State agency finalizes recreational plan for Snoqualmie corridor
Hikers, kayakers, mountain bikers, horseback riders and rock climbers will benefit from the improved and expanded recreation opportunities outlined in the new Snoqualmie Corridor Recreation Plan.
Released Monday by the state Department of Natural Resources, the plan sets guidelines for the development and preservation of 120 miles of trails, whitewater rapids, climbing areas, picnic and camping sites and other recreational landscapes across 53,500 acres in the western foothills of the Cascade Mountains.
“The Snoqualmie corridor is one of the most cherished landscapes in Washington state, and one we have worked with recreation and conservation groups to protect,” Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark said in a news release. “This plan gives us a compass to guide how we manage this treasure.”
The Snoqualmie corridor includes West Tiger Mountain Natural Resources Conservation Area, Middle Fork Snoqualmie NRCA, Mount Si NRCA and Rattlesnake Mountain Scenic Area. It also includes Raging River State Forest and Tiger Mountain State Forest, one of the state’s premier mountain biking destinations. The area receives about 800,000 visits a year.
Current developed recreation facilities and trails in the area include: six trailheads, two day-use areas, about 100 miles of designated non-motorized trails and about 20 miles of non-motorized trails under construction.
With diverse needs and opportunities, integrated planning is critical to guiding recreation in the area for the next 10-15 years, according to department managers.
“DNR brought hikers, rock collectors, equestrians, trail runners, mountain bikers, and many other groups together to form a cohesive plan for the future of popular recreation lands within the Mountains to Sound Greenway,” Amy Brockhaus, coalition director for the Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust, said in the release. “The plan brings a balanced approach to recreation planning.”
As the plan is implemented, the department will continue to consult with local groups to expand recreation opportunities.
Lands managed by the department have more than 1,100 miles of trails and 140-plus recreation sites.
AMONG THE RECOMMENDATIONS
• Work with King County and the City of Issaquah to explore opportunities for environmental education, interpretation and day use, and developing Exit 20 as a gateway to the Snoqualmie Corridor.
• Expand existing Tiger Summit Trailhead.
• Locate, design, and develop a new trailhead for mountain biking access in the north end of Raging River State Forest. Secondary use access includes horseback riding and hiking.
• Provide a new trailhead on the south side of the Mount Si NRCA for hiking access in the Mount Teneriffe area and for hiking, biking, and horseback riding access to the CCC Road.
• In partnership with King County, provide a new Granite Creek Trailhead for hiking access to the Granite Creek Trail.
• Evaluate opportunities for river and day-use access on the South Fork of the Snoqualmie River in the vicinity of Exit 38 on Interstate 90.
• Develop a mountain biking and hiking trail connection from the community of Preston to Tiger Mountain State Forest and through to the Raging River State Forest by utilizing the underpass under state Route 18.