Newcastle Trails, Newcastle, WA

Menu icon



Annual Meeting Tuesday, Trail Panoramas

— GRK & PEP 3/26/23

Annual Meeting Tuesday. You’re invited to Newcastle Trails’ information-packed Annual Meeting on Tuesday, March 28, 7-8+, with a social time 6:30-7. We’ll meet at the Newport Hills Community Church, 5833 119th Ave SE, Bellevue. Enter the parking lot from SE 58th (see appended map). The public meeting (open to all) will be followed by a brief business meeting to elect board members and officers.

The list of speakers has changed, as follows: Newcastle City Manager Scott Pingel will open the meeting; Renton's Parks Planning Manager Jason Lederer will discuss their projects; Ed Flash will describe the Newcastle Arts Council and its activities. The annual Newcastle Trails Report will describe 2023-2024 projects that will complete much of our trail system: the Baima House Project, the Lake Boren Boardwalk, new developments, volunteer projects for June, and potential projects with Renton.

Trail Panoramas. NT member Bill Edwards has hiked our trails in all seasons, creating gallery-quality photos that we plan to share on the NT website ( The website now includes panoramic photos with 360-degree views of two sites on the Terrace Trail-- Boulder Grove and Deadfall Arch.

To view a panorama from the website, use the Trail Finder to display the trail page. Scroll down past the map, click a panorama link (highlighted in blue), and enjoy the view. You can pan around and up-down, and zoom in and out. There’s a pull-down description of the site on the upper left.

Save Coal Creek. NT urges to our members to join our sister organization, the Issaquah Alps Trails Club. Above all, support their Save Coal Creek initiative, which aims to save a historic farm area where the Coal Creek Trail (& Natural Area) joins Cougar Mountain Park. Save Coal Creek!

(Back to top)


Newcastle Trails Annual Meeting March 28

— GRK & PEP 3/9/23

You’re invited to Newcastle Trails’ information-packed Annual Meeting on Tuesday, March 28, 7-8+, with a social time 6:30-7. We’ll meet at the Newport Hills Community Church, 5833 119th Ave SE, Bellevue. Enter the parking lot from SE 58th (see appended map).

This is an exciting time for the City, with major park and trail projects set for completion, and new City officials: City Manager, Community Development Director, Parks & Trails Planner. Details:

Social Time 6:30-7. We’ll have refreshments, maps, photos, displays, and handouts from Newcastle Trails and other local groups.

Meeting 7-8+. Newcastle City Manager Scott Pingel will say a few words to open the meeting. A representative of Intracorp will discuss the Baima House Project and New History Park. Ed Flash will give a short talk about the Newcastle Arts Council and its activities. The annual Newcastle Trails Report will describe regional and local park and trail projects, including this year’s Lake Boren Park Boardwalk, and possible joint projects with Renton.

Business Meeting. We’ll hold a brief meeting to elect new board members and officers.

(Back to top)


Save Coal Creek Public Hearing March 2

— GRK & PEP 2/28/23

Introduction. This is a call for action: telling the Bellevue City Council at their 3/2/23 meeting to “Save Coal Creek” (the wildlife corridor and trail atmosphere), in person or by email.

Bellevue is about to approve a 35-unit housing development between Coal Creek and Cougar Mt. Parks. This may be our last chance to save coal mining engineer Milt Swanson's 12-acre farm & historic homestead on the west side of Lakemont Blvd. across from the Red Town Trailhead.  We need to impress the City and the Hearing Examiner that lots and lots of people care about this and want it to become part of Coal Creek Park.

The map below shows the historic area C where the Coal Creek Trail ends at the Red Town Trailhead in Cougar Mountain Park. It completes a continuous wildlife corridor from I-405 into the Park.  

You'll find talking points in Save Coal Creek, and an expanded version of the map below (with legends and extra information) at Newcastle-Cougar Map.

To provide written testimony, email hearing before 3:00 PM Thursday, March 2. Include your name, address, and Project Name: Park Points PUD.

