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  1. #1
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    Lake Sawyer's Fate?

    Does anybody know what is to become of the Lake Sawyer trail system? Like most trails on private land I'm assuming it will eventually be developed for a new housing project at some point.

    I've taken a couple trips out there in the last few weeks to check it out since it's been awhile since I've ridden there. Most of the northern trails are in fairly good shape and it's clear that they still see a fair amount of traffic. Interestingly the southern, twisty trails appear to get much less attention. In fact some of the more easterly sections are completely buried under downed trees and organic litter. Too bad to see these trails go away. Although these are definitely old school trails it was fun to take a ride on these "old fashioned' trails for a change of pace.

    Lake Sawyer combined with Summit Ridge and Henry's Ridge make for a really impressive trail system.

  2. #2
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    Let's clarify who the property owners are on the west side of 169 (Maple Valley Hiway). Starting south and moving north you have Yarrow Bay, King County Parks and then a private owner. The YB land is planned to be a commercial development at some point. There is lot of push back from the locals so who knows when. The KC property (most of those trails have signage) is part of the bigger Black Diamond Natural Area that stretches over to the east side of the hiway. Those trails are not going away. The last northern section also known as Ed's Woods may go away if the owner decides to do something with the property. I am not aware of anything at this point.

    The entire trail system is awesome because each area has its own unique character.

  3. #3
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    Thanks for the info. I haven't noticed any signs indicating that there is a natural area on the west side so I'll have to pay closer attention and see if I can spot them next time I'm out there. Overall this is good news, seems like the private areas won't necessarily be developed soon. The varied terrain and trail designs is one of many factors that make the Black Diamond trails such a nice place to ride.

  4. #4
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    I know this thread is old, but there are a total of 1100 acres of public land in this area, and I estimate 800 acres will remain as natural state. That's enough for 50 miles or so of trails if we built them to max capacity - about equal to the rest of King County combined. I think that it will be outstanding mountain bike country for years to come.

  5. #5
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    Most of the west side of 169 in the BDNA is already riddled with trails so there is really no room to build out. On the east side there is really only the area under the power lines and there are some ideas floating around for trails there.

  6. #6
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    Yeah, I should have clarified a bit more. I'm not saying that we can built 50 more miles of trails than is already there. Rather, the capacity of the area is around 50 miles or so, including what has already been built.

    The good news is that is a lot of miles and the area will be a gem of a place to ride.

  7. #7
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    What is the current status of the parking area under the power lines and the cyclocross course? Also, Lisa P has been working tirelessly (kudos to her) for several years on land in the Kanasket/Gorge area and I see they had a recent trail opening. Also HUGE potential down there and could never figure out why it doesn't get the attention Sawyer and Henry's does..... Easily another 50 down there and I've heard you can connect them all on the east side? Bummer about the West side Sawyer stuff. I used to like riding in from the grade school on all the cobbly stuff over there.

  8. #8
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    Borneo, you are just full of questions.

    1. Parking under the powerline is on hold for now. The cyclocross guys have fallen off the grid.
    2. New parking lot on the west side of 169 in underway now. Should be done by National Trails Day. (East side parking will be next.)
    3. Lisa P. has been working hard. It has been hard to pull in support for the K/G area. She also has got a nice area (Cedar Creek) in Maple Valley set a side for trails. That is a choice piece of ground. I helped at one of the WTA work parties. Reminds me of Duthie.
    4. The Lake Sawyer stuff is still good. Ride it all the time. Great techy trails along the creek and over at the Frog Pond.

    Ride on...........

  9. #9
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    Yes I am. And comments, opinions, etc...

    Sweet. Thanks. Any idea why in the world the whole K/G area has not gotten any attention over the years? Crazy potential in there. Blows my mind why the MTB community isn't all over this.

  10. #10
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    Borneo, like you know it just takes a couple of key guys to get a vision and champion a project like K/G. You also know that there are a ton of trail projects underway through out the area already.

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    Of course I understand. Same old story of not enough that do....
    But, Lisa has been pretty active on this for probably over a decade now without much MTB community buzz at all. I realize it's not in the city center with easy access for all but a pretty awesome opportunity. Not sure what the total acreage is but I believe it's possible to put a 50 mile system in there as well pretty reasonably. Got the gorge with all it's scenery and camping all over the place....

    She used to lead rides there for several years to try and get some buzz going but barely got any one going on them. Damn shame is all.

  12. #12
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    Speaking as a relative newcomer, I haven't really heard anything at all about this area from other riders...which surprises me from what everyone is saying. Maybe all the excitement about the progress that's been made on I-90 trails has distracted from it.

    Would anyone be interested in showing someone around these trails?

