Seasonal Trail Closures: October 15 – April 15
King County Parks closes some Taylor Mountain Forest trails during the rainy winter to protect the trails, prevent erosion, and reduce the amount of sediment choking Holder Creek and Carey Creek, both of which are critical for salmon spawning. Here is an updated map showing which trails are open for public access.
Note: Many trails and roads are inaccessible to due recent storm damage. Please refer to this map for which trails remain open while repairs are underway.
About the Park:
Connecting the Cedar River Watershed to the Tiger Mountain State Forest, the 1,924 acre Taylor Mountain Forest treats visitors with views of Mount Rainier, forested wetlands, and meadows of wild flowers. Taylor Mountain Forest is also a Forest Stewardship Council® (license code FSC-C008225) certified working forest demonstrating how environmentally sound forest management protects and restores ecological systems while provide still allowing for recreational opportunities.
Taylor Mountain Forest is also home to 75 acres of high-quality habitat and two major tributaries of Issaquah Creek: Holder Creek and Carey Creek, which provide more than five miles of spawning and rearing habitat for salmon.
Throughout the forest, there are 10 miles of trails and 10 miles of forest service roads used primarily by equestrians but also shared with hikers and mountain bike riders. Some trails are closedbetween October 15 and April 15 to support the ecological goals for the Taylor Mountain Forest. Seasonal trail closures protect forest health from soil erosion during the winter rains and improve water quality by reducing sediment in stormwater runoff protecting salmon spawning in the streams during winter.
Park Activities: dog walking, hiking, horse riding, mountain biking, nature observation, non-motorized boat ramp, volunteer
Location: Southeast of Tiger Mountain, south of I-90 and east of SR 18, between Hobart and North Bend.
Parking: The parking area can accommodate 25 trucks and horse trailers, plus 25 standard vehicles, along with handicap parking that includes one for a horse trailer and truck.
Trailheads: The main trailhead is at SE 188 St and 276 Ave SE
Text KING TAYLOR to 468311 to load the map onto your smartphone.
Abridged from the 2003 Taylor Mountain Forest Stewardship Plan: Taylor Mountain Forest was likely used by the Snoqualmie, Duwamish and Muckleshoot tribes for fishing, hunting and gathering and as a major transportation link from Lake Sammamish to the Cedar River and across the Cascades.
Government Land Survey notes from 1891 and 1892 describe the area as “…covered with heavy Fir, Hemlock, Cedar and Spruce timber of good quality… A very dense undergrowth throughout…” Also noted were numerous brooks, creeks and “branch springs." More than 60 settlers homesteaded in the vicinity at this time, many clustered around nearby Walsh Lake.
Logging was extensive throughout the area since the late 1880s. Logging was first accomplished with oxen, horses and steam donkeys. Construction of a railroad allowed for more intensive harvest. Eventually 15 miles of standard-gauge rail passed through the forests and to the top of Tiger Mountain. Several sawmills operated in the area. The Sherwood mill, was located on upper Carey Creek in the 1930s, probably milling cedar bolts cut from the large cedar stumps left standing in wet areas after the initial harvest. A 1930's stump house, created inside a hollow cedar stump with a sheet metal roof and equipped with pots, pans and dishes on the table, was discovered on the property in 1969. The artifacts were subsequently removed.
There were many forest fires in the vicinity in the early 1900s. In 1910, a big fire started in Kerriston and, spreading to Taylor, Walsh Lake and Hobart, which consumed the railroad trestles at Taylor and Sherwood. The community at Walsh Lake was destroyed and two trains were marooned. Many of the large stumps on Taylor Mountain Forest bear evidence of the fires.
Taylor Mountain Forest continued to be harvested throughout the 1940s. An aerial photo from 1944 shows the Holder Creek drainage recently logged and much of the Carey Creek drainage logged or maintained as open grazing land. The most recent logging operations began in the 1970s, when approximately 60 percent of the site was clear-cut.
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- Figure 1 - Site Plan
- Figure 2 - Topography and Soil/ Sensitive Areas
- Figure 3 - Landscape Areas (Streams and Wetlands)
- Figure 4 - Fish and Wildlife Habitat/ Sensitive Areas
- Figure 5 - 2000 Orthophotograph
- Figure 6 - Forest Type Map
- Figure 7 - Road Maintenance and Abandonment Plan
- Figure 8 - Soil Type Map
- Figure 9 - Forest Treatment Map