Attend the public hearing at Thursday, March 2, at 6:00 PM.
In person: at Bellevue City Hall, Council Chambers 1E-126. Wear white.
By Zoom: via this link, using Passcode 448106 to join
By phone (mobile or land): call 253-215-8752. Webinar ID: 812 6190 7590, Passcode 448106

(Back to top)


New Parks & Trails Planner +

— GRK & PEP 2/6/23

Introduction. This newsletter introduces our new Parks & Trails Planner. It begins with a call to action for Saturday 2/11, and ends with a call for volunteers.

Save Coal Creek. On Saturday 2/11, there's a rally from noon to 2PM in Newcastle Beach Park, part of an effort to preserve a critical 12-acre property where the Coal Creek Trail joins the the Red Town Trailhead in Cougar Mountain park. Speakers include King County Council member Claudia Balducci and Bellevue Mayor Lynne Robinson. Starting at 9AM there will be a march to the rally starting at the Red Town Trailhead. You can join the march at various points; for details, click and see attached flyer.

IATC. Save Coal Creek is a major effort by the Issaquah Alps Trails Club (IATC), a big sister to Newcastle Trails. Before modern Newcastle was founded, IATC members were helping to create and expand Cougar Mountain Park, preserving local trail corridors, and leading hikes. They assisted NT in our early years with trail tools and expertise. We encourage everyone to visit the IATC website, join up, and support Save Coal Creek.

Parks & Trails Planner. Our new Parks & Trails person, Davi De La Cruz (see his photo on the right side), started in December and hit the ground running. In addition to our monthly City-NT meetings, we’ll be seeing Davi at the 2/8 CAC meeting. He’s the closest we’ve come to a Parks Department, and he’s essential to completing the Lake Boren Park Boardwalk this year, and other projects in the near future. NT lobbied the Council to get this position funded, and we’re happy with the result.

Davi was born and raised in South Central Los Angeles, where he grew passionate about access to parks and green space as well as environmental justice. Davi earned his Master of Landscape Architecture from the University of Washington, and has since gathered experience in both the non-profit and private sector, building his portfolio around neighborhood planning, as well as park planning and park development across the United States.

On his free time he sits as board member of the Urban Studio, increasing access to built environment careers to youth in historically underrepresented communities. He likes to spend time learning about plants and ecologies, to become a better steward of the areas he lives in. Davi looks forward to spending time outdoors with his fiancée and new baby girl, enjoying the beauty of the Pacific Northwest. And he’s excited to be in this new Planner position.

Volunteers Needed. NT can always use volunteers, especially if they have special skills. Since our mapmaker retired, we’ve been looking for someone with GIS skills (and access to GIS software). We need someone willing to join the board as our Secretary, someone with journalistic skills, and a website consultant. Our webmaster is quite wonderful, updating the website at a moment’s notice, providing design ideas, and creating content – many maps and photos. But there may be times when we need an expert consultant for tricky problems.

(Back to top)


Trail Projects (2023)

— GRK & PEP 1/6/23

Introduction. Good news! The embankment project awaits further discussion, 2 trails have been extended into May Creek Park, and 4 trails are slated for completion. Best of all, Newcastle at last has a full-time Parks and Trails Planner, Davi De La Cruz, who joined the City in December.

The updated map below uses red arrows for trail completion projects (described below).

May Creek Trail on Embankment. The May Creek Trail from F to W on the map follows a historic railroad route that crosses Newport Hills Creek on an embankment (at E). A planned Surface Water Management (SWM) project would remove the embankment and leave a 300-foot gap in the trail. The initial design proposes a half-mile detour into a ravine. Newcastle Trails wants a bridge over the gap. At the 1/3/23 Council meeting, staff and Council agreed to defer discussion and explore design options and costs. We thank the members of NT and the Newcastle Historical Society who gave comments (by letter and in person) to the Council.

Horse Trail to May Creek Park. A big new development (Dashwood at May Creek) has built the south sections of the Sylvan Trail and Horse Trail, safely extended into May Creek Park (at E) by a crosswalk with lights. The Horse Trail needs improving north of Dashwood; the former is complete to the 84th Street Trail (which will be completed west to Renton by the Hiemstra development). Kudos to Newcastle planners and Dashwood developer for working with NT from the start for a great result!

