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Originally published Wednesday, May 14, 2014 at 7:03 PM

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New bike trails add challenge on East Tiger Mountain

State workers teamed with mountain bikers to build and reroute trails off Highway 18.


Seattle Times staff reporter

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Trail of the month

Where: East Tiger Mountain (Tiger Mountain State Forest)

By the numbers: Seven trails including two new bike trails and another that has been rerouted — a total of 12 miles. The Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) hopes to secure grants to build another 13 miles in the near future.

Facilities: Two parking lots: East Tiger Mountain Summit Parking Lot (also called “Lower Trailhead”) and Tiger Summit Trailhead (also called “Upper Trailhead”). Big enough to hold about 100 cars. The East Tiger Mountain Summit Parking Lot has a bathroom but no water fountain.

Background: DNR partnered with the Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance to build some challenging courses, Joy Ride Trail and Fully Rigid Trail. They also rerouted Silent Swamp Trail, which had been in a wet area prone to erosion.

The trails: Fully Rigid Trail (a half-mile) is considered the most technically challenging of the three trails. The first .2 miles is an old logging road covered with vegetation. You will ride over lots of tree roots and rocks with some challenging tight turns as you descend toward the junction of Silent Swamp and Joy Ride trails. Sam Jarrett, DNR Snoqualmie Corridor recreation manager, project supervisor, advises riders to start at the top of the trail at Crossover (Road 5500) and descend to Joy Ride Trail, continuing the descent along Joy Ride down to NW Timber Trail and back to the trailhead.

Silent Swamp Trail (1.5 miles) is more of a cross-country trail. Riders cross a 70-foot bridge over Spring Fork Creek before facing several rock obstacles. Expect some challenging climbs before you hit a 170-foot elevated boardwalk. This trail connects with Preston Railroad Grade Trail and Joy Ride Trail.

Joy Ride Trail (1 mile) starts at an 80-foot bridge over the Fish Hatchery Creek and then through a mature second-growth area of firs, vine maples and hemlocks. Expect four tight turns. The last half of the trail is fast with a mix of twisty and rocky segments as you head toward NW Timber Trail.

Restrictions: Discover Pass required for parking at trailhead. Also open to hikers and dogs, though bike traffic can make it challenging for pedestrians. Open daily, dawn until dusk.

Level of difficulty: The new trails are considered intermediate to advanced.

Directions: From Interstate 90 east of Issaquah, take Exit 25 to southbound Highway 18 and go about 4 miles. Look for signs to Tiger Mountain State Forest.

More information: Check dnr.wa.gov and search under “Tiger Mountain,” where you’ll find a detailed color map of the new trails.

Tan Vinh: 206-515-5656 or tvinh@seattletimes.com



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