Many of you are probably among the 80,000-100,000 who visit Mt. Si Natural Resource Conservation Area (NRCA) near North Bend every year. Mt. Si is special to Puget Sound natives for its convenient location and stunning views of the Snoqualmie valley and nearby Cascades. Hikers and rock climbers use Mt. Si to train year-round, especially in winter-time, when other Cascades hiking trails close for snow.
One of the keys to keeping Mount Si’s trails user-friendly year-round comes from a longstanding partnership between DNR and the Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust. The Greenway has worked to improve quality of life in the Puget Sound region for nearly 20 years through its emphasis on conserving forests, wildlife and outreach.
Community outreach really makes a difference—earlier this month, the last phase of a major two-year, trail improvement project at Mt. Si was finished thanks to the help of the Greenway. Volunteers contributed an inspiring 19,000 hours to make extensive repairs to 2.2 miles of existing trails, including building retaining walls, steps, and drainage to prevent erosion. Volunteers also helped build a new trail between the new Little Si parking lot and trailhead to give better access to visitors.
DNR manages a little more than 130,000 acres of Natural Resource Conservation Area statewide. NRCAs like the one at Mt. Si help protect native ecosystems and the plant and animal species that depend on them. They also provide opportunities for low-impact public recreation and environmental education programs.