A Colorado-based mountain biking videographer and his freestyle biking friend rolled out our way recently to document some of our amazing places to ride. They found more than they expected.
One of the locations featured is the Duthie Hill Park, which opened last year up in the Issaquah Highlands east of Seattle.
The skills park is a great example of a government agency (King County Parks) working with local enthusiasts (Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance) to create a mountain biking facility for everyone's skill level.
Shelby Smith of Golden, Colorado, shot the video, entitled “Northwestern Daze”. He and freestyle rider Nick Simcik of Boulder say they met some interesting people “and discovered a mountain bike community we had no idea existed.”
Area mountain bikers Eric Johnson and Kyle Haney of Bellingham, and Mike Metzger of Ferndale are featured in the video.
The group also visited the trails along North Fork and attended a party at Metzger's home, where they also found an opportunity for freestyle riding.
Duthie Hill only opened last year, but the park already is outgrowing its parking lot. The alliance asks visitors to park either in the parking lot or at Cascades Ridge Elementary School, but not along the narrow road or in surrounding neighborhoods. See the Duthie Hill wiki for details.
The skills park is located at 27101 Duthie Hill Road in 120 acres of forestland. The trails are carved out of a 2-1/2 acre clearing.
King County provided the space for the trails and $150,000 in funding through two community grants. Evergreen volunteers provided the muscle to build the trails, and crews visit regularly to maintain the site.
There are trails for beginners, as well as the challenging routes shown in the video. If you have a bike with knobbies at home, it's worth your time to visit Duthie Hill. Check the wiki first to read about the trail choices.
Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance lists dozens of trails in the area and has a full calendar of mountain biking events that include work parties. This coming weekend, Santa Cruz Bicycles will offer demo rides on their bikes at Duthie Hill.
You can see more of Smith's work at his website, ShelbySmithVideo.