Tiger Mountain State Forest mountain bike trails open

April 24, 2012

The state Department of Natural Resources opened Tiger Mountain State Forest mountain bike trails for the season April 14.

The opening includes the Iverson Railroad Grade, Northwest Timber and Preston Railroad Grade trails. The routes offer popular mountain biking opportunities for riders from Issaquah and the Central Puget Sound area.

Though the trails opened for the season, road closures could affect recreation opportunities on Tiger Mountain.

On weekdays in April, crews plan to install culverts. The installation could prompt closures on the Main Tiger Mountain #4000 forest road and cause delays for outdoors enthusiasts using the road. Come mid-summer, crews plan to install a vehicle bridge on the West Side #1000 forest road. Officials said the project should require the closure of Iverson Railroad Trail for a few days.

Due to a heavy winter snowpack, the planned mountain bike trail in the East Tiger Mountain area is not likely to open until mid-summer. The state agency and the nonprofit Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance collaborated on the East Tiger Summit Trail project. Completion depends on volunteer labor.

The agency offers volunteer opportunities at Tiger Mountain and other state lands. Learn more at www.dnr.wa.gov/RecreationEducation/Topics/OtherRecreationInformation/Pages/dnr_volunteer_program_recreation.aspx.

State opens Tiger Mountain State Forest mountain bike trails

April 11, 2012

NEW — 1:50 p.m. April 11, 2012

The state Department of Natural Resources plans to open Tiger Mountain State Forest mountain bike trails for the season Saturday.

The opening includes the Iverson Railroad Grade, Northwest Timber and Preston Railroad Grade trails. The routes offer popular mountain biking opportunities for riders from Issaquah and the Central Puget Sound area.

Though the trails open for the season Saturday, road closures could affect recreation opportunities on Tiger Mountain.

On weekdays in April, crews plan to install culverts. The installation could prompt closures on the Main Tiger Mountain #4000 forest road and cause delays for outdoors enthusiasts using the road. Come mid-summer, crews plan to install a vehicle bridge on the West Side #1000 forest road. Officials said the project should require the closure of Iverson Railroad Trail for a few days.

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Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance seeks $15,000 in stolen tools

December 13, 2011

Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance members need help to recover $15,000 worth of equipment and tools stolen from Duthie Hill Park near Issaquah.

Thieves broke into the nonprofit organization’s storage boxes and trailer late Nov. 29 or early Nov. 30, and then stole chainsaws and other trail building and maintenance equipment.

Mike Westra, project manager for the nonprofit Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance, learned about the incident Nov. 30, after another staffer called to report the gate to the equipment storage area had been left open overnight.

“He called me while he was driving down the access road to get into the central clearing where all of our stuff is to tell me, ‘Hey, somebody left the gate open last night,’” Westra said. “Immediately, alarm bells went off in my head, because he didn’t know it, but I was the last one out on the night before.”

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Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance needs help to find $15,000 in stolen tools

December 6, 2011

NEW — 6 a.m. Dec. 6, 2011

Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance members need help to recover $15,000 worth of equipment and tools stolen from Duthie Hill Park near Issaquah.

Thieves broke into the nonprofit organization’s tool locker and trailer late Nov. 29 or early Nov. 30.

The group is asking for members of the public to replace tools, track the missing tools or donate to fund replacements. Meanwhile, the King County Sheriff’s Office is investigating.

The missing equipment includes chainsaws and more. The organization posted a detailed list and photos of the stolen items on its forum.

Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance members and King County partnered to create the 120-acre park on the Sammamish Plateau. The park opened to mountain bikers last year.

National Public Lands Day comes to Issaquah Alps

September 23, 2011

NEW — 4 p.m. Sept. 23, 2011

Issaquah Alps peaks host volunteers Saturday for National Public Lands Day.

Organizations plan trail work on Cougar and Tiger mountains in the Issaquah area.

Washington Trails Association and King County Parks volunteers plan to decommission old trail sections along Cougar Mountain Regional Wildland Park’s Indian Trail.  The decommissioning involves adding plants in the old tread.

The work party runs from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. The event is designed for families, and participants can sign up at the Washington Trails Association’s website.

The state Department of Natural Resources and Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance plan to build Tiger Mountain trails Saturday for National Public Lands Day.

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Build Tiger Mountain trails for National Public Lands Day

September 20, 2011

The state Department of Natural Resources and Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance plan to build Tiger Mountain trails Sept. 24 for National Public Lands Day.

The local event for National Public Lands Day is a bike trails work party on East Tiger Mountain.

The event at the Tiger Summit Trailhead, southeast of Issaquah, runs from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The state natural resources agency and Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance need volunteers to dig, clear debris and bench in a trail on the East Tiger Summit Trail.

Organizers plan a barbecue lunch to follow the work party.

Contact Sam Jarrett at 206-375-0448 or sam.jarrett@dnr.wa.gov to learn more.

