Raging River Grand Opening Celebration

Seventeen miles of mountain bike trail are opening near North Bend. It took two decades to accomplish and a team of dedicated state trail builders. Partners in the trail building, the Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance and the Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) are celebrating with a grand opening on Saturday, May 19 at Rattlesnake Lake.

The celebration activities will include bike shuttling, bike demos, community vendors and a beer garden. Dignitaries include Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz, Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance Executive Director Yvonne Kraus and local and state leaders. Shuttles will start at 10 a.m. with a program kick-off and remarks at noon.

Combined with DNR’s nearby East Tiger Mountain Bike Trails, the addition of Raging River puts over 40 miles of mountain biking trail next door to Issaquah, Snoqualmie, and North Bend residents and just a 30-minute drive for Seattleites.

Recent trail system expansions have rapidly positioned the corridor to become a big draw for out-of-state visitors looking to spend a weekend riding. Pending additional funding and coordination, DNR plans to connect the Raging River and East Tiger mountain bike trail systems, with additional opportunities to ride straight from downtown North Bend.

I try to get out at least once a week to ride the Grande Ridge and Lake Ollalie. It’s remarkable the amount of work being done and the quality of the trails.

Commenting on the new trails Franz said, “Providing recreational access to our public lands is a cornerstone of our work.” and “This trail system is a great example of how we can connect people with publicly owned, working forestland by creating opportunities to play and explore. It’s an amazing addition to the outdoor destination area that the Snoqualmie Corridor has become.”

“These new world-class mountain bike trails are the result of an innovative and cost effective public-private partnership between DNR and Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance,” said Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance Executive Director Yvonne Kraus. “Raging River provides much needed close-to-home recreation opportunities for our region’s fast growing communities, and will deliver direct economic benefit to the surrounding cities of Issaquah, Snoqualmie, and North Bend. Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance thanks DNR for the leadership they’ve shown in meeting the needs of our region and our sport.”

“The opening of this new trail system is the culmination of more than two decades of hard work by many hands to conserve the Raging River Basin,” said Jon Hoekstra, executive director of Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust. “Healthy, accessible open spaces provide breathing room for our cities, and protect water supplies and air quality. Raging River State Forest sits at the crossroads of Rattlesnake Mountain, Cedar River Watershed, and the Issaquah Alps, providing recreation and wildlife connections from our urban communities all the way up into the Cascade Mountains. Its acquisition in 2009 helped secure a missing link in public open space in the Mountains to Sound Greenway.”

I’m planning on attending the event and riding the new trails. After shuttling back, drinking beer too. See the schedule here and see you there. The meet spot is near Snoqualmie Point Park.

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