CrossTown Trail on Boardwalk. The Lake Boren Park Boardwalk (at B) will complete Newcastle’s longest trail (and expand the park) in 2023.

Olympus Trail in PSE Corridor. Since 2017 NT has been working with Puget Sound Energy (Energize Eastside) on mitigation for PSE’s power line upgrade in the north-south corridor passing west of Lake Boren and then through Olympus. In late 2022, after meeting with the Olympus HOA and the Lakehouse association, PSE agreed to landscape the corridor and complete the Olympus Trail in 2023 – in effect, creating two mini-parks (on public trails) maintained by residents.

Thomas Rouse Trail at History Park. Late last year, the Council approved a proposed development on the Lee property, with a History Park (HP) on 136th Ave SE, south of the YMCA. NT worked with the developer, Lee family, and Newcastle Historical Society to ensure a good trail connection. The developer will build sidewalks (part boardwalk) on 136th that will complete the Thomas Rouse Trail from Newcastle Commons to the CrossTown Trail, much of it on the route of the historic Thomas Rouse Road – still flanked by belts of trees.

(Back to top)


Trail Work, New Map & Brochure

— GRK & PEP 5/30/22

Introduction: The City has completed needed repairs to the CrossTown Trail in Hazelwood Park.  The NT trail map, brochure, and website have all been updated.  Volunteers have improved the 91st Street access trail in the Windtree neighborhood.  And trail work continues on the East CrossTown Trail, where volunteers are needed to move rocks.

Trail Map & Brochure.  The NT website has been updated with a new trail map.  The new map also appears in the latest trail brochure, with updated trail descriptions.  Newly printed copies are available as free handouts in the Newcastle Library.  As always, we thank the King County Library System for printing and distributing the brochures.

Save Coal Creek.  As always, we urge our members to join the Issaquah Alps Trails Club (IATC), and to support Save Coal Creek, the ongoing effort to save the open space north of the Coal Creek Trail where it joins the Red Town Trailhead for Cougar Mountain Park.  For details, and to donate or sign petitions, visit Save Coal Creek.

East CrossTown Trail.  Volunteers are needed to move rocks, by wheelbarrow, a short distance down to the rock cache at the construction site.  Scout families have done this earlier (a couple of hours on a Saturday), but are fully scheduled for the summer.  The City will deliver the rock to the access point, but the crew the City hired to do this was disbanded when Covid-19 hit.  If you can help, please contact by June 6 so we can schedule a community work party.  Rocks Ready to Move — We have two wheelbarrows on-site; more would be welcome!

91st Street Trail.  Two Eagle Scout projects, initiated and supervised by Trail Work Coordinator Peggy Price, have improved the often-muddy access trail extending east from 91st Street in the Windtree community to the May Creek Trail just west of 124th Avenue SE.  The timing is good: when the Horse Trail is completed in late 2022, it will follow 124th to join the May Creek Trail.  With new trail connections, and more trail users from nearby developments, the access trail will get plenty of use – and future improvements are likely.

(Back to top)


New Board, Scouts & Projects

— GRK 3/9/22

Introduction: At its annual meeting on 12/15/21 Newcastle Trails elected a new board, replacing two members who retired.  In 2022 we expanded our sponsorship of the local Scouts, began monthly meetings with Newcastle's new parks person, and continued a series of ongoing projects (see map followed by project list).

New Board. In 2021 the current officers were reelected, and new members Carol Simpson and Steven Thurin replaced retiring members Bruce Christopherson and K. Nichols.  The current board includes: Garry Kampen (president), Bill Burris (vice president), Peggy Price (treasurer), Carol Simpson, Steven Thurin, and Giles Velte.  You can find contact information and board meeting dates on the NT Website.

Note: The March 16 board meeting has been moved forward to Wednesday March 9.