  13. #13
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    Unfortunately the "buzz" regardless of perceived trail quality is what drives a lot of folks around here. And, we all still don't do a very good job of getting the word out about 80% of the riding opportunities out there. The regulars just assume everyone already knows or can easily glean any information needed from the EMBA trail wiki for example. Lisa's the best one I would think but she's not on this forum.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Borneo View Post
    And, we all still don't do a very good job of getting the word out about 80% of the riding opportunities out there.
    Still trying to haul all of us out to Moss Lake, eh Bob?

  15. #15
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    Nah, apparently it's unworthy. And, though I disagree, I'm fine with that. Just noting yet again that there are not only 2 places to ride around here. We all know that shops send everyone to a few select places and information on all the opportunities isn't as widely known as some of the "regulars" here seem to think. My guess is that there are seasoned riders who don't know anything about a lot of areas. Including the horsey issue down south or the trails right across the road from there at "Mill Hill". Lynch probably has the same problem with getting folks to ride Lake Desire and it sounds like a fun place from his reports. But, a bit far for me. Especially with so much closer. One of the best ways to get bikers involved is to get the information out to them and we sort of have a shotgun approach to that IMHO. Pew, pew, pew....

  16. #16
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    I will tag Lisa to see if she or someone else can set up a group ride at K/G. Seeing the area really can help us understand the opportunity. I live in the middle of Henry's Ridge and I have never ridden K/G.....

  17. #17
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    I would also enjoy riding K/G.

  18. #18
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    I'd be happy to take my group for a ride at K/G. We had 8 show up last night and I know more would show if we were checking out a new area. As you know I usually record all our rides so I can get video of the place too so people can see what it's like!

    We went out there once years ago, but didn't really know where to go or what there was.
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  19. #19
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    Big thanks to whoever is loading bike trails onto Google maps in the Maple Valley area.
    Great Job! Lot's of trails I didn't know about to ride here.
    K/G sounds interesting.
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  20. #20
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    occasionally i still ride what we used to call the Rocky Creek Tr. (just up from the gravel rd creek crossing) but man has it gotten wide now & way less technical since like 10 yrs ago or more, huh? imagine that?! I will always remember that kinda tech knobby log ride further down towards the lake; one of the funnest spots in Lk S to session, even if you once jumped off & tore your ACL there while riding solo! yeh, its a shame all the other nearby trails off the gravel road above Frog pond have been abandoned & so overgrown for many yrs now, that area used to have some awesome rolling terrain, great stuff there. Old School STMCCers Rule!
    Ride ON!
    Lifelong biker, MTBer since '86 when got me Ross Mt Whitney XC rig... Life is a circle.

  21. #21
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    Anyone remember this?

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    Ride ON!
    Lifelong biker, MTBer since '86 when got me Ross Mt Whitney XC rig... Life is a circle.

  22. #22
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    I see that logo on t-shirts worn by a couple of the hippies I help build trails with. It'd be great to see more of the old club members come check out the new trails then revisit the old. The Lake Sawyer side needs some maintenance but remains a fun place to ride.

    Mvray, the Google maps are the handy work of a gentleman named Greg. I don't personally know him, but enjoy the work he has done.

  23. #23
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    Hate to see the Lake sawyer trails get slowly reclaimed by the earth due to less use and less maintenance. Whenever I'm out there I usually end up cutting the occasional blowdown out of the way though. I agree, there's some nice rolling trails over there that are worth riding once in awhile. And both sections of twisty trails on the southern part of the area are kinda fun and add a surprising amount of mileage to the ride.

    Anybody know the name of the trail that is marked by Canadian flag markers nailed to the trees? That trail was cleared up a few months ago.

  24. #24
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    Clearly I'm old school 'cuz I still like riding over at Lake Sawyer and do so semi-regularly. It's been perfect since my knee surgery especially.

    Anyhoo, to get to your question nwbikur, we've always called it Canada. Used to be that the other trail that paralleled it (as much as a super winding trail can anyway) had American flags on it so we called it USA. It was slightly downhill of Canada too so it made good sense. Both lead back to the toy stump. Chances are there's a real name for that one though and now both have Canadian flags.

    Quote Originally Posted by nwbikur View Post
    Hate to see the Lake sawyer trails get slowly reclaimed by the earth due to less use and less maintenance. Whenever I'm out there I usually end up cutting the occasional blowdown out of the way though. I agree, there's some nice rolling trails over there that are worth riding once in awhile. And both sections of twisty trails on the southern part of the area are kinda fun and add a surprising amount of mileage to the ride.

    Anybody know the name of the trail that is marked by Canadian flag markers nailed to the trees? That trail was cleared up a few months ago.
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  25. #25
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    yep, the little metal plate Maple Leaf flags been there @ least 10 yrs or more. hey another weird visual in same area: a "Tsunami Warning" road sign, used to always make me laugh. btw, does anyone know if the the old "7 Bridges Trail" still all there?
    thanks
    Ride ON!
    Lifelong biker, MTBer since '86 when got me Ross Mt Whitney XC rig... Life is a circle.

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