ElevationAscent: 21' 6 m
Descent: -115' -35 m
High: 421' 128 m
Low: 328' 100 m
GradeAvg Grade: 3% (2°)
Max Grade: 9% (5°)
Popular runs nearby
Point Defiance Trail Race
10.3 mi 16.6 km • Point to Point • 1,102 ft Ascent 335.74 m Ascent
Discovery Park and Lighthouse Loop
4.0 mi 6.5 km • Loop • 406 ft Ascent 123.68 m Ascent
Green Mountain Loop
8.2 mi 13.1 km • Loop • 1,438 ft Ascent 438.29 m Ascent
Cougar Mountain Red Town Loop
5.1 mi 8.3 km • Loop • 690 ft Ascent 210.32 m Ascent
Clear Creek Trail Loop
1.9 mi 3.0 km • Loop • 37 ft Ascent 11.42 m Ascent
2.1 mi 3.4 km • Loop • 333 ft Ascent 101.5 m Ascent
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“Meander through the trees along Island Center Forest's northern boundary on this smooth singletrack.”— Brendan Ross
Dogs are not permitted in the Mukai or Meadowlake Pond areas but are allowed throughout the rest of the trail. They are required to remain "either leashed or under strict sight and voice control," according to local regulations.
Generally, visitors should elect to use the 188th Street Trailhead, as it has the most parking. Paper maps are available here and at the Mukai and Cemetery Trailheads.
The path begins halfway through Borrow Pit Loop's eastern side, marked by a sign. A winding dirt singletrack, made a bit bumpy from underlying rocks but well-cushioned by fallen pine needles, it weaves through the trees. Fast and free-flowing, the initial section is one of the area's steepest declines – but as with the length, that's a relative comparison, as the grade never exceeds a meager 10%.
A clearing emerges a few hundred feet into the trail, near one of the area's information signs on new forest growth. Afterwards, North Trail spends most of its time in semi-dense tree cover, with ample openings to the sun and sky above. The trees here are both old growth and new, leafy and pine.
The shortcuts at West Fork and East Fork are unmarked but easy to see. Two or three more branch off to the left, but these are all connections to private residential property, so stay on course. As the path turns south a little after the half mile point, the trees close in, blocking out the sky. A few scattered baseball-sized rocks creep onto the trail as well, but it's still an easy journey.
North Trail ends in the middle of the park at the three-way intersection with Middle Fork and Techmo.
Animal life includes smaller woodland creatures and deer, but the biggest draw to Island Forest is the wide variety of birds, more than eighty species in all. The wetland areas around Mukai and Meadowlake Ponds draw bird watchers from around the region.
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Land Manager: King County, WA - Parks and Recreation