Scouts. In 2021 NT became the charter organization (sponsor) for local Scout Troops 499 and 8499, and Cub Pack 497.  This year we agreed to sponsor Cub Pack 738 (Hazelwood Elementary).  The charter agreement caps a long relationship with Scout troops in and around Newcastle.  Over the years, local and regional Scouts have spent thousands of hours working with NT on local trail projects.

Projects. In advocating for parks and trails, NT had two big goals for 2022: restoring the Project Planner position (dedicated to parks and trails) formerly held by Julie Cassata, and building the Lake Boren Boardwalk around the south end of Lake Boren.  The Council voted to fund the position and the boardwalk.  Julie was rehired in late 2021 as Newcastle’s Parks and Trails Project Planner, and the boardwalk was funded using $1.2M in REET funds (developer fees).  NT has resumed our monthly meetings with Julie, and the boardwalk project is going forward.  Better yet, the City is getting a $500K grant for park improvements. The Ongoing Projects page includes a Regional Trail Map and projects (proposed to almost complete) grouped as follows: Regional Trails, May Creek Footbridge, Regional Parkland, Lake Boren Park Boardwalk, Stone Garden, PSE Powerline Corridor, Crosstown Trail, Southwest Trails, Northeast Trails.

(Back to top)


Eastrail Closure Extended

Eastrail (the Eastside Rail Trail) has been closed for several months now from Ripley Lane N to Coal Creek Parkway SE. The work is divided into three segments, and all were expected to be open in late 2020 or early 2021. Between the pandemic and the weather, the closure of all segments will likely extend into 2021; and segment 3, from the Parkway south to Newcastle Beach Park, may not be finished until summer. The good news is that that segment 3 will provide a good connection to the Coal Creek Trail, making Newcastle Beach Park a good starting point for Coal Creek trail walks. Last summer it was the end point for a family trail walk sponsored by the Coal Creek YMCA, one we hope will repeat. For a map of the trail connection see Eastrail at I-405+Parkway. The design shown in the sketch may need to be revised. The trail connection is shown at location A in the Newcastle-Cougar Map.

(Back to top)


Trails/History Talk on YouTube

An excellent talk on Newcastle's coal-mining history, including its existing rail-trails, is now available on YouTube. The speakers are Russ Segner, president of the Newcastle Historical Society, and Steve Williams, a former president of the Issaquah Alps Trails Club and the first (20-year) manager of Cougar Mountain Regional Wildland Park. The host is Newcastle's librarian Vicki Heck, for the King County Library System. The talk includes photos of the mines and the railroad that served them, including great aerial views of the former roadbed, now used by parts of the May Creek and Coal Creek trails. The Newcastle Historical Society is now doing a revised and improved version of our local history book, Coals of Newcastle. Also, members of the Society have been working with the City to put up informational signs at historic sites.

History Trail Walk. You can follow the route of the old railroad (with an urban detour) on a series of wooded trails and pleasant sidewalks, starting with the May Creek Trail in Windtree. The trail descends the "Windtree steps" to a history kiosk (with maps & photos) marking the location of the old railroad trestle across May Creek. Continue on the old railroad grade to the Waterline Trail, and follow it north past Lake Boren Park and the historic Newcastle Cemetery to the China Creek Trail, and follow it along the creek east to Coal Creek Parkway and the Lake Boren Esplanade (which follows the old railroad grade south by the park). Walk north to Newcastle Way, cross the Parkway, walk north to Newcastle Commons Drive, and follow it east past the Newcastle Monument (more history) and restaurants (grab a snack) to the Thomas Rouse Trail (here a sidewalk). Walk north to the map/photo kiosk, descend to the Coal Creek Trail, and turn right (east). For a scenic detour along and across the creek, turn left onto the Primrose Trail. Eventually it ascends to rejoin the Coal Creek Trail, which follows the old railroad grade past waterfalls and well-marked historic sites to the Red Town Trailhead in Cougar Mountain Park.

(Back to top)


New Map of Newcastle-Cougar Trails

Newcastle Trails has made a Newcastle-Cougar Map that shows major trails and walking routes in and around Newcastle and Cougar Mountain, including: the recently opened Bellevue-Renton section of the Eastrail (Eastside Rail Trail); a trail route in the Mountains to Sound Greenway; the May Creek Greenway; and major connecting trails. The map also marks current and future projects, and efforts to connect trails and save green space.