Participants should bring water, snacks, work gloves, work boots and, if possible, personal protection equipment, such as a hardhat and tools, for digging and brush clearing.

Participants at each of the Department of Natural Resources-sponsored events can receive a voucher for a complimentary Discover Pass, a parking pass for state parks and lands.

Build trails on Tiger Mountain for National Public Lands Day

September 17, 2011

NEW — 10 a.m. Sept. 17, 2011

The state Department of Natural Resources and Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance plan to build trails on Tiger Mountain for National Public Lands Day.

Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark and the Department of Natural Resources invite the public to join volunteers and partner organizations to celebrate public lands Sept. 24.

Participants at each of the Department of Natural Resources-sponsored events can receive a voucher for a complimentary Discover Pass, a parking pass for state parks and lands. The volunteers attending the National Public Lands Day events receive a complimentary one-day Discover Pass.

The local event for National Public Lands Day is a bike trails work party on East Tiger Mountain.

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New club aims to connect bicyclists

September 7, 2010

Paul Winterstein bicycles up 12th Avenue Northwest, by Tibbetts Valley Park, on his commute home from work in Redmond. By Laura Geggel

Almost every day, Paul Winterstein commutes the 12.5 miles from his house on Squak Mountain to his workplace in Redmond.

He began biking to work in 2008, after two of his four children got their drivers’ licenses. Instead of buying another car, he decided to bicycle to work, rain or shine. Bicycling helps keep him fit and be a good role model for his children, he said.

The more he used local roads to bike to work, the more he noticed how road construction affected his safety and route.

With road changes happening frequently, Winterstein decided to start an Issaquah Bicycle Club that would unite the area’s bicyclists, helping give them a voice at Issaquah City Council meetings and a presence in the community.

The group could also organize rides, share bicycling tips and bring people together, giving bicyclists a stronger unified identity, much like hikers who belong to the Issaquah Alps Trails Club.

Kent Peterson, an Issaquah bicyclist who works as a bike technician at the Bicycle Center of Issaquah, said he enjoyed mountain biking and that he looked forward to joining the club.

“There are certain roads that are better riding on than others,” Peterson said. “It’s nice to have a place where you can share that knowledge with other people.” Read more

Leap of faith

June 29, 2010

Mountain bikers knew if they built a course, others would come

Dan Veitch, of Klahanie, gets a little closer to heaven as he takes a jump at one of the new BMX trails built at Duthie Hill Mountain Bike Park. By Greg Farrar

Klahanie resident Dan Veitch has a new place to practice his faith. You’ll just have to excuse the fact his altar tends to get a little muddy; for the congregation Veitch belongs to receives its sermon atop a BMX bike. And his chapel is the new mountain bike trails built at Duthie Hill Park.

“It’s like our church,” Veitch said. “On Sundays, you’ll see a bunch of guys getting their religion.”

So, it was only appropriate one of the flock of true believers headed the construction. Project manager Mike Westra, a self-described former tech nerd, said the Duthie Hill trail was built by bikers for bikers, through the help of the Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance.

The park debuted to a grand dedication ceremony May 22, featuring jumping demonstrations and more than 20 vendors offering gear, much of it best suited for the BMX course.

Westra said over the years, no one had built trails designed specifically for mountain biking.

“We’ve actually been kicked off a lot of hiking trails, from Cascade to Tiger mountains,” he admitted.

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Soaring Eagle Park offers solace, plenty of recreation options

July 21, 2009

Take a Hike An occasional series about exploring the area’s trails

Take a Hike An occasional series about exploring the area’s trails

As the sun creeps out from behind the shady trees, the birds begin their morning rituals. The call-and-response chirps and flutters fill the air with vibrant song. A plethora of critters emerge from the moist ground and dewy vegetation to start the day once again.

Butterflies drift along the trails and retreat back into the thick woods as one of the first early-rising mountain bikers tear through the park.

It’s a perfect day for a stroll through Soaring Eagle Regional Park just outside Sammamish. The park is known for its 12-mile network of trails, popular with area mountain bikers and equestrians. Because of its relatively small area, the park is conducive to quick bike rides after work or at night, according to the Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance. The trails can be bumpy and rough in some places, but are not too difficult.

Soaring Eagle Park also offers solace to those interested in taking a walk on their lunch break or families wanting to explore the backwoods before enjoying a picnic outside.

The 630-acre (one-square-mile) park, filled with mature forests and protected wetlands, is a refuge for black tail deer, black bears, bobcats and more than 40 species of birds, according to the King County Parks and Recreation Web site. About 300 acres of the park are protected under a conservation easement. It was named in 2001 by a second-grader at Samantha Smith Elementary School.

King County last year ceded 30 acres of the park to the city of Sammamish. In exchange, the city will be developing ballfields near the park’s Trossachs entrance, but planning has not yet begun for the process. Another 50 acres might be available (a 1993 plan called for the development of 80 acres of the park), but its future is uncertain. Read more

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