Middle Fork SnoqualmieAugust 27, 2005 Middle Fork Trail has been reopened to bicycles on odd numbered days during the dry season. This is the culmination of almost 10 years of work by dedicated volunteers who have attended dozens of meetings and worked with the Forest Service and other user groups during this long process.
The trail will be open to mountain bikers on odd numbered days from April 15 to October 31. The trail may open later, or close earlier due to weather conditions, if Rangers feel it is necessary. Please pass the word that it is very important that mountain bikers respect the closure if we want the trail to remain open.
This is the start of a 3 year test period, after which the odd-day mountain bike opening will be evaluated. If the test period goes well, the trail may then be permanently open to bikes on odd-days during the dry season. As part of this test period, BBTC will be doing trail maintenance, educating users, and have volunteer mountain bike patrols on the trail to educate users.
More information is in the trails section the website by clicking here.
April 2005: Decision issued on Revised Access and Travel Management Plan - Alternative E once again selected.
The Forest Service has issued notice about their decision to implement Alternative E, which is our preferred alternative. This is in response to an appeal made on the original decision to support Alternative E.
There is now a 30 day waiting period, in which time the decision can be appealed. The FS tells me that there's better than a 50% chance that the decision will once again be appealed.
If the decision is NOT appealed, the process moves forward and we can continue to work with the MidFORC coalition to open the Middle Fork Trail to mountain bikes on odd days during the dry season. Its possible that this trail could be opened by the end of summer, but its also possible that administrative roadblocks could push it back until next year.
If the decision IS appealed within the 30 day window, the FS has 60 days to work with the appelant to address their concerns. After the 60 days the FS can decide to uphold their earlier decision, or make changes to satisfy the appelant. If this is the scenario that plays out, next summer is likely is the earliest that we would once again be able to ride this beautiful trail.
Forest Service Website with more info about the decision.
January 2005: We need your help!
The Middle Fork Snoqualmie Access Travel Plan Environmental Assessment has been adjusted to work with the needs of the in-holders. None of the agreed upon changes has any real effect on bicyclists or the Middle Fork Trail. We are still on track to have access on odd numbered days during the drier season between April 15 and October 15, subject to Forest Service decision based on rainfall. It should also be noted that bicycle access is on a 3 year provisionary status, as was previously negotiated. The plan can be reviewed here on the USFS site.
Alternative E is still the preferred alternative for bicyclists and recreationists. We are in a 30 day comment period until February 22. It is very important the Forest Service hear from supporters of alternative E. Please write, email, call, or FAX your comments in support of Alternative E before February 22nd. Remember the Forest Service has been very fair in dealing with all the competing interests in this area. They are not our enemy - Thank them for their continued efforts to arrive at an equitable solution and indicate you support the decision to choose alternative E. Comment period is ended.
November, 2004: The process is bumping along slowly. The Forest Service is still working on details of the miners' challenge to the Access & Travel Management plan. No public hearings are schedule but there will be a comment period once it is released again.
December 5, 2003: The decision has been withdrawn to accomodate an appeal. As part of the ATM (Access and Travel Managment) process, a final appeal window of 45 days was given. Several in-holders (property owners) in the area appealed the decision. Given the agency’s appeal process it was not possible to address the inholders’ access rights within the prescribed timeframe. This was an anticipated "bump in the road" and it looks like it will delay the process by several months.
Sept. 30th, 2003: The forest service has announced the acceptance of "Alternative E", which had been under review following a period of public comments. Mountain bike access has been reinstated to the following trails for a three year trial period: 1003, 1003.1, 1003.01, 1003.2, and 1002. Access will be from roughly April 15th to November 1st, depending on trail conditions. Mountain bike use will be restricted to odd numbered calendar days only. The forest service decision can be found on-line at: http://www.fs.fed.us/r6/mbs/projects/mf_atm/.
If there was ever a trail worth working for this is it.Middle Fork Outdoor Recreation Coalition
Middle Fork Snoqualmie River Watershed Access and Travel Management Environmental Analysis
The Middle Fork of the Snoqualmie river basin is based around a deep forest access road which follows the Snoqualmie River. The Middle Fork Snoqualmie River Valley is a scenic natural recreation area within 1.5 hours of downtown Seattle. The wild natural beauty of the Middle Fork Valley is unsurpassed by other lower elevation recreational areas in Western Washington State. The Middle Fork Trail (MFT) follows the Middle Fork of the Snoqualmie River all the way to the end of the Forest Road, ending at the privately run Goldmeyer Hot Springs.
One of the most beautiful trails in the Puget Sound Region, the MFT presents the essence of the Western Cascade foothills. Breathtaking views take in Yosemite-like cliffs and the rushing Snoqualmie River. Old growth forest drips with ever present moisture and life. Raucous creeks pour through moss covered rocks and massive trees. The river is a constant companion, widening and narrowing through groupings of falling trees and rocky beaches. On hot days, multiple swimming holes beckon at every turn. The trail twists up and down but never climbs nor descends too steeply. The multitude of rocks, roots, and wood trail bridges make for a challenging trail though, and what at first glance is an easy walking trail soon surprises with its challenges. The trail is also long - it would take a full summer day and a lot of Power Bars to ride the entire length and back. Where else can you do that within an easy drive of Seattle?
Backcountry Bicycle Trails Club has pledged 300 hours a year of trail work and education to this trail. This isn't a new concept; we're following on the tradition set by the club in the mid 1990s when bikes were allowed on the trail. The agreement to provide the volunteer commitment is part of a three year trial to allow bikes on the trail. Giving back to the trails and treating all those that enjoy the trails with respect is part and parcel with using the trails.Contact Brian Jones to find out how you can help give back to this beautiful area.