The text with the map has brief descriptions of the trails, routes, projects, and green space efforts shown on the map. It highlights the many possible loop walks in this area, large and small. Since Cougar Mountain Park attracts trail users from the entire region, the map identifies current and future transit centers and bus stops that provide car-free access to trails. For long-distance runners and walkers, there's the future Grand Loop around Newcastle (lacking only one footbridge to be usable) and the potential Grand Traverse from Renton to Issaquah. And those who like to mix urban pleasures with wilderness trails will find that many loop walks visit central Newcastle, where walkers can enjoy a lakeside park, art, historic sites, and the shops and restaurants in our two business centers.  You can find the map and text as PDF documents at Newcastle-Cougar Trail Map (one page) and Newcastle-Cougar Trails (2 pages).

(Back to top)


Newcastle Trails Cancels Annual Meeting

Newcastle Trails has canceled our 3/25/2020 Annual Meeting. We'll reschedule it after the coronavirus epidemic has run its course.

Here are some 2020 events and activities--past, planned, and ongoing:

Project Planner Restored. Last year, after Project Planner Julie Cassata resigned to take another job, the City Council voted to remove her position from the budget as a cost-cutting measure. Newcastle is a city of over 12,000 residents with a great trail system, active volunteer groups, but no Parks Department. Newcastle Trails lobbied to restore the Project Planner position, which we’d originally requested as an essential focal point for parks and trails. City Manager Rob Wyman included it in the amended budget, making cuts elsewhere for a net savings of $67K. And the new City Council passed the amended budget at their March 3 meeting, after rejecting an amendment to remove the position by a 4-3 vote. Councilors Magers, Newing, Sherlock, and Ventrella voted to keep the Planner position; Councilors Griffin, Kammin, & Mitchell were opposed.

Trail Work. Peggy Price continued her twice-weekly trail work in 2020, improving the East Crosstown Trail, repairing errant boulder damage to the Terrace Trail. Other volunteers helped, among them Scott Semans, a major contributor to these trails and others on Cougar Mountain. Peggy also led a work party clearing blackberries from the cutoff trail where the Olympus and CrossTown trails join near the cemetery. Volunteers included Councilor Kammin, Scoutmaster Bill Burris, Scouts, and local residents. If you’d like to help with future work parties, call Peggy at 425-829-2196 (cell), or e-mail

Access to East CrossTown Trail. Peggy is extending a private garden path that will provide access to the East CrossTown Trail (ECTT) near its junction with the Terrace Trail. Rock (ordered by the City) will be moved down to the ECTT by wheelbarrow (by a King County crew) with permission of the property owners. The rock will replace the very rotten rock in trailside walls and cribbing to increase trail safety and longevity. When the rock has been delivered, the access trail will revert entirely to private use. Such local, private trails are not uncommon along our trail system. They are not for public use.

Newcastle Trails Article. The April issue of Newcastle Living will feature an article by Amy George about Newcastle Trails and Newcastle’s trail system.

Trail Talk. Eva Lundahl is scheduled to give a trail talk at the Newcastle Library on April 25 at 2 PM (but it may need to be canceled).

YMCA Summer Hikes. Last year Eva Lundahl and Peggy Price led a series of family trail walks in collaboration with the Coal Creek YMCA, several featuring the Coal Creek Trail, one going all the way to Newcastle Beach Park. Eva and the YMCA plan another series of summer trail walks in 2020.

