From Evergreen Trail Guide
Sometimes known just as "Black Diamond" for the nearby town, the Lake Sawyer trails are the very popular in the south-Sound area. It's a collection of smaller trail networks on private treefarm land.
The section of newer trails on the Real Life Church property are also known as the Summit Ridge Trails.
How to find it
Note: the map marker for this area is set for the southwest access point at Sawyer Woods Elementary School. Many people park at the "Coal Cart" along SR-169, or where the bike shop in Black Diamond used to be. If you're going on a group ride, be sure you know where to meet.
To school parking from Seattle (Trails near school need a fair amount of work. Wouldn't suggest starting here): From I-5 South or from 167 South take Rt 18 East. Take the Auburn Black Diamond Road exit. Next make a right from the off ramp onto Auburn Black Diamond Road. Drive approximately 4.8 miles until you reach a stop sign. On your left will be a gas station (Astro Gas?) and a little convenience store (I believe it's Maple Glen Center).
At the stop sign take a right onto SE Auburn Black Diamond Road and continue driving for approximately 4.2 miles. You will see a sign for Lake Sawyer Road SE just before the turn. Make a "SHARP/HARD" left onto Lake Sawyer Road SE. Drive about a mile to Sawyer Wood Elementary School it will be on your left. Pull into the school's parking lot and you're there.
To school parking from where Black Diamond Bikes used to be: From old locale of Black Diamond Bikes, head south and take the first right-Roberts rd. Watch the speed limit, go through the little town and watch for the Y intersection. At the Y, take the right fork onto Lake Sawyer rd. Follow Lake Sawyer rd and watch for Sawyer Woods Elementary School on your left. We look forward to seeing you on the trail.
To SR-169 side access from Renton: From I-405 take SR-169 south towards Black Diamond. Pass through Four Corners shopping-Safeway on the left and continue to the town of Black Diamond. The shopping center/strip mall where Black Diamond Bike and Back Country used to be will be on your right.
- Tech 2 for northern portions.
- Tech 3 for southern portions and Real Life Church across from the Coal Car.
- Add a tech rating when slimy wet due to all the logs, rocks and roots.
- Northern trails hold up pretty well in the rain, Southern trails drain poorly and can be very muddy.
- Log Bridge, 7, and 13 bridges can be very muddy after rains.
- JLG, Black Bear, and the rocky trails hold up well all year round.
- Nettles and mosquitoes can be very bad in the summer.
Summit Rige Trails & Black Diamond Natural Area trails are great. The trail gnomes have done an outstanding job of trail work and they've dried out nicely in the warm conditions the last week. May 8th, 2013.
You can view a high-resolution GPS trail map for Lake Sawyer from Switchbacks.com. Tribulation should be ridden clockwise.
Local Points of Interest
CJ's Bakery - 30800 3rd Ave
Black Diamond Bakery/Restaurant - 32805 Railroad Ave, Black Diamond
Written permission to access Palmer Coking Coal (PCC) land is available at the PCC office at 31407 Highway 169, Black Diamond. Written permission required to access near the coal car. I think people are just using different trail heads. Tried to gain written permission. The lawyer for the owner would never return calls or email. Make your own good decision on use.
There are 1100 acres of public land situated between Lake Sawyer, Ravensdale, Black Diamond, and Maple Valley. This acerage is composed of Lake Sawyer Regional Park, Black Diamond Natural Area, Ravensdale Reach, Henry's Ridge, and Cemetary Ridge. There's plenty of acerage for as many trails as we want on public lands.
To keep great riding in this area STM and BBTC are working with King County to develop permanent trails on a parcel known as Henry's Ridge.
The best advocacy we can do is be good stewards of the land and trails. Packing out trash, being polite to other trail users, and presenting a good image of mountain bikers will ensure King County keeps the trails open.