Join hike, barbecue to celebrate Grand Ridge Park milestone

April 3, 2012

By Warren Kagarise

The effort to link the High Point Trail to Duthie Hill Park on the Sammamish Plateau consumed almost a decade and more than 40,000 hours from Washington Trails Association volunteers.

The public is invited to join King County Parks and the Washington Trails Association on April 5 to celebrate the yearslong push to complete the trail connection. Citizens can join a hike through Grand Ridge Park and a barbecue at Duthie Hill Park.

Participants can hike through cedars and ferns, cross the log bridges and boardwalk built by volunteers, and peer into a hemlock bog. The hike concludes at Duthie Hill Park, a popular destination for mountain bikers.

If you go

Grand Ridge Park Trail celebration

  • April 5
  • Participants can gather at Central Park in the Issaquah Highlands at 9 a.m. to start the hike. Participants then hike to Duthie Hill Park for a free barbecue from 12:30-2 p.m.
  • Contact David Kimmett at 206-263-7159 or david.kimmett@kingcounty.gov for more information about the hike and barbecue.

“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,” King County Parks Director Kevin Brown said. “Their work on this project lasted for a decade, but the legacy of their accomplishment will last for many decades to come.”

The nonprofit trails group conducted 448 volunteer events in Grand Ridge Park. Overall, 1,516 volunteers contributed more than 40,000 hours to build a seven-mile trail, a 40-foot-long log bridge, shorter log bridges and the 600-foot boardwalk, or puncheon bridge.

The construction teams used cedar planks fashioned from downed timber to create the decking. Many trees used for lumber in the project fell in windstorms on King County parkland. Then, volunteers milled the lumber in the forest alongside the trail.

The boardwalk carries hikers, mountain bikers and equestrian riders across the bog — a source of headwaters to salmon-bearing Canyon Creek and the East Fork of Issaquah Creek.

“Volunteers play a critical role in enhancing our frontcountry trails,” Washington Trails Association Executive Director Karen Daubert said. “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.”

Warren Kagarise: 392-6434, ext. 234, or wkagarise@isspress.com. Comment at www.issaquahpress.com.

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