DeLeo Wall. Save DeLeo Wall, a citizen group led by Robert Henry and Eva Lundahl, hopes to preserve a forested tract in Newcastle adjacent to Cougar Mountain Park as public open space (or an addition to the Park). Newcastle Trails and the Issaquah Alps Trails Club (IATC) support the effort, and Newcastle, Renton, and King County are cooperating. In January, the group completed a fund drive for an appraisal, meeting their $35K target, with almost $10K more expected. The effort included trail walks on three successive weekends led by NT’s Eva Lundahl and IATC’s Denice Carnahan, and attended by public officials. All walks visited the DeLeo Wall Viewpoint; the longest was a 4.7-mile run/walk loop starting at the Red Town trailhead. The group’s lobbying included a presentation at Newcastle’s 1/21/2020 Council meeting showing the diversity of support: a member of Trouts Unlimited; a Seattle resident who frequents the Cougar Mountain trails, and many others. The group continues to pursue its goal in cooperation with Forterra, IATC, NT, and various public agencies. For more information, visit

Horse Trail to May Creek Park. Last year Newcastle Trails lobbied the City to assure safe pedestrian access to May Creek Park at Bertram Station, where the Horse Trail enters the Park from SE May Creek Park Drive along 124th Ave SE. In the 1970s, trail users entered the park by following MCP Drive south from the hairpin curve, but the informal route – across MCP Drive and along a narrow shoulder – became more dangerous as traffic increased. In 2019 NT requested a safe trail on this route, as part of the proposed Assemblage development; but our effort failed and the developer withdrew. Now a new development is proposed for the Assemblage, which adjoins the informal trail on the west. And a trail connection is planned, with a safe crossing of MCP Drive on the rise between the hairpin and 124th. This is a win-win-win: it will extend the Horse Trail on a safe route into May Creek Park; it will provide Park access to the many homes in West Newcastle; and it’s a big asset for the development (residents & developer alike).

PSE Mitigation. For some time NT has been in touch with Puget Sound Energy (PSE), which proposes to build higher capacity power lines in the utility corridor they share with the Olympic Pipeline Company. Olympic helped NT with trail work in the corridor; at our suggestion, PSE has offered trail improvements as mitigation if the new power lines go through. In particular, we suggested improvements to the central Olympus Trail, on a corridor segment owned by the Olympus HOA. At their 2/17 meeting, the HOA board affirmed their opposition to the new power lines, but had helpful suggestions for NT (which is and must be neutral). On 2/29 we walked the corridor with PSE officials, visiting sections containing the Olympus Trail and the China Creek Trail (behind Lake House) and discussing desired improvements: retain or upgrade existing trails in the corridor; leave most of the corridor in grass (a good trail surface); remove blackberries; add benches (on the Olympus Trail’s Mt. Rainier viewpoint, and at the China Creek Trail’s Lake Boren viewpoint); adjust contours to improve drainage and walking routes; minimize the need for trail/landscape maintenance in the corridor.

Eva and Peggy report increased trail use recently. Trail walks provide fresh air to folks with cabin fever, and exercise that’s good for the immune system. Sunny weather is here. Enjoy!

(Back to top)


August Trail of the Month: West CrossTown

The Trail of the Month for August is the West CrossTown Trail (2.4 miles), which offers a scenic walk in the woods from Risdon Middle School (northeast corner of the ballfields) past a small pond, then into Hazelwood Park and over Cowboy Hill. You’ll continue past Donegal Park and the Historic Newcastle Cemetery, and walk through Lake Boren Park. You’ll enjoy woodsy trails, boardwalks across wetlands, and a fishing pier. Perhaps you'll discover some cute neighborhoods you haven’t had the pleasure to walk through before. And remember, post your photos using the hashtags #NewcastleWA, #HikeNewcastleWA, #NewcastleWA25.

(Back to top)


July Trail of the Month: Golf Course

The Trail of the Month for July is the Golf Course Trail (1.3 miles), which starts at 136th Avenue Southeast (near the YMCA) and runs along Newcastle Golf Club Road. Follow this wide, scenic trail out and back, or walk another .4 miles to connect with many other trails. Enjoy bird watching, humming your favorite tune, or playing “I Spy” with your favorite little one. Check it out today – it’s fun for the whole family! Post your photos using the hashtags #NewcastleWA, #HikeNewcastleWA, #NewcastleWA25.

