In and Out of the Woods at Tehaleh
Forest Loop Trail Part 1
Climbs and Descents at Tehaleh
Forest Loop Trail Part 2
Forest Trail to Reflection Park
Tehaleh is a 4,700-acre mixed-use planned community with more than 1,800 acres of open space, 14 parks, and over 20 miles of trails. Wesley, a complex of apartments and catered living, is one component of the development. I have been exploring the forest pathways for potential trike routes. As I approach 80, I am ready to tone down my wilderness offroads of climbing over rocks and roots, going through water, and carrying the trike across impassible areas. This page will contain videos of these Tehaleh rides.
The Forest Loop Trail is a well-groomed pathway of fine crushed gravel and dirt. In the woods, these trails let you get immersed in the lushness of Puget Sound forests without becoming entangled in the dense undergrowth. They are a challenge, though, since the network is a maze of intersections with hardly any signs. A good map is available. Out of the woods, this ride takes you to the graffiti wall, skatepark, and Expedition Grove.
Winding through the forest on the northern edge of Tehaleh, the Overlook Trail is a constant set of curves and rolls. It follows along the northern edge of the development, with peek-a-boo views over the ridge and into the canyon formed by Fennel and Canyonfalls Creeks. The drop off will likely be more apparent in the winter when the leaves are off the trees. Features include a high picnic table to better capture the view, some huge boulders, and ropes to swing from if you need a break from your ride. The trail is a loop that begins near Discovery Park or an out and back along the ridge. We opted for the latter. Even though Jordan and I rode on Labor Day, we met only a few pedestrians and two other cyclists.
The Forest Loop Trail has lots of ups and downs and nearly continuous curves. The uphills require low gears but are no problem for a fit rider. Downhills contain sharp switchbacks.
Have you ever found yourself riding where you weren't supposed to be? Seven Summits Lodge is a private club and restaurant within Tehaleh. Ponder and Yonder are two parks--ponds connected by a set of forest trails. I thought I could take a shortcut from Ponder through the Lodge parking lot and connect with the path to Yonder, but a wrong turn put me on center stage for the lunch crowd behind the floor to ceiling windows. With a wall on my left and reflecting pool on the right, there was no way to turn around. I had to proceed past the swan and the fountain to the exit on the far side. But my escape across the white cement patio came to a sudden halt when the cement turned out to be soft white sand. It was all artistically raked like a Japanese garden. There was no way out except for the way I came in. I couldn't even Flintstone the trike backwards, but had to dismount, pick it up, and carry it back to the solid walkway. I couldn't tell if the onlookers behind the glass were amused or angry, but made my hasty retreat and the right turn to the forest and Yonder.
What a contrast between the woods and club. It was great to get back to what looked like wilderness, except for the manicured gravel and dirt paths--back again to a network of trails without straight lines and a maze without signs. It reminds me of Black Diamond Open Space or Green River Natural Area, although much tamer.
The old Outback hauled sea kayaks for a decade and then trikes for fifteen years. The car has been with us for most of our time in the garden but will likely retire when we move to Tehaleh sometime in the next few years. In the meantime, I am trying to learn the many miles of these forest trails, but the lack of signs and complex network is making it a challenge. I realized that after getting lost again and passing the same place the third time on this ride. Still, it was an invigorating tour on a cold and crisp fall day.