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Trail:Tolt MacDonald

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Tolt-Lookout.jpg
Name Tolt MacDonald
Tech Rating icon_favourites.gif icon_favourites.gif
Grunt Rating icon_favourites.gif icon_favourites.gif
Singletrack 90%
Fire road 10%
Paved 0%
Total trail 20+ mi.
Alt. change 500
Latitude: 47.64401
Longitude: -121.922536
Nearest medical: Not set yet
Page adopted by: [[User:{{{moderator}}}|{{{moderator}}}]]
Get Directions

See current weather conditions

Trail Overview

The first trail to the actual trail system is called IAB (Its A Bitch). IAB does live up to its name as you Bike/Hike 1 mile and gain 500ft, but once at the top there is no more big climbs, the trail are all rolling fun, technical.

After climbing IAB you will come to an area that is called the 5-Way. The 5-Way consists of the IAB, a road ahead, roads left and right and a trail on the right. On group rides this is the area that everyone regroups at.

There is a Logging Road that circles the trail system going by the 5-way. This allows you to exit any of the trails to the road and follow it back to the Five-way.

Two Landmarks to be familiar with are the 5-way and the Yellow Sign. The Yellow Sign is at a four way road intersection, from here you can head East on the road and follow it around to the 5-way. If you come across a Porta Potty then you are heading West and need to turn around and head east.

It is very easy to get lost the first time up to the Tolt. It would be prudent to do a quick ride around the East/North/West/South roads in a loop to get a feel of the area and provide a better reference once you've been riding for a while and come out to a main road (this loop takes 5-10 minutes).

A few of the trails are marked (hanging can lids marked in black sharpie), and using the 5-way and Yellow sign as reference points and the listed map you can figure out what trails you are on or enjoy.

Tech 2 when dry. Some areas can be unridable for beginners in the wet. Consider more difficult areas 3 in the wet (some 4 due to wood/roots/slope and exposure)

How to find it

From Seattle on SR-520:

  • Head East on SR-520 (12 Miles)
  • Right onto WA-202/Redmond Way (7.7 Miles)
  • Left onto Tolt Hill Road (3.3 Miles)
  • Left onto SR-203 (.5 Miles)
  • Left onto NE 40th ST. ( you will pass a Middle School on your Right and the 40th will be on the left.)
  • Park at the Gravel Parking lot on the left. (Ball Fields will be on your right.)

From Seattle on I90

  • Head East I-90 toward Spokane 19.2 mi
  • At exit 22, take ramp right toward Fall City / Preston 0.3 mi
  • Turn left onto SE 82nd St 0.2 mi
  • Turn right onto SE High Point Way 0.5 mi
  • Road name changes to Preston-Fall City Rd SE 4.0 mi
  • Turn right to stay on SR-202 0.1 Mi
  • Turn left to stay on SR-203 / Fall City-Carnation Rd SE 5.7 mi
  • Turn left onto NE 40th St 0.2 mi ( you will pass a Middle School on your Right and the 40th will be on the left.)
  • Park at the Gravel Parking lot on the left. (Ball Fields will be on your right.)

Here is an aerial view of the parking area. To get to the trails, you cross the bridge and head straight ahead to the trail that climbs the hillside.

Here is Tolt Middle School 3740 Tolt Ave, Carnation, WA

Typical Conditions

Some of the trails can get sloppy if it has rained in the past week. The trails in the center of the trail system are usually a muddy mess during the winter or after a good rain. The trails on the South West corner of the trail system are normally in great shape all winter. There are a few trails such as the Beast that are bad along with Endo and Kates lane.

Current Conditions

Great conditions right now! R1de 13:57, 4 December 2013 (PST)

Turn-By-Turn Guide

Tolt McDonald Trail Map.jpg

You can also view a high-resolution GPS trail map for Tolt-MacDonald from Switchbacks.com.

Local Points of Interest

Ixtapa - A block from Tolt with very good food.

Misc. Information

If night riding at Tolt do not park in the Tolt Parking lot as they do lock the gate at Dusk. There are signs that the park is closed at Dusk. Find alternate parking out side of the park if planning on night riding at the trail system. PLEASE walk your Bikes over the pedestrian bridge. There is a sign over the Bridge that states dismount, but reports from the parks folks is that Bikers are riding across it. That's a good way for us to no longer have access to the bridge.

Advocacy Information

Tolt MacDonald trails are on both private and public property. The East access from Carnation is via King County's Tolt MacDonald Park, which includes the parking lot, bridge and a few trails near the top of the initial climb. The remainder of the land is on a private tree farm.

King County Park

Info from King County about Tolt MacDonald Park.

Private Landowner Info

Most of the trails are on the Ames Lake Tree Farm, which is a 428 acre parcel owned by Port Blakey Tree Farms. Port Blakely allows non-motorized recreational access to the parcel, subject to fire closures in the summer.

Fire closure info is usually posted here, and is available by calling 360-570-1992.

Ames Lake Tree Farm is For Sale

The Ames Lake Tree Farm is still up for sale. It was put up for auction in 2006 as six separate parcels, and again in 2007 as a single parcel. The area being sold is 428 acres of what we consider the Tolt MacDonald riding area. Information about the Nov. 2006 auction can be found here and the 2007 auction here. Here is a trail map with the parcels that are for sale.

King County owns the development rights to the land, so there will never be homes there. However, it is private land and it is unknown whether the new owners will continue to allow public access.

As an organization we rarely focus on private land. We see ourselves as guests on their land and do not want to interfere with their commercial activities. This is the reason that BBTC almost exclusively focuses our trail efforts on public land - we have assurances that our efforts won't be for nothing when the land is sold and developed. However, since the public owns the development rights to this land we have followed the situation closely and have been working with both public and private groups who are interested in this land.

Since the County already owns the development rights there is little interest from public agencies in buying the underlying ground. From a public policy perspective the land has already been saved as green space.

Maps

Photos