Popular trails near Black Diamond closed for five weeks

King County Parks is thinning 75 acres of previously-logged land within Ravensdale Retreat Natural Area.

The Ravensdale Retreat Natural Area will be closed to the public so work crews can thin out some of the trees. Image courtesy Harry Biped/www.harrybipedhiking.com

The Ravensdale Retreat Natural Area will be closed to the public so work crews can thin out some of the trees. Image courtesy Harry Biped/www.harrybipedhiking.com

A serene, wooded area just north of Black Diamond is now closed to the public and will remain off-limits until perhaps late August.

King County Parks is thinning 75 acres of previously-logged land within Ravensdale Retreat Natural Area. The process aims to allow more sunlight to reach the forest floor, resulting in diverse undergrowth while helping the remaining trees to grow larger.

Work began July 22 with the expectation the thinning project will take five weeks to complete.

The area includes a trail system that is used regularly by walkers and those on horseback. Trails extend from Ravensdale Way and Ravensdale Park on the west side to Kent-Kangley Road on the east.

Members of Backcountry Horsemen and Friends of Rock Creek Valley are key partners at the site, helping to maintain the trails and to control invasive species.

This winter, when the weather is cool and wet, Parks will plant 800 seedlings in the newly-thinned area. The seedlings will diversify the age and species mix in the forest, helping the ecosystem be more resilient to threats.

In all, the Ravensdale Retreat Natural Area covers 145 acres in the Rock Creek Valley, approximately two miles north of Black Diamond and a mile east of Maple Valley.

Most of the site is upland, supporting a coniferous forest that was replanted following harvests during the 1980s, with small meadow patches. The area also supports a two-acre pond/wetland complex and Rock Creek flows through the site.

More in News

Enumclaw senior center plans for improved transportation for rural residents

A new King County grant to create senior “hubs” will help fund the effort.

Two apply to fill Black Diamond’s empty seats | CORRECTION

Patrick Nelson and Steven Paige could very well be the city’s newest elected officials.

Drowning victim identified as Enumclaw man

There was also a death after a glider crashed in Buckley late last month.

Lessons learned from first attempt at Balloon Glow

Despite the bad weather cancelling the event, the Enumclaw Expo Center saw a huge crowd and even made a profit.

KCSO found all but one of the 108 allegations of excessive or unnecessary use of force were justified

The Office of Law Enforcement Oversight has released its annual 2018 report.

First vaping illness hits Washington | Public Health Insider

The patient is a teenager in King County.

Human remains found in Black Diamond

The King County Sheriff’s Department is out searching for any additional remains near Ten Trails.

Enumclaw police blotter | Aug. 30 – Sept. 3

A dispute over firewood, a “silver alert,” and an inebriated argument at a fast-food joint.

Most Read