New Trail Near Sammamish
During 2011, WTA volunteers helped build a new trail in the Evans Creek Preserve in Sammamish. The trail was officially dedicated on October 22 and offers families, dog walkers, birdwatchers and others a wonderful public space to connect with nature.
On October 22, 200 people braved the rain to celebrate the opening of the Evans Creek Preserve, a new park managed by the City of Sammamish.
The turn-out was a testament to the hard work that went into building this new trail - and to what this place means for a newly incorporated city like Sammamish. In a nod that this preserve is part of a greater vision, Mayor Don Gerend spoke of the desire for an “emerald necklace to encircle the city,” providing local families with several green spaces to enjoy.
With bluegrass music in the air, dozens of local residents explored the new trail system and stopped by WTA’s tent to express their appreciation. As one of WTA's Signature Trail Projects, volunteers put nearly 7,000 hours into this two-mile trail system, transforming the landscape from marshy farmland to a public space that is ideal for families, people walking their dogs, birdwatchers and more.
I spent a misty day out here way back in April, just when the new trail system was taking shape. It was a muddy mess, and I got plenty dirty working on the upland forest section of the trail. So did many other volunteers. More than 250 different WTA volunteers spent at least a day working on this trail - a modern-day twist on an old-fashioned barn-raising.
Now that the trail has been officially opened, I returned last week to see what had become of the 179-acre preserve. I spent an hour hiking nearly all of the two miles of looping trails.
What first impressed me were the bridges. There are 14 of them! These are beautifully crafted and successfully deal with the mud issue that plagued the trail builders last winter and spring. Even more impressive is the long boardwalk through the marshy wetland area. A labor of love went into building these structures.
The second thing I noticed was how the trail takes in so many different habitats in such a small space. There are wetlands, a forested area and a meadow. No wonder there are so many birds here.
And finally, it was nice to see a place that was designed to be accessible to all users. Hikers can choose between a short ADA-accessible loop, longer loop options on a gravel trail, a dirt loop of more than a mile - or all three in various figure eights.
It's a great place to spend an hour on a November day. I encourage you to visit and admire the handiwork of your fellow hikers.