Celebrate National Trails Day on the new Oxbow Loop

We’re celebrating National Trails Day with even more opportunities to get out and discover recreation opportunities with the Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

Venture out to the Mount Si Natural Resources Conservation Area on June 1st for the opening of the brand new Oxbow Loop Trail. The 1.9-mile length loop trail project includes a parking lot and offers increased recreation access east of North Bend, just 40 minutes from Seattle.

The majority of the project funding came from the Natural Areas capital budget and is part of an ongoing project to enhance day-use access at sites along the Middle Fork Snoqualmie River.

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Discover Oxbow Loop Trail

Oxbow Loop Trail is a relatively flat 1.9-mile hike that provides a much-needed lower intensity hiking addition to the very popular and often overcrowded recreation areas within the Middle Fork Snoqualmie River Valley.

The trail begins by winding through older forest stands, providing intermittent views of the Middle Fork Snoqualmie River, Oxbow Lake, and the surrounding mountain peaks of the Middle Fork Valley.  The trail predominantly uses renovated segments of a former forest road before transitioning across an 80’ length trail bridge and onto a narrower trail located on a slope break above the lake on the south end.

To download or print a trail map, click here.

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The public planning process

The new day-use site is a result of the local input and community support that went into that planning effort. DNR designed, permitted, and managed the development of the new trail and trailhead through a collaborative project between its Natural Areas and Recreation programs.

The agency also partnered with Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust (MTSG), who performed the heavy lifting on the development of trailhead parking, restroom installation, and trail development. A local DNR trail crew, with support from a Washington Conservation Corps crew, assembled an 80’ length trail bridge, assisted with trail surfacing, and installed signage and kiosks. RTI Fabrication provided the trail bridge materials, while Columbia Helicopters provided aerial bridge transport and placement.

DNR released the Snoqualmie Corridor Recreation Plan, a guide including high-priority plans to identify, evaluate, design, and develop river access and day use trail opportunities at four locations along the Middle Fork Snoqualmie River, in March 2015.  DNR continues to work with partners to further enhance the site by exploring opportunities to provide interpretive and environmental education.

Visitors will continue to see improvements identified in the plan on the ground for the next decade.

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Getting there
Traveling on Interstate 90, take Exit 34 and follow 468th Ave SE to the north, turn right onto SE Middle Fork Road and follow for several miles as it transitions to NF Road 5600 and until you reach the Oxbow Loop Trailhead. Directions

To download or print a trail map, click here.

A Discover Pass is required to park at the trailhead, get yours here.