Thanks to a team of state trail builders and partners at Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance, the Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is opening its new 17-mile Raging River State Forest mountain bike trail system on Saturday, May 19.
Join Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz, Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance Executive Director Yvonne Kraus and local and state leaders on May 19 for the trail system’s grand opening celebration, including bike shuttling, bike demos, community vendors and a beer garden. Shuttles will start at 10 a.m. with a program kick-off and remarks at noon. View event information at https://bit.ly/2Jri0i0.
Combined with DNR’s nearby East Tiger Mountain Bike Trails, the addition of Raging River puts over 40 miles of mountain biking trail next door to Issaquah, Snoqualmie, and North Bend residents and just a 30-minute drive for Seattleites. Recent trail system expansions have rapidly positioned the corridor to become a big draw for out-of-state visitors looking to spend a weekend riding. Pending additional funding and coordination, DNR plans to connect the Raging River and East Tiger mountain bike trail systems, with additional opportunities to ride straight from downtown North Bend.
“Providing recreational access to our public lands is a cornerstone of our work,” said Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz. “This trail system is a great example of how we can connect people with publicly owned, working forestland by creating opportunities to play and explore. It’s an amazing addition to the outdoor destination area that the Snoqualmie Corridor has become.”
“These new world-class mountain bike trails are the result of an innovative and cost effective public-private partnership between DNR and Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance,” said Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance executive director Yvonne Kraus in a press release. “Raging River provides much needed close-to-home recreation opportunities for our region’s fast growing communities, and will deliver direct economic benefit to the surrounding cities of Issaquah, Snoqualmie, and North Bend. Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance thanks DNR for the leadership they’ve shown in meeting the needs of our region and our sport.”
“The opening of this new trail system is the culmination of more than two decades of hard work by many hands to conserve the Raging River Basin,” said Jon Hoekstra, executive director of Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust in a press release. “Healthy, accessible open spaces provide breathing room for our cities, and protect water supplies and air quality. Raging River State Forest sits at the crossroads of Rattlesnake Mountain, Cedar River Watershed, and the Issaquah Alps, providing recreation and wildlife connections from our urban communities all the way up into the Cascade Mountains. Its acquisition in 2009 helped secure a missing link in public open space in the Mountains to Sound Greenway.”
In 2009, DNR acquired 7,000 acres of forestland just to the south of Rattlesnake Mountain, which would became 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. In partnership with a DNR trail crew, Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance led trail building efforts with additional support from Puget SoundCorps crews and volunteers.
The new Raging River State Forest mountain bike 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 forestland and conservation land. With over 1 million visitors every year, DNR-managed landscapes within the Snoqualmie corridor include Raging River and Tiger Mountain state working forests as well as Rattlesnake Scenic Area, Middle fork Snoqualmie, Mount Si and West Tiger Mountain conservation areas.
In addition to DNR’s East Tiger Mountain and Raging River, other popular mountain biking destinations in the corridor include Olalie State Park, Duthie Hill, Tokul and Grand Ridge.