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  1. #1
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    360 Park and Swan Creek RR- 12/29/13

    Yesterday a couple buddies and I decided to check out two places we have never been, but heard good things about. We hit of 360 Park in Gig harbor, then Swan Creek in Tacoma on the way back.

    360 Park
    Info on the place is limited and there doesn't appear to be a wikipage for it on Evergreen. The reader boards at the park doesn't list the mountain bike trail, but after a little searching (and tips from Courtland) we found it. The main trails at 360 park appear to be mostly mellow dog walker/horse rider trails, and would make fun "family" cruisers or a good way to bang out a ton of miles. The only problem is there are LOTS of horse piles all over the place so if you ride later in the day you may encounter a few horses. Luckily the mountain bike trail is "bikes only", so there is no worries there.

    The bike trail is roughly 4 miles long, and it was a lot of fun. The trail is still under construction and has some primitive sections, but Courtland and his pals has been doing some great work to make a fun ridable loop. There are fast flowy sections with berms, tables, drops and stump jumps, along with short steep climbs to get back up the hill for more fun. The trail design reminds me a lot of what you see at Black Diamond or the Tapeworm area. It winds around and really maximizes the land. It is very cool to see some bike specific builds going in at a place that people probably wouldn't think to ride.

    Swan Creek

    My first impression is "WOW". I had no idea there was that level of commitment going on at Swan Creek. I think it would be safe to call it a "Duthie lite". I dont think there is as much space are Duthie, but they are sure putting the land to good use. The trail "sculptures" out there have done a great at creating a fun loop thru the park. It reminded me of Boot Camp at Duthie, with lots of cool little features and options here and there. It's so fast and flowy it never feels like your pedaling or braking, you just flow thru the trail railing berms and pumping the rollers and dips. Even though the Elevation change in minimal, the shape of the turns really give you a great sense of speed. There are also some fun practice drops that lead to what I believe is a pumptrack that is under construction. Basically a little "skill zone", similar to the clearing at Duthie. There are also a couple of jump lines that are still under construction and they look amazing. Props to all the people out there working Sunday too trying to get them finished!

    When finished, Swan Creek is going to be a GREAT option for us south enders just looking for a few hours of fun on a bike. It's only a few minutes off of I-5 in Tacoma, so it is easy to get to.

    I shot a ton of video at both places and will get some stuff posted up soon!
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  2. #2
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    Quick little video of some of the trails at Swan Creek.

    2013 Stumpy Evo
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  3. #3
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    Looks really fun Thanks for posting

  4. #4
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    Thanks for posting! I gotta get to 360 one of these days as well. "Duthie-lite" and "Bootcamp-style" are the exact words we used in our objectives with Metro Parks Tacoma. Can you email the orig video file to me? ...or post them somewhere I can download? MPT has been asking for some helmet cam footage they can post on their website.

    And segue... if anybody wants to throw some dirt at Swan over the next few weeks, please let me know. Email is best: mwestra at evergreenmtb dot org. We've got to finish up a ~half mile tight&twisty option line called "Braking Bad" and put some finishing touches on the bottom of the beginner jump line ("Joyride"... named after the lead builder's daughter Joy ).

  5. #5
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    I'll have a clip from 360 park up soon too!

    Mike- I'll email about the video footage. We had 3 cams going and have a LOT of footage.
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  6. #6
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    Nice to have something on the south end for sure. The short clip looks fun. How much time can you kill there? I see you did both places in one day.

  7. #7
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    Mr. Lynch do you and your buddies drive a vw? Me and a couple of friends were there on sunday. It may have been you I asked about your gforce knee guards. If so nice to meet you. It was our first time there and we were also amazed how much work has gone into the park. It will be a nice after work ride for me.

  8. #8
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    Hey guys,
    Great work party on Sun. If anybody that was there on Sunday and dropped a pair of sunglasses on the loop trail shoot me a PM, I picked them up so let me know what they are and I will get them back to you.

  9. #9
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    That was us and I was the one with the G-Fork knee pads!
    We went in not expecting much and were pleasantly surprised.
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  10. #10
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    My wife and I checked out Swan Creek yesterday afternoon. Ran in to a buddy and a couple of his friends so we rode a quick lap or two with them also.

    Great place to ride! The whole loop trail is a blast for me to ride with my wife who is slower. We rode for about an hour and a half, did the loop 3 or 4 times, with a couple extra laps on the inner loop which put an instant smile on my face. It's nice to have this place only 20 minutes away instead of 45 like Duthie.

