Log Cabin Reach Natural Area
Log Cabin Reach Natural Area is a 118-acre site that consists of five contiguous parcels along Issaquah Creek on the west side of Cedar Grove Road SE and an additional five-acre parcel on the east side of Cedar Grove Road SE. The site is approximately 3 miles south of the city of Issaquah and 5 miles east of the city of Renton. The five parcels on the west side of Cedar Grove Road SE lie immediately east of the Cedar Hills Landfill. The parcel on the east side of Cedar Grove Road SE was purchased as part of the acquisition. Th e intent at the time of acquisition was to surplus this parcel, but this parcel may be retained as part of the Natural Area.
This reach of Issaquah Creek stands out in the basin for its high quality stream habitat, supporting in-stream habitat features such as log jams, midchannel gravel bars, braided side channels, and pools. The creek is unconfined by levees and revetments through this reach, allowing channel migration during times of high water, high potential for woody debris recruitment from the forested riparian corridor, and contribution of sediments and gravels from high banks above stream meanders.
The site supports open fields in the southwest, with a large emergent/scrub-shrub wetland area fed by an unnamed seasonal stream, with topography rising to a high grassy hill on the eastern edge. The riparian corridor is dominated by deciduous trees and shrubs, particularly through the southern part of the site where side channels and islands are frequent. The western and northern parts of the Natural Area are mature second-growth forest; the northwestern stand approaches old growth in its tree size and stand conditions. Invasive species are primarily blackberry patches in the fields, or butterfly bush, policemen's helmet, and other species scattered along the riparian corridor. (Also of note is that the Northwest Pipeline crosses this property from north to south. The pipeline area may be subject to vegetation maintenance, excavation for repair/upgrade, and restrictions on tree growth.)
Chinook, coho, and sockeye salmon; and cutthroat and steelhead trout are present in Issaquah Creek. A designated wildlife corridor along Issaquah Creek connects the site with the Cedar River Watershed and Taylor Mountain to the southeast, Tiger Mountain to the east, and Squak and Cougar Mountains to the north and northwest. The size and variety of habitats lend this site particular importance in a landscape characterized by rural residential development. This site is of a size that may support large mammals such as bear, as well as a diversity of birds, smaller mammals, and other wildlife.
The site is appropriate for passive recreational use, such as walking or nature observation. Areas most appropriate for public use are the fields in the south and western portion of the site, the main road/trail through the site, and the river overlook at the end of the road. The ecological importance of the wetland and stream corridor calls for limited public use in those areas. Currently, the site is used occasionally by local residents who access it from their properties or from Cedar Grove Road. The main point of access is on the 14900 block of Cedar Grove Rd SE, at a small pullout and gate. An unpaved road provides pedestrian access through the site to the creek, and a number of informal trails access different parts of the site. Limited parking restricts the number of visitors.
The Log Cabin Reach Natural Area Site Management Guidelines are available in Adobe Acrobat format. For help using Acrobat files, please visit our Acrobat help page.