By Craig Hill / The News Tribune
A much-anticipated mountain bike trail system near North Bend is scheduled to open later this month, the state Department of Natural Resources announced.
Thanks to state workers and volunteers from the Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance, the new 17-mile Raging River State Forest mountain bike trail system will open May 19. A grand opening celebration including appearances by local leaders, bike demos and a beer garden is planned to start at 10 a.m.
Raging River’s trails range from easy to expert. About 95 percent of the trails are single track (wide enough for one bike).
With East Tiger Mountain bike trails nearby, the area now has more than 40 miles of mountain bike trails. The state plans to connect the areas once it secures funding.
“Providing recreational access to our public lands is a cornerstone of our work,” Hilary Franz, Washington’s commissioner of public lands, said in a statement released by DNR. “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.”
EMBA director Yvonne Kraus called the new trails world class. “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.”
A statement released by the state says the area is positioned to be a draw for out-of-state visitors.
The state acquired the 7,000-acre land south of Rattlesnake Mountain in 2009. The area has additional mountain biking opportunities near Raging River and Tiger Mountain state forests at Olalie State Park, Duthie Hill, Tokul and Grand Ridge.