    Just looking at the park map, is Metro Parks planning to allow trail expansion later on or is the trail system in place all they will allow? Also, I noticed guys playing paint ball in the big field in the NE(?) corner. I have no problem with it, but did notice they were shooting their guns in to the trees near the trail for fun, I'd hate to see a kid get pegged while riding.

  11. #11
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    Swan Creek Work parties posted for today, Sat & Sun: Evergreen MTB Calendar. All starting at 10am. Bring your bike and check out the trails.

    Here's a ~sorta interactive map of the trails. I hope to add photos to it over time. http://goo.gl/maps/Mzj6l.

    Swanny, the pink lines in this pic show some of the potential for Phase 2 expansion. The tight & twisty blue option (Braking Bad) currently ends on a ~straight road. Over time we hope to branch off more Tapeworm/Black Diamond style singletrack segments (1, 2, 3) and then decommission the old road (X's). The arrows are potential stacked loop downhill segments. The pink area to the northeast would be perfect for BMX-style DJs or flat open XC or... even a cyclocross loop that would also be fun for mtb.

    360 Park and Swan Creek RR- 12/29/13-swan_p2_potential.jpg

    Paintball is low on the priority list right now. If riders/volunteers see real shooting, quads or motos in there, we have been instructed to call 911 immediately. There has been quite a bit of $$ damage done during construction.

    When I first started flagging in the woods there were groups with tasty beverages in brown bags target shooting with the real deal down in the flats. I just talked to them every time I saw them and told them what we were doing and planning. Most said "cool!" and realized that it was stupid and too risky to shoot in there. Apart from 1 incident over Thanksgiving, shooting has pretty much disappeared.

    The positive presence of volunteers, riders and families has all but eliminated the negative activity. Syringes, dumping, camping, micro meth labs, prostitution, shooting, quads blazing every which way through the forest were all common. We found it all. And now it's pretty much gone.

    Now more hikers, bird watchers and dog walkers feel safe in there and are coming to the park. And of course they are complaining about all the "damage" mt bikers are doing to the forest. They are ignoring all the campsites/dumpsites and the dump truck full of garbage, mattresses, human latrines, syringes, meth equip and a full-blow prostitution tent/operation (not kidding) that we and metro parks hauled outa there. Other user groups are starting to get engaged as well... "wow, this place is cool, we need to get some trails or space of our own in here".

    So if we want to keep expanding, we need to stay on it. Get involved if and when you can. Thanks!

  12. #12
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    I'm heading up there tomorrow to see how the trail-a-bike handles the trails! My 6 year old always wants to go ride, so i think it will be a great place to give her a singletrack experience without it being too rough or challenging. She isn't quite ready to ride trail solo yet so I think it will be a fun option.
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  13. #13
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    Re: 360 Park and Swan Creek RR- 12/29/13

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Lynch View Post
    I'm heading up there tomorrow to see how the trail-a-bike handles the trails! My 6 year old always wants to go ride, so i think it will be a great place to give her a singletrack experience without it being too rough or challenging. She isn't quite ready to ride trail solo yet so I think it will be a fun option.
    Holy one wheel! I didn't know it was trail a bike day! I hauled my daughter around the fun part of boot camp a few times, she loved it!

    I do have an Adams trail a bike for sale...just saying...

    Sent from my SGH-T999 using Tapatalk

  14. #14
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    I rode Swan Creek this morning and chatted with one of the builders. The tabletop jumpline is open and VERY fun, and the beginner jumpline "joyride" should be open this weekend. The bigboy line looks amazing and has some big dirtjumper type stuff on it. Very cool looking trail.

    Even though we got a lot of rain the past 2 days I only hit 2 or 3 small patches of mud.
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  15. #15
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    [QUOTE
    Even though we got a lot of rain the past 2 days I only hit 2 or 3 small patches of mud.[/QUOTE]

    a lot of rain? where? when? not in the area of Swan Creek but there are definitely a few areas of clay that do not drain at all & will hold water for awhile. i imagine "they" will be dealt w/.
    breezy shade

  16. #16
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    compared to what we have received all winter it rained a decent amount at my place Thursday/Friday. Not sure what Tacoma got but maybe it wasnt much.

