stand of cedar and hemlock and to allow for the study of the associated natural processes. The trail, which gains about 1,400 feet, treats visitors to a spectacular old growth forest, towering cliffs, numerous waterfalls and a unique sub-alpine setting, all within an hours drive of the Puget Sound metropolitan area.
A number of rare plants have been identified with the RNA, many of these growing within the trail corridor. Soil erosion, trail widening, compaction and trampling resulting from insufficient or inadequate drainage structures threatened these rare plants. Reconstruction of the trail involved installation of turnpikes, ditches, crib ladder stairways and tread restoration.
Installation of the drainage structures now directs hikes onto a hardened trail surface thereby protecting rare plans from tramping and compaction while minimizing erosion of the trail corridor.
The loop trail around the lake is designed to protect the fragile vegetation near the outlet of Lake 22 and direct visitors to more interesting and rocky areas around the shore of the lake. A bridge across the outlet of Lake 22 and boardwalk along the lake shore have been designed to attract use, blending with the natural environment and also be able to survive a winter snowpack up to 15 feet deep.