Grand Ridge: New trail for mountain bikers and hikers completed

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After volunteers put in more than 40,000 hours of labor over the past 10 years, the completion of a new 7-mile trail in the Issaquah Highlands (WA) will be celebrated with a public hike and barbecue on Thursday.

The Grand Ridge Trail is open to mountain bikers, hikers and equestrians.

The trail includes a 40-foot-long log bridge, two shorter log bridges and the just-completed 600-foot-long elevated boardwalk that passes over a hemlock bog.

Good directions and descriptions are available at the Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance trail wiki.

At left is an unfinished section of boardwalk I came across in Grand Ridge Park last fall.

The Washington Trail Association held 448 volunteer events to build the trail network and 1,516 volunteers turned out for more than 5,000 work days.

The last piece of the puzzle, the elevated boardwalk, was completed just a few weeks ago. The lumber for that boardwalk came from tree-falls throughout the King County Park system and was milled at the site.

In a press release, King County Parks director Kevin Brown is quoted:

“It is not an understatement to say that this magnificent new public amenity would not exist without the overwhelming dedication and support from WTA’s volunteers. Their work on this project lasted for a decade, but the legacy of their accomplishment will last for many decades to come.”

Says Karen Daubert, executive director of the Washington Trails Association:

“Volunteers play a critical role in enhancing our frontcountry trails. Generations of local hikers have pitched in to build the Grand Ridge Trail over the years, and that volunteer investment has helped strengthen the local communities that use these trails. WTA is honored to have been King County’s partner on Grand Ridge.”

The public is invited to Thursday’s celebration.

Participants will meet at 9 a.m. at Central Park in the Issaquah Highlands and hike the trail to the mountain bike park Duthie Hill Park for a barbecue from about 12:30 to 2 p.m.

For mountain biking, the Grand Ridge Trail can be reached from Central Park, Duthie Hill Park or from the old railroad grade on the north side of Interstate 90 east of Issaquah.

Also, read about the WTA bridge dedication in Grand Ridge Park in October 2010.


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