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Cowiche Canyon Conservancy Trails Professional Review and Guide
"Ideal for all mountain bikers, this ride is located in a locally maintained conservancy area. The main trail is an old railroad grade. Follow the well-kept gravel road over nine bridges along the Cowiche Creek east to the Scenic Trail. Optional trip is the Overlook Trail between bridges eight and nine. Climb up the canyon to the uplands area for a gorgeous view. Explore with care —the area is a designated shrub-steppe ecosystem, very fragile and home to many rare plants. Stay on existing trails and avoid heading in and out of the canyon when the trails are wet to prevent further problems with erosion."
--Amy & Mark Poffenbarger, Mountain Biking Washington (Falcon Guides).
I love this trail (or network of trails), and ride it 2-3 times per week. It truly has something for everyone: I take my 5 yr old son with me by trailer-bike on the main cowiche canyon trail (which is a great ride except for some places of deep gravel). Then there are the upper loops accessed from the scenic drive parking lot for more of a challenge / workout, and finally there is the more technically challenging descents and snake coil. One trail I don't see on the map is the winery / vineyard trail that originates off of the main canyon trail just west of where the uplands trail connects. It goes up the other side of the canyon and is very steep (mostly off my bike on the way up), but the descent back down is rocky steep and challenging (at least for me).
I'm still finding my way around and it's true that the trails are not well marked - but it's a lot of fun and a great ride. There are dogs and hikers - and also watch out for snakes (I have seen them right near the trail 3 or 4 times). I'll post some pictures.
Awesome trail. At least for my fiancee and I (who are beginners). We mostly stayed on the main trail which I feel was easier then the side trails. One thing to be aware of is that there are alot of dogs here. If you are not a fan of dogs you might want to try to go at off hours. That being said most of the dogs we encountered were great (better trained then ours even) and minded their own business.
We have hiked all over Cowiche and know that there are some nice steep grades once you venture off the main trail. Once we get into biking more we will be exploring them as well. So we feel like the guide says both experts and beginners will enjoy themselves here.
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