Rambling Redmond Ridge
Walk through Wetlands and Forests in a New Suburb
Hike Length: variable, up to 8 or more miles
Elevation Gain: minor
Hike Difficulty: easy to moderate
Two large master-planned developments in Redmond-- Redmond Ridge and Trilogy-- feature extensive trail networks. Many of the trails travel through or around marshes and swamps, which are abundant on the level plateau where the developments are located. Large tracts of land have been preserved in a natural state around the wetlands, providing an opportunity to escape the sights and sounds of civilization. Birdwatchers will enjoy viewing the flocks of waterfowl in the wetlands.
The Trilogy trail network ties into the adjacent Redmond Watershed Preserve trail system, giving even more paths to roam. Because the bus service along Novely Hill Road is scanty, a good strategy for ending your hike is to walk through the preserve and westward on other roads to Avondale Road, which has more frequent buses. Or walk all the way to Redmond.
The Redmond Ridge Trail is a wide multi-use path that cuts through
the Trilogy development
Ride Sound Transit from downtown Seattle to Redmond Transit Center or Bear Creek Transit Center. Catch Metro 224 (warning: infrequent service, none on weekends) and ride to the intersection of Cedar Park Crest and Marketplace Drive.
From the bus stop on Marketplace Drive, walk north on Cedar Park Crest a short distance towards Novelty Hill Road. On the left, located the well-marked start of a trail (Point A on the map below). The dotted line on the map is the route I hiked when surveying the area.
Walk south on the trail, which follows a gas pipeline right-of-way, tree-lined and pleasant. In a half mile, the trail crosses a street (NE Bridle Crossing). Small wetlands line a trickling creek here. Eventually the main trail veers left off the right-of-way, passing a pond and houses in a narrow greenbelt, before arriving at the main drag, Redmond Ridge Drive(point B).
Cross the drive and walk north on either the sidewalk or an adjacent horse path. In less than a quarter mile, veer right off the road and head into the woods at a signed trailhead. In this large greenbelt, there are many quiet forest trails that loop around various wetlands and ponds. The attached map shows the various options.
Ready for more? head north to Trilogy. A convenient spot to cross busy Novelty Hill Road is the stoplight at point H. The Puget Power Trail, a power line service road, crosses Novelty Hill Road at this point also. Once across the street, walk east on Novelty Hill on a wide sidewalk, which crosses a creek on a bridge, Veer north into the woods at a signed trailhead.
This trail, a wide gravel path that is an official "King County Regional Trail" heads north along wetlands bordering Redmond Watershed Preserve. On the right is a variety of sights associated with the Trilogy development, including a golf course and the backyards of houses. In a long mile this trail reaches a junction with another major trail; go left to head into Redmond Watershed Preserve, or go right (east) to explore the north side of Trilogy.
If you take the latter option, you will soon reach Point C on the overview map, where the trail crosses the main drag, Trilogy Dr. A hiker-activated stoplight has been provided for your convenience. On the other side of the drive the trail continues through a patch of woodland around a branch of Adair Creek. At the next junction, near a retaining wall supporting a line of houses, veer right onto another trail. This path follows the retaining wall and the wooded ravine of Adair Creek, passing several retention ponds, before arriving at Point D at Alder Creek Way.
Follow Alder Creek Way south, crossing a ravine and heading into a neighborhood of new houses. After a hundred yard or so beyond the ravine, follow an unmarked trail heading right into a narrow greenbelt. This trail climbs at a good clip up the greenbelt, then levels out and reaches Big Leaf Way at Point E. Follow the continuation of the trail on the south side of Big Leaf Way.
The trails between points E and F explore a fine wooded tract with a large pond. When ready to leave, you can exit out the trail to Point F at Novelty Hill Road and 239th Place. The Metro 224 bus can be caught anywhere along Novelty Hill Road, although this is a noisy and unpleasant place to wait for a bus. It might be better to walk back to Marketplace Drive(point A) and wait there. To avoid trudging along Novelty Hill Road, an unpleasant experience at best, use the Puget Power Trail and other streets and trails instead. Once back at Marketplace Drive, you can explore Redmond Ridge's small shopping center located there, and maybe get a bite to eat while waiting for your bus.
A lush wetland near Trilology Boulevard
Catch Metro 224 (warning: infrequent service) on Novelty Hill Road or Marketplace Drive and return to Redmond Transit Center. Frequent Sound Transit buses go from there to Seattle.