Opening Saturday, August 1st, 7 new miles of trail will be added to the Raging River State Forest system. This will expand the system to over 24 total trail miles.
The Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR), in collaboration with Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance and a team of their professional trail builders, community volunteers, state and Washington Conservation Corps crews, will open 7.2 new trail miles on August 1. This increases the Raging River State Forest trail system to over 24 miles of world-class mountain biking trails.
Combined with DNR’s nearby East Tiger Mountain Bike Trails, the Raging River trail system puts nearly 50 miles of mountain biking trails next door to Issaquah, Snoqualmie, and North Bend communities within a 25 mile drive for most Puget Sound metro area residents. Over several years, trail system expansions have rapidly positioned the corridor to become one of the best riding options in the Puget Sound region. Pending additional funding and coordination, DNR plans to connect the Raging River and East Tiger trail systems, with additional opportunities to connect, via trail, straight from downtown North Bend.
In 2009, DNR acquired 7,000 acres of forestland just to the south of Rattlesnake Mountain, which would become a core part of the new Raging River State Forest. King County provided critical funding through the Conservation Futures Program and holds a conservation easement on 4,000 acres. The Raging River State Forest trail system is part of DNR’s successful implementation of its Snoqualmie Corridor Recreation Plan, which guides recreation development across 53,500 acres of working forest and conservation lands.
With over 1 million estimated visitors every year, DNR-managed landscapes within the Snoqualmie Corridor include Raging River and Tiger Mountain state working forests as well as Rattlesnake Mountain Scenic Area, Middle Fork Snoqualmie, Mount Si and West Tiger Mountain conservation areas.
“With over 7 miles of new trails opening in Raging River, we are moving one step closer towards completion of a mountain bike trail system primarily in the northern zone of the forest, which was identified as a phase one implementation priority in the Snoqualmie Corridor Recreation Plan,” says Sam Jarrett, DNR Trails Program Manager.
“We are excited to continue this momentum and have secured grant funding for 13 additional trail miles, currently in the planning and permitting process, which will create important connections in the mountain biking zone and begin to develop trails more compatible with equestrian and hiking access in the southern area of the forest.”
This project is funded from a DNR grant awarded from the Washington Wildlife & Recreation Program administered through the Recreation and Conservation Office.
The new trails will offer several new loop options, providing opportunities for riding skill progression, and disperse use in the popular trail system, particularly reducing two-way traffic on the Raging Ridge Trail, part of the original Phase 1 of the 17-mile trail system that opened in 2018. New trail loop options should disperse visitors and reduce the number of potential trail interactions with other users within the system. This is particularly important to minimize exposure to COVID-19.
“The significance of this weekend’s opening in a time of unprecedented trail use during COVID cannot be understated. Expanding the Raging River trail network offers easy to access trails that further disperse riders from the busy ridge trail, when the need for recreation infrastructure is at an all-time high,” says Yvonne Kraus, Executive Director for Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance.
“The Raging River trail network now caters to a variety of rider skill and fitness levels. It’s another major milestone and success for this well-planned and supported trail network just outside Seattle. We are so pleased and grateful for the continued investment from RCO and DNR in providing a world-class mountain bike venue in our state.”
For helpful guidance on participating in outdoor recreation activities during this challenging time, please visit the Recreate Responsibly website for more information click here.
DNR Recreation and Leadership
Led by the Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz, DNR manages 1,200 miles of trails and 160-plus recreation sites in 3 million acres of working forest state trust lands and 92 natural areas. DNR trust lands keep forests development-free, provide clean water, and generate revenue for public services and school construction. In her role, the Commissioner also oversees 2.6 million acres of state aquatic lands, rule administration for 12 million forested acres, the Washington Geological Survey and wildland firefighting across 13 million acres of forestland. To learn more about recreation on DNR-managed lands, visit dnr.wa.gov/go.