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Show Support for Two Trail Projects Along I-90

Posted by Francakes at Feb 02, 2016 04:50 PM |

The U.S. Forest Service has proposed two new trail projects within the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest on the Talapus Lake Trail and near Dirty Harry's Peak.

Talapus Lake in winter. Photo by PlusDavid.

For the many hikers who live in the fast-growing Puget Sound region, trails along the I-90 corridor are pretty much in our backyard. Now hikers have an opportunity to help make two popular, close-to-home trails even better.

Show support for two trail projects in a popular hiking area

Show your support for two new trail projects proposed by the U.S. Forest Service by the comment deadline of Feb. 14.

The projects, both within the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, will allow the agency to restructure a crumbling portion of the Talapus Lake Trail and create a new trail at Dirty Harry's Peak. They'll increase hiker access and improve sustainability on two popular trails within the state's most visited National Forest.

Many WTA volunteers have already contributed thousands of hours of work to both trails, and the proposed projects present an exciting opportunity to further protect and enhance these special places.

A smart, sustainable reroute on the Talapus Lake Trail

The Talapus Lake Trail has seen extensive water damage in recent years. The trail suffers from extensive mudholes, erosion and has grown as wide as 10 feet across in some places, according to Forest Service documents.

To prevent future erosion and improve the trail experience for the growing number of hikers exploring here, the agency is proposing rerouting on portions of the Talapus Lake Trail (#1039) and the Talapus Lake Cutoff (#1039.1). Further erosion on the trail could damage nearby watersheds and riparian areas. The reroute is also designed to replace a set of confusing switchbacks.

Take action the Talapus Lake Trail:

Create 2.5 miles of new stream-friendly trail at Dirty Harry's Peak

The Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest is conducting environmental analysis before beginning a proposed project to convert about 2.5 miles of former road into hiking trail on the upper portion of Dirty Harry's Peak, above the popular Balcony. (Last year, WTA volunteers put in thousands of hours building the lower portion that will connect to the future trail.) The former road is currently used as access to Dirty Harry's Peak.

Converting the road into trail will not only improve hikers' experience, but it will also restore Museum Creek and prevent future erosion from washing into the water source. The completed trail crosses state and federal land, and the Department of National Resources would manage the completed trail.

Take action for a new trail at Dirty Harry's Peak:

Volunteers doing rock work on the trail to Dirty Harry's Peak.