Grand Ridge Park is 1,200 acres of deep, green forest that rises to 1,100 feet in elevation east of Issaquah and Lake Sammamish. Established to provide natural resource preservation and passive recreation along the edge of suburban and rural communities, the park is located between Mitchell Hill Forest to the east and the Issaquah Highlands residential development to the west. The steep slope above the north fork of Issaquah Creek is covered by stands of large second growth Douglas fir trees.
A special feature of Grand Ridge is the groves of western red cedar trees and sword ferns, with some individual trees exceeding 5 feet in diameter. Red alder forests and wetlands at the northern edge of the park are the headwaters of salmon-bearing Canyon Creek, which is a part of the Snoqualmie River watershed, and the north fork of Issaquah Creek, which flows into Lake Sammamish.
A seven-mile, multi-use trail that was built with considerable help from volunteers with the Washington Trails Association traverses the long and linear park, wandering through a variety of forest settings that provide habitat for bears, cougars, owls and other wildlife. The trail will eventually end at Duthie Hill Park, the home of the region’s most-popular mountain bike skills park.
Trail length: 11.9 miles
Use: Hiking, horse back riding, mountain biking. Steep climbs in the north and south with moderate rolling terrain on the ridgetops.
Access: From Seattle, drive east on I-90 for approx. 18.1 miles. Take Exit #20, turn left at bottom of ramp. Pass underneath I-90 and park in the gravel lot to the west. Hike or bike west on the Issaquah-to-High Point Trail to the backcountry trailhead. You can also access the trail from Central Park in the Issaquah Highlands. Access from the north is planned.