Seattle’s mountain bike juggernaut highlighted by Mtbr last fall will get another steroid shot when a 17-mile trail bonanza officially opens May 19 at Raging River, a half-hour drive east of downtown.
Dedication festivities starting at 10 a.m. will include all-day shuttles (already sold out at $25 a pop), a beer garden, bike demos, and a ribbon cutting at noon. The Raging River trailhead is located just south of Exit 27 on I-90 near North Bend.
The longest and most sophisticated mountain bike trail system ever opened at once by the state, Raging will feature dedicated climbing and downhill trails for all skill levels, from classic XC to the full-face-helmet crowd. Plans call for it eventually to link to nearby Tiger Mountain in a 45-mile extravaganza seldom found so close to a metropolis of nearly 4 million people. The four-phase project will cost an estimated $2.4 million.
“This shows what can happen when you work with all user groups to provide recreational opportunities benefitting everyone,” said public lands commissioner Hilary Franz, who will keynote opening ceremonies. Managed by the state Department of Natural Resources, Raging features more than 4000 feet of elevation gain in a forested setting capped with striking views of Mt. Rainier and the Cascade Mountains.
“We want the mountain biking community to come out in full force to show their support,” said Yvonne Kraus, executive director of Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance, which has worked with the state for more than a decade to develop the trail system.
Coinciding with the Raging opening, Evergreen has launched a $124,000 fundraising campaign to complete 65 miles of additional trails state-wide already on the books. The campaign is coordinated through GiveBIG, a 24-hour online giving event on May 9 sponsored by the philanthropic Seattle Foundation.
“This is the biggest ask Evergreen has ever done,” Kraus said. “But we’ve got fully permitted trails ready to build. It’s a pretty incredible moment in time for us.”
Consistent with DNR policy on motorized vehicles, Raging trails will be closed to e-bikes. Franz, who plans to ride the new trails on opening day with Kraus, said the state is open to exploring commercial shuttle services for popular downhill spots like Raging and Tiger.
For more info head to www.evergreenmtb.org.