The King County Parks department acquired the 1800 acre Taylor Mountain Forest in 1997 and with the help of local trails groups has since been upgrading the environmental impact of the Forest's trails as well as public access to them.
The park itself contains a variety of trail types: gravel roads, broad flat gravel/dirt trails along former railroad beds, and narrow dirt hillside trails. While some areas can get quite muddy and other trails can be stony, a local chapter of Backcountry Horsemen of Washington keeps the trails maintained year-round and actual blockages are rare. Rides can include hilltops with spectacular views or fern-filled lowlands along a gurgling stream. You may spot remnants of long-past mining and logging efforts or more-recent logging along the trailsides. Elevations range from 500 to 2120 feet.
Taylor Mountain Forest is a wild forest; in addition to deer and the like, black bears and occasional cougars have been spotted in the area. Also, there are a few parcels of private land within the borders of the Forest and the City of Seattle’s Cedar River Watershed preserve along the eastern edge; please respect all private property signs and do not trespass.
Open; some trails closed for habitat restoration
Construction to expand the main parking lot will be ongoing from October 2015 through December 2015. Trails and logging roads are still open during construction, but you'll need to find parking elsewhere. A few spaces are available along the side of 276th Ave SE (Issaquah-Hobart Road), but the road is a busy one.
Main parking (blue marker): Route 18 to Issaquah-Hobart Road exit, turn south. Parking lot entrance is on the left across from SE 188th Street.
208th St. parking (green marker): South on Issaquah-Hobart Road about 1.2 miles from Route 18, turn left onto SE 208th Street. Parking is about 1.5 miles down the road on the right, at the Cedar River Watershed gate.
Length: over 20 miles of trails
Surface: gravel roads, dirt trails, occasional stream crossings or bridges. Some of the single-track trails can be extremely muddy in winter; many are now being closed during winter for that reason.
Share with: hikers, bicycles, wildlife
Parking for: 6-10 rigs at the
main parking area, 4+ at the 208th Street area
King County Parks:
King County Parks Taylor Mountain page
King County Parks has added a downloadable "brochure" (including a map) for this park to their "Backcountry Trails Map Brochure Series."