(Back to top)


June Trail of the Month: Coal Creek

The Trail of the Month for June is the Coal Creek Trail (4.2 miles), which follows Coal Creek southeast in a heavily wooded valley from I-405 (exit 10) to the Red Town trailhead in Cougar Mountain Park. There's access with parking from Coal Creek Parkway, Newcastle Commons, and the Coal Creek YMCA. From the Y to Red Town, there are bridges, waterfalls, and historical sites. The trail is featured in 3 of the 4 family-friendly YMCA Trail Walks starting Sunday June 23.

This is a well-maintained trail, with some steep sections and steps. Where it passes under Coal Creek Parkway, the Red Cedar Trailhead offers parking, a bench, a map kiosk, and a nearby pond. If you start in the Commons, check out the Newcastle Monument (brick sculpture) and the trailhead kiosk (map and history). From the YMCA, follow the YMCA Trail at the back of the parking lot.

From the YMCA junction the trail follows an old railroad grade to Red Town, a coal mining area from the mid-1800s to the mid-1900s. As you walk the gently rolling trail, shaded by ancient trees, you'll see Primrose Falls and remnants of history. Check out the cement footing for the old locomotive turntable, and read the history signs near Red Town. On your return, try the Primrose Trail for new creek views. These Coal Creek trails are great for families, trail runners, history buffs and avid hikers.

Post your photos using the hashtags #NewcastleWA, #HikeNewcastle, #NewcastleWA25 #dogsofnewcastlewa

(Back to top)


May Trail of the Month: Waterline

The Trail of the Month for May is the Waterline Trail (1.3 miles, easy), which runs south from Newcastle Way near City Hall past the historic Newcastle Cemetery and Lake Boren Park into May Creek Park, where it joins the May Creek Trail.  The trail is stroller friendly to Lake Boren Park; from the park it follows a gentle tree-flanked path, passing a small farm at May Creek Park Drive.  It'll be fun for the whole family!  Dogs too!

There are several connecting trails, which can extend your adventure.  There's a return loop using the East May Creek Trail and the Parkway sidewalk (see Walk 7 in Trail Book).  Or, you can turn right and follow the Mid May Creek Trail west on the route of the historic Seattle & Walla Walla Railroad to a trestle site with a history kiosk.

Post your photos using the hashtags #NewcastleWA, #HikeNewcastle, #NewcastleWA25 #dogsofnewcastlewa.

(Back to top)


Bill Burris Wins Silver Beaver Award

Newcastle Scout leader Bill Burris, a Newcastle Trails board member for many years, has received Scouting's prestigious Silver Beaver Award from the Chief Seattle Council of BSA.  This is the highest award for a local Scout leader, given to recognize Scouters of exceptional character who have provided distinguished service within a Council.  As leader of the Hazelwood Troop (499), Bill has mentored a generation of Scouts, many getting Eagle rank after building portions of local trails, or trail amenities (benches, kiosk, bridge). Bill also received a 2019 Diamond Award from the Newcastle Chamber of Commerce (see Price and Burris Win Diamond Awards).

(Back to top)


April Trail of the Month: Highlands

The Trail of the Month for April is the Highlands Trail, which starts on Coal Creek Parkway at SE 91st Street, and loops around the Highlands at Newcastle.  The first section, the South Highlands Trail (1.6 miles) follows a wooded corridor around the south and east sides of the Highlands to the Terrace Trail.  The return section, the North Highlands Trail (0.7 miles) crosses several streets.

The trail offers a pleasant walk through wooded areas, yet it’s never too far from backyards and streets. There are several stormwater ponds along the route, which attract plenty of wildlife. If you go right after a rain, you may hear the trill of Red Wing Blackbirds.

Check it out today – it’s fun for the whole family! And post your photos using the hashtags #NewcastleWA, #HikeNewcastle and #NewcastleWA25.

(Back to top)


Price and Burris Win Diamond Awards

Newcastle Trails board members Peggy Price and Bill Burris were both given 2019 Diamond Awards by the Newcastle Chamber of Commerce. The awards were handed out during a special gala at the Golf Club at Newcastle on the evening of March 14. NT Treasurer Peggy Price won the Mayor's Award for Volunteerism, and local Scout leader Bill Burris won the Dennis Yarnell Inspiration Award.

