Major trail restoration work was first tackled with the Department of Neighborhoods matching grant obtained in 2000. Trail erosion was eliminated by moving the trail further into the hillside and away from the lip where necessary and revegetating the old trail bed. The most dangerous use trail was eliminated by covering it with brush, and a new main trail down to Lake Washington Boulevard was constructed. This required hundreds of hours of volunteer labor to clear out blackberries, holly and ivy, and revegetate after construction. Friends of Madrona Woods contracted with EarthCorps to do the actual construction of the trail, which included 86 steps, two landings and a bridge. (See Restoration History for more about EarthCorps.)
Neighbors did a little trail-building of their own in February of 2000 when Volunteers for Outdoor Washington conducted an all-day trail building workshop in Madrona Woods. Before this the main trail went straight across Devils Ditch, which involved going down and up the sides of this ravine and through a somewhat fragile wetter area at the bottom. As part of the workshop a new trail segment was built in a level U-shape around the edge of Devil’s Ditch. The day’s work included grubbing out and surfacing 150 feet of new trail and relocating a section of a large Douglas Fir that had fallen years earlier. The old trail was covered with brush and plants over time.
The next time trail building got serious attention was in 2008 in conjunction with the daylighting of Madrona Park Creek along the north edge of the Woods. There had been a land bridge across a trickle of pre-daylighting creek near the intersection of Newport Way and Spring Street, and a use trail had been created from there into the Woods by walkers and one of the Madrona Woods volunteers. When the bigger stream was brought to the surface through here, a more substantial bridge was created over it, and the trail received a major upgrade with the help of the Parks Department trail crew. Dangerously steep edges were shored up with crib walls and turnpikes, check steps were put in, and gravel was applied to the new trail and the muddiest surfaces nearby. At about this same time, the Parks Department crew came to put gravel on the trail on both sides of the new bridge over the stream at Grand and Spring.
To see a map of the current Madrona Woods trails, click here. MW – Trails map for website