Happy Tax Day, or as we better know it in the Northwest, opening day on Tiger Mountain! Now git out ‘n RIDE!
If you’re headed to Tiger, the longstanding premier singletrack in the Seattle area, brace yourself. A huge section of the Northwest Timber Trail has been hacked into oblivion. While the trail itself is still in existence (although without its former swoopiness and obstacles of course) and replanting has already started — and while the logging raised some $363,000 for public education — the ugliness and ecological damage cannot help but leave longtime Tiger denizens unnerved.
Just as the beauty of a living forest cannot be matched — it’s one of the reasons we ride in the outdoors — nothing prepares you for its gutting. We hope flora and fauna made the transition to remaining habitat (we did find a tiny frog that looked in trouble). If there’s any consolation, it’s that forests do come back. And this clearcut may pose some opportunities for creative regeneration, depending on how the state’s Department of Natural Resources wants to proceed.
Oh and by the way, the next time someone raises environmental concerns about trail riding, just remind them of stuff like this. As we like to say at BikeIntelligencer: Next to mountain biking, logging is the single most ecologically harmful human activity a forest can endure.
The bottom line for now: The trail is still intact and rideable. But it’s a good place to practice riding with your eyes closed.
[Directions and more details here.]