Aside from her work as NT Treasurer and trail advocate, Peggy has spent more than 5500 hours over the past decades on trail work: clearing brush, moving rocks, hauling debris, and supervising other volunteers. She's also worked on trail signs, route-finding, and documentation (newsletters, website, trail guide, trail construction standards).

Bill Burris has been a local Boy Scout leader for a generation, mentoring Scouts, many of whom got their Eagle rank after building portions of local trails or amenities (benches, kiosk, bridge) along our trails. This year Bill also received Scouting's prestigious Silver Beaver Award, the highest award for a local Scout leader, from the Chief Seattle Council of BSA.

We congratulate them both, and thank them for their many years of service to the community.

The late Jim Price was also honored by the Chamber, which renamed its Community Leadership Award after him. This year's Jim Price Community Leadership Award went to Malcolm Lawrence. Jim was a tireless community volunteer. He helped to found Newcastle, and he was also a founding member of the Newcastle Chamber of Commerce, Newcastle Trails, and the Newcastle Arts Council. He was Newcastle Trails' Vice President until his death last August, while also serving on Newcastle's Community Activities Commission, and the Arts Council.

NT board members receiving awards in past years include Bill Burris, Jim Price, Peggy Price, Garry Kampen, and Giles Velte. Like Jim, Giles helped to found Newcastle, the Newcastle Chamber of Commerce, and Newcastle Trails. He was the Chamber's first chair, serving four consecutive terms, and served on the initial Planning Commission after helping to write Newcastle's first Comprehensive Plan.

Kent Sullivan (left) and Bill Burris (right), winner of Dennis Yarnell Inspiration Award 2019. Peggy Price Receiving Mayor's Award from Mayor Dauterman 2019.

(Back to top)


March Trail of the Month: China Creek

The Trail of the Month for March is the China Creek Trail (0.8 miles, mostly easy), which starts at the east edge of Hazelwood Ridge, descends steeply to 129th Ave SE on steps, and circles the north end of Lake Boren (partly on boardwalks) to join Coal Creek Parkway just north of Aegis Gardens.

As the woods continue to thaw out from the recent snow, explore a wetland boardwalk in the heart of Newcastle! The trail follows the north side of China Creek, providing excellent bird watching. The west end of the boardwalk can be accessed from 129th Avenue SE at the north and south ends of the Lake Boren Townhomes. From the library, walk 2 blocks south and turn left (east) on SE 75th Street.

Check it out today – it’s fun for the whole family! And post your photos using the hashtags #NewcastleWA, #HikeNewcastle, #NewcastleWA25.

(Back to top)


May Creek Trail Closed At Times 2/27-4/27/19

A short section of May Creek Trail will be closed intermittently for maintenance work from Wednesday February 27 to Saturday April 27. The closed section is in the Bartrum Station area, where 124th Ave SE runs south into May Creek Park. If you have questions, call Newcastle Public Works (Kim Jones) at 425-649-4444. The closure is shown on the map below. Before walking the trail, you may want check this website or the Newcastle City website for more recent information.  (Note:  Walkers coming east from the Windtree steps can leave the trail where it’s blocked, and return on an informal access trail to and along 91st Street.  The access trail is entirely on public land, and it provides a nice loop walk through Windtree.)

(Back to top)


CrossTown Trail Opens at Risdon Middle School

A new segment of the CrossTown Trail is now open to the public! The long-awaited section, which is the CrossTown Trail's westernmost segment, is located along the eastern edge of Risdon Middle School.

For the full article, with a map, see CrossTown Trail Opens on the City of Newcastle website.

(Back to top)


February Trail of the Month: East CrossTown

The Trail of the Month for February is the East CrossTown Trail (1.6 miles, mostly easy), which starts on Coal Creek Parkway at SE 79th Place, takes the sidewalk a block up 79th to Beit Tikvah, and continues as a woodland trail all the way to Cougar Mountain.

The trail enters the woods on 136th Ave SE, at a yellow fire hydrant across from the Beit Tikvah parking lot.  It ascends past Newcastle Vista to the Eagle Scout Aerie, where during the winter there are peