County decision on Lord Hill Regional Park honors all users

We applaud Snohomish County’s decision to return Lord Hill Regional Park to the slow and safe natural haven that it’s been until recent years.

The new direction will make Lord Hill accessible for all users: hikers, birders, equestrians and mountain bikers. The county has pledged to find a new location dedicated to high-speed downhill mountain biking, plus county officials are offering to find an existing park with a place for a mountain-bike skills area.

The county recently announced that the new direction for Lord Hill calls for hikers to continue to have access to all trails as they have since the park opened in 1995. Parks said there will be no bike-only trails and no high-speed berms or jumps. Rangers will monitor the trails, and there will be relatively similar mileage for all user categories: hiker only, hiker-equestrian and hiker-biker.

Those who have criticized the new plan argue for bike-only trails, saying it’s unsafe to allow hikers on single-track trails with bikers who may not be able to stop quickly. Parks said high-speed downhill trails will be restored to proper trail standards and slower. Bikers will need to be aware they may encounter hikers.

High-speed downhill bike trails are attracting many fast cyclists who don’t adjust their speed or etiquette on shared trails, resulting in numerous unsafe encounters with other users.

Replacing downhill trails with slower contour trails will attract cross-country — “hikers on wheels” — mountain bikers whose interests and speed are similar to that of other users.

Lord Hill is the crown jewel of the park system. We’re grateful for the county’s decision to preserve its quiet and natural environment for wildlife and future generations to enjoy.

Marylou Nakonecznyj, Diane Nawfel, Georgene Williams, Joan Deutsch, Pat Pehling, Mary K Krauss, Elva Van Donge, Kristina Moody


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