High Point to Preston Trail Connection

Recreation enthusiasts are one step closer to being able to walk, bike or ride a horse from one end of the Mountains to Sound Greenway to the other. The Washington State Department of Transportation, with help from the Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust, completed the construction of a 1.25-mile section of mixed-use regional trail in 2010 which connects the Issaquah-High Point Trail to just short of the Preston-Snoqualmie Trail trailhead.

By relocating the existing bike route from the narrow shoulder of busy, steep High Point Way to a dedicated non-motorized trail, it helps reduce the potential for accidents between bicyclists and motorists.

The Washington State Department of Transportation constructed a new pedestrian bridge along the trail and converted a railroad trestle to prevent users from disrupting the East Fork of Issaquah Creek and nearby wetlands. This was a challenging project, with a tight squeeze between the salmon-bearing creek and Interstate 90. Trail design avoided wetlands and larger trees, although the trail winds through a wetland buffer which required mitigation. Retaining walls reduce the overall footprint of the trail and minimize impacts on the natural environment.

Only the state Department of Transportation could have built this trail and that agency will retain ownership, as the trail cuts into the road prism of I-90 with a resultant retaining wall. Portions of the trail are in the Lady Bird Johnson Beautification Area, requiring a waiver for construction. The permitting involved coordination with King County Roads, Parks and Department of Development and Environmental Services, as well as the state departments of Fish and Wildlife, Ecology, and the Snoqualmie Indian Tribe. The new trail will be managed as part of the King County Parks System.

Funding for this project was allocated by the Washington State Legislature in 2007, part of a major Mountains to Sound Greenway funding package that included trails, historic preservation and environmental enhancement projects.