    While at Swan Creek I had two other small groups of riders as where the trails were. One was a mom and pre-teen son with some really old bikes. The word must be getting out about the trails! Hopefully other cities see the benefit of trail networks in their neighborhood parks and this type of stuff continues!
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  17. #17
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    Looks like the wife and I will be hitting this tomorrow for the first time. I noticed there are two parking areas on the map. Is one better (safer) than the other?

  18. #18
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    Hey Chris, will your trail-a-bike handle a 200 pound gnome? Just checking. It could be fun!!

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    Stopped by for a quick spin after work. Wow, pleasant surprise. Rode the jump lines and the drops and did a couple loops and part of another with my Kona Entourage. Next time I will bring my cross-country bike however. I was a bit worried about parking as the area can be a bit sketchy. I think next time I will park and enter from the North side as opposed to the South end although I am not sure which entrance is more secure. If someone wants in your car they will get in even if it's Duthie, Swan Creek or Black Diamond. I think I better sign up for some trail work since this is 15 minutes from my house.

  20. #20
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    as much as it rained yesterday, Swan Creek was 99.999999999999% puddle free, & the ones there, were puny. masterful job of building self draining trails in Puget Sound.
    breezy shade

  21. #21
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    I don't want to "rain" on your parade nhodge but almost all brand new trails will act that way. It's when you have a few months of windy weather and the organic debris and fir needles, etc pile up is when you see the dirt get clogged up and the puddles form. We went through this already at Duthie. One reason why the drains need to be cleared so often. Even with great glacial till. But, it does really help to start that way with great, clean, well draining soil

  22. #22
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    nhodge is correct in saying that Bryan did a masterful job of building self draining trails at Swan but I'm pretty sure organic debris and fir needles did nothing but help the wetness of that connector trail at Tokul.

  23. #23
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    New here. I live in Kitsap County and am used to Banner, Green/Gold Mountain, Newberry Heritage Park, etc. I saw this thread last week and my dad (60s), my son (7) and I (36) went out to Swan Creek on Saturday. It had been raining a bit and there were some small sections of mud but overall it was in great shape. We loved the loop and had a blast. We did park at the north entrance, which is a side street, across from some nice low-income housing, and next to a school ball field. There were a couple of other cars there when we arrived, but we were the only ones there when we got back.

    A few notes: keep to the pavement from the north to the mountain bike area because the trails have tons of broken glass on them. I think we weren't supposed to be riding on them anyway but the map at the north entrance isn't clear.

    Pavement you say? Yeah, the whole north end of the park is crisscrossed by old roads. A guy we ran into says it started out as government housing during WW2 but then eventually transitioned into low-income housing which was then razed when it got too bad.

    We ran into a bunch of friendly fellow mountain bikers so thanks for stopping to chat. Will definitely be coming back here; it was a bit of a drive but worth it because the loop is mellow but fast and my son really liked it.

    Regarding the pump track: It doesn't look near done which was disappointing. Any idea when more work will be done on it? My son and I would love to come out and help. I tried getting the Kitsap County Parks department to provide a small area for a pump track (even volunteered personal funds to create it! and they're in the middle of getting rid of a bunch of park-owned property!) but got nowhere. We took a trip to Whistler last summer and my son loved the pump track, it was his favorite part of the trip. I'd put one on my own property if I had room!

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by saberworks View Post
    Regarding the pump track: Any idea when more work will be done on it? My son and I would love to come out and help.
    Hi Saberworks, shoot me an email -- mwestra at evergreenmtb dot org and I'll put you in touch with the pumptrack builders. They were out there working on Sunday and are coming back this coming Sunday.

  25. #25
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    I checked out Swan Creek yesterday and it was awesome! I live in Renton so it's not necessarily closer to me than Duthie but great to have another option in the south end.

    First impressions were the main loop had great variety as far as terrain, flow, short-term elevation change, hips etc. and the skills course and practice areas were great. the pump track seems to still be under construction so I stayed away from it. Spent some time on the practice drops too which were great. I think my favorite section is either the beginner's skills course toward the end there are some quick high burms and a last drop down to the clearing or the last section of the big loop, NE corner where the singletrack is hugging the hill side with a steep drop to your side.

    The only downside I see is it really is in a not-so-great area.. I try to keep an open mind and try to be a little na´ve that there are sopme unsafe areas but the surrounding neighborhoods and most of Portland Ave. did not seem to be a place I'd like to wander around.

    Either way, the trails were great, good size for a short after work ride or spend an afternoon. I'll definitely be back soon.
    GO COUGS
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