Part of a network of trails tucked into the forest of Section 36 (Soaring Eagle Park) in Sammamish.”
— Jon Stanley
Back in the '80s and early '90s, Soaring Eagle Park (a.k.a. "Beaver Lake", "The Beav", or "Section 36") was a premier destination for local mountain bikers. A virtual maze of singletrack criss-crossed through the area from Redmond-Fall City Road almost all of the way to 228th Ave. NE, with tendrils reaching north toward the Redmond Watershed and south all the way to Tiger Mountain.
The picture is much different today. The bulk of the trails have disappeared beneath bulldozers and business parks. The beautiful beaver pond seen along one of the better routes through the area is now a water hazard for a golf course. Housing developments have bitten off huge chunks from around the edges of the system. A third of the remaining area is slated to be turned into ball fields as soon as the City of Sammamish and King County can come up with the funds.
Although these trails are just a shadow of their previous glory, they are still wonderful and are still quite popular with mountain bikers. The area offers a nice mix of variety from rooty, rocky technical sections to flowy ribbon. There are no major climbs, but plenty of ups-and-downs to keep your heart rate up. Extremely helpful maps are posted at every major intersection to help you navigate your way around the maze.
The area is open to mountain biking year-round, but can become quite muddy and puddle-riddled during the wet season, especially on the more northern trails. Nettles also thrive in sunny patches during the spring and early summer.
This loop follows the main perimeter trails around the trail network, although it avoids the northernmost Iron Gate Trail
that becomes especially muddy and wet during the rainy season. The loop is merely a suggestion, and as you explore you'll undoubtedly find your own favorite route!