Washington State Parks, in partnership with several public agencies and nonprofits, added 9.2 miles of mixed-use trails at Olallie State Park in September of 2017.
The trail, which climbs the steep side of Mount Washington off I-90, welcomes mountain bikers, hikers and equestrians. It boasts an elevation gain of 2,700 feet in 4.6 miles.
State Parks received the original trail development grant from the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program in 2002. The agency collaborated with Mountains to Sound Greenway (MTSG) for scoping and design, but the Great Recession delayed the project until 2012. Post-Recession partnerships expanded to include Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance (EMBA), which provided $63,000 in matching funds, labor and in-kind contributions and the U.S. Forest Service, which connected the trail to their land for future recreational development.
State Parks contracted with the Washington Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to lend expertise in final trail designs, a challenge due to the rugged terrain. State Parks also worked with the City of Seattle to gain through-access via the Cedar River Watershed during construction.
Under DNR’s oversight, EMBA built 4.9 miles of trail and MTSG built 4.3 miles. The new trail, which cost more than $1,100,000 to build, reflects State Parks’ long-term commitment to recreational trail development.
According to Washington State Parks Northwest Region Planner Jamie Van De Vanter, Olallie has already seen a jump in use since the trail opened Sept. 30.
“It has been well received by the biking community,” said Van De Vanter.