DOGS MUST BE ON LEASH AT ALL TIMES. Snohomish County leash and scoop laws are in effect. It just isn't appropriate or safe to ride with pooches off-leash.
Watch your speed when driving to the trailhead on Paradise Lake Road. It's a good revenue generator for Snohomish County.
There have been reports of cars being broken into in the parking lot.
Paradise Valley Conservation Area (PVCA or just PV) is a Snohomish County Park property that has a variety of singletrack to ride from rooty to twisty to swoopy. There are no big climbs here, but a lot of up and down. You'll get a suprisingly good workout riding here. There is about 11 miles of trail open to bikes.
Most of the trails now drain fairly well due to extensive work by Evergreen trail crews, however there will be some standing water and some mud after a good rain. Try to ride through, not around puddles. Give the trails several days to drain after heavy rains; if you ride the trails right after sustained rainfall you are going to come out wet and muddy.
Paradise Valley was a private (tree) farm property where the owners (the Lloyd family who still reside on the property in a Life Estate that will eventually revert to the County) passivly allowed recreation. Snohomish County acquired the 663-acre property in 2000 using funds from the state Salmon Recovery Fund and Snohomish County's Conservation Futures Board, converting it into the Paradise Valley Conservation Area, and eventually closing the property to recreation.
Evergreen contested the closure to public access and recreation, in both public meetings and direct communication to the county, on the grounds that parts of the property west of Paradise Lake Road had no critical aquatic habitat and closure to the public was unwarranted. Evergreen supports the protection of critical salmon habitat including wetland and riparian areas. The existing mountain bike trails do not encroach on any critical salmon habitat.
Evergreen continued its work with Snohomish County on reopening the property for recreation. Finally in late 2007, visible signs of progress appeared:
- Snohomish County was able to strike a deal with the Lloyd family for an easement on the life estate that allowed the County to construct a parking lot, information kiosk and install a porta-potty.
- An initial entry trail was constructed from the parking lot, connecting to an existing trail.
- The County began reaching out to potential user groups (including Evergreen) on what the final trail configuration would look like.
Evergreen worked with Snohomish County throughout 2008 and early 2009 to assist in reconfiguring the trail system to what it is today. As of April 2009, there are about 11 miles of trail open to Mountain Bikes.
Current work by Evergreen focuses on trail maintenance as well as upgrading the trails for better sustainability. New trails are planned in the Southwest portion of the park.
A very busy day at Paradise but one of the great things about this place is you really don't run into too many people out on the trails once you get out on them. Nice, sunny, dry and warm. All trails in great condition. Rode Cascara to the mainline to Mountain Bike Park, Cedar Run, Southern Traverse, Two Trees to Ephemeral, Red Alder then back to Southern Traverse to hit it in the fun direction and finished with Lloyd's. There's been a little bit of work on Lloyd's to make certain areas a bit easier to hit which has been great for me. I used to find this the most challenging trail but I think Two Trees is the most challenging for me now. This is one of my favorite spots to go just because of the proximity to my work and home so it's easy to get to. Also, I like the technicality of it. Sometimes it's a PITA but when you can hit stuff you've not been able to before, it really feels great!
Really nice and dry from the recent sun. Made the roots easy and faster to get over and thanks to the work party for putting a bit of gravel on southern traverse. did a loop from mainline to loyd to souther traverse then main line then onto cascara and was all really dry and no standing water and only a bit of mud in one part of southern traverse.
I am a lower level intermediate rider. Surprisingly good conditions for January (had not rained heavily in 4+ days) with only a handful on standing water areas. Kudos to the trailer workers.
I hit Mainline, Lloyd's, Cedar Run, Ephemeral, Southern Traverse, Two Trees, and the Mountain Bike park. Cedar Run has some nice features (many too difficult for me) and I liked the twisty areas of the Mountain Bike park and some of the faster sections on Southern Traverse and Mainline. Lloyd's, Ephemeral, and much of Two Trees just have too many roots for my taste. Excellent for honing technical skills, but for me it felt more like work than fun getting through a lot of these sections.
Overall, some nice trails here but for my riding style Paradise Valley is probably not worth the drive compared to some of the other areas near Seattle. Still, it's a good winter option and definitely check it out for technical skill building.
We had a 25 person group ride starting at 10:00 am. The temperature was at 32 degrees. The trails were frozen, dry and smooth. All had a great time and had positive comments on the trail conditions.
I rode it on 12/26 and it was in really good shape. But I was out doing trail work today (12/28) and it absolutely POURED late int he day and the trails were completely overshelmed with water. If you give it a couple of days things will dry out again and you should have a good ride.
It rained 1.5 inches yesterday here in South Snohomish County. Despite all that rain, Paradise Valley was in pretty darn good shape today. The only parts that are consistently muddy and holding water are parts of the mainline trail, pretty much all of the Plateau (aka "Mountain Bike Park") trails and the part of Red Alder closest to Cedar Run (the water table is just too high there). Paradise is a challenging ride this time of year because of the slick roots but if you like old school singletrack it's hard to beat.
Paradise Valley is in great shape. Doug and I were out today working on the Lloyd trail. We cleaned some drains, fixed a few drainage issues and closed off a couple of trail braids that have popped up over the summer. We will be back out next week to continue working down Lloyd and then will move over to Red Alder. Next work party will be posted to the Evergreen calendar.
It's in great shape. Getting a little brushy, but the gnomes will take care of that soon. Otherwise everything is rolling fine!