From Evergreen Trail Guide
Access Fees and Closures
Alert 12/02/12: General Trails Update Here's a report from one of local volunteer trail gnomes: Flowtron is good. We just have a little more buffing and a couple corners to tweak, but its running nicely. Last Frontier is gone. Safety to Gun Range is good to go.
Alert 12/02/12: Tokul Logging Closure at Beaver Pond! New logging is scheduled to start any day now in Tokul West. The only MTB trail expected to be affected is Beaver Pond but that means access off the SVT will be interrupted until it gets rebuilt.
Alert 12/01/12: Price of Annual Tokul Pass Reduced by 40% for 2013! As of January 1st, 2013 the fee for an individual non-motorized permit will be reduced from $75 to just $45, and a family permit will drop from $150 to $80! Day use permits will still be a very reasonable $8.More info and passes available from Hancock here: http://www.hancockrecreationnw.com/
Over the past year Evergreen has worked hard with Hancock Forest Management to modify their access permit program in ways that are less restrictive to our sport including:
Now we’ve also been successful in getting Hancock to recognize the value of a much lower annual fee for non-motorized use on their lands.
Weyerhauser Corporation property closure in effect immediately for areas being logged and marked "No Trespassing".
We will try to provide up-to-date information here but please be patient as there may be items we prefer not to go public with as we work to resolve them.
Remember that this entire area is private property. Respect closures and if you communicate with the property owner/manager please recognize that, unlike public lands, they are not required to consider public access.
We were on site with Hancock this week and the logging of Tokul East has started in earnest - I'm sure you're hearing it if you're out there in the daylight. They will be closing, signing, and dropping logs across the entrance to trails as they progress - they're not closing trails until they need to so if the trail is closed stay off it for your own safety! Also be aware of logging trucks and maintenance vehicles.
Much/most of the logging will be cable logging so it will help reduce the impact to the trails and they've selected tower locations that will further reduce impact. But, hey it's clear cutting so it will take work to rebuild once they're done which will likely be by the middle to end of April. We did visit another area they recently cut and it was actually pretty encouraging about how much will be required to get the trails reopened. I'm hopeful it will be like a really big windstorm - except it took all the marketable trees away.
The owner of the logging company (like most, Hancock contracts for the actual logging) is a mountain biker who has ridden Tokul for years so everyone is doing the best to help trail users while still recognizing that their business is getting the most revenue for the property owners.
Meanwhile we're still talking about other issues related to the access pass. We'll have a bit more to say on that front soon.
We’re happy to be able to bring some good news! All of our hard work on the Tokul mountain biking access and use issues may be paying off. We met yesterday with the fine folks at Hancock Forest Management, and once again they’ve been very open and flexible in working with us.
We all know that things could have been structured and communicated a little more clearly in the beginning but we believe that Hancock can be a solid long-term partner for mountain biking opportunities on their 96,000 acre Snoqualmie Forest.
Here’s where things stand currently:
* Trail Maintenance: Ongoing trail maintenance is allowed on existing trails and Hancock will be providing more details. We understand that it will include the bucking out of fallen trees or dangerous snags, but do NOT cut live trees. Chainsaws are allowed dependent on the Fire Level. Hancock follows the Industrial Fire Precaution Level system which requires a fire watch and special equipment when the Fire Level rises to Level 1. Because of this there can be NO chainsaw use once a Fire Level 1 is declared which is typically from April 15 through October 15 although it can be shorter or longer based upon conditions.
* New Trail Construction: Currently there is a moratorium on new trail construction: “Permit holder may not build new trails or enhance existing trails without written permission from Hancock Forest Management”. Hancock is open in concept to new trails but a plan will have to be created and presented for their review before anything can happen.
If you are currently building a trail, or planning on it, please contact us. Unauthorized building of new trails could harm our efforts and destroy the positive relationship that both sides are working hard to create.
* Night Riding: Night riding should be formally approved soon. Hancock has worked with Fish & Wildlife to ensure that it can be done in a way that doesn’t impact their anti-poaching work on the property. We’ll let you know when you’re good to go. Until then, head over to Tolt for night riding instead.
* Sign-in Forms: Sign-in forms do not apply to walk/ride on users of the property so the requirement to drop them at Gate 10 on the North Bend doesn't affect us. Remember though that you do need to have your access permit and photo ID with you whenever you are on the property.
* Use Permits: We know there are many questions around permits including cost, and the availability of day use permits. Hancock is still evaluating these items and we suspect that they will announce some changes that, while not satisfying everyone, will potentially make it a bit more accessible for many.
Please remember that this is private land and while we may not like the new program and fee it does have the advantage of legitimizing the trails and it is definitely becoming more common. It is certainly a better option than complete closure to public access which would have hurt both recreation and Hancock. Hancock wants to allow this area to become a real asset for mountain bikers, something that can happen a lot more quickly here than on public lands.
Stay tuned for more updates coming soon…
Hancock obviously is going to prioritize their business needs first but they also have stated that they want their property, including the Snoqualmie Forest, to be an asset to the recreational community. Some high-level takeaways from our last meeting:
- They say they are open to working with Evergreen for a comprehensive trail system; legitimizing trails already in place and adding new ones according to a plan the community develops. Please respect their request not to build any trail until that time.
- They want to allow trail maintenance to occur including official posted work parties.
- They will be logging the parcel which includes Flowtron sometime between March and June of 2012 (exact dates depend on snow level in other logging areas). They have said that although it will be clearcut logging they recognize the importance of this trail, and the work that has gone into it, and they are going to minimize damage to this trail section.
- They are reevaluating the night time closure - it didn't even occur to them that we would ride at night. This will require them to coordinate with Dept of Fish and Wildlife but they are optimistic that something can be worked out.
- They clarified that sign-in forms do not apply to walk/ride on users of the property so the requirement to drop them at Gate 10 on the North Bend doesn't effect us.
- They believe that people will and should expect Hancock to provide added value to the users if users are having to pay for access.
- They understand that charging a fee invalidates the recreational immunity provided under the recreational immunity statute. They had concerns about other elements of liability on the property already and the cost of the access permit includes the incremental cost of insurance.
- The Weyerhauser land closure impacts access to the Hancock property but Weyerhauser has agreed to provide access via the road once their logging operations are complete.
- Obviously there are other issues to work out but at least there is the potential for common ground.
Hancock Timber will be instating a permit for use of these trails starting January 2012 More info here: http://www.hancockrecreationnw.com/
Tokul East is an area that consists of logging road climbs and loose, ripping descents on old horse trails and a few newer trails designer by local bikers. The descents tend to be fairly technical because the gravelly soils and plenty of horse use keeps things interesting.
How to find it
From Seattle take I-90 East to the Preston Exit, turn left at the stopsign and cross the freeway and then take an immediate right on High Point Way. High Point turns into Preston-Fall City Rd, and continue on this for about 4 miles. At Fall City you will hit a stop sign and turn right here onto Hwy 202 (also called SE Fall City-Snoqualmie Rd). Contine on 202 for about 1 mile and turn left 356th Dr SE. Go up the hill for 1/3 mile and park in the trailhead lot on your left.
To find the trail system head East on the Snoqualmie Valley Trail (SVT) for about .7 miles and take the doubletrack on your left. Once you find the power lines you will find all kinds of trails to make different loops.
Alternately, many people park near Snoqualmie Falls Lodge which has singletrack that connects into the Tokul East system. Please don't park in their private parking lot.
As of March 2010, access through the main road gate off of Tokul Road seems to be prohibited by a new owner of that edge parcel. This should not affect most of the trails.
These are some of the best draining trails in our area, and this is an excellent winter riding area. Some of the lower trails near the power lines can get soggy, but they're easy to avoid.
08may12: Logging now appears complete. Flowtron is now a moonscape. RIP.
Logging is under way that affects many of the popular trails, including Flowtron, Last Frontier, Tetherball and the upper parts of OGDH. Here is the map of areas to be logged in 2012 and 2013. Trails will be closed when logging is under way.
The upper trails are MONAYY right now (but weather is changing soon folks! However, there is a lot of logging going on that is blocking the lower trails (or has destroyed them). Also, the accessor trail is now a big, wide, sandy road. Timber harvesting is active. R1de 19:21, 10 November 2011 (PST)
A little bit puddly on Safety First. Gun Range overtaken by brush. Everything else great! R1de 09:14, 7 October 2011 (PDT)
Local Points of Interest
There are some great apres-ride taverns in Fall City. Also, the Snoqualmie Brewery in downtown Snoqualmie has good food and is kid friendly.
Local Trail Names: Crazy Ivan, Big Rock, Little Rock Connector, FlowTron 3000, Last Frontier, Safety First, Tetherball, Bandwagon, Treeline, Dodgeball, Gun(re-ar)range, OGDH
Alert: Hancock Timber will be instating a permit for use of these trails starting January 2012 More info here: http://www.hancockrecreationnw.com/
As soon as more information becomes available, it will be posted here. If you are from Hancock Timber, we would love to work with you and find a way for it to be in your interest to allow biking on the trails at Tokul. Please contact Evergreen at 206-524-2900 or email advocacyteam (at) evergreenmtb.org.
Tokul East is a part of Hancock's Snoqualmie Forest, a 100,000 acre tree farm. King County has purchased most of the development rights for this forest, but Weyerhauser kept much of Tokul East out of that deal and it is zoned residential, with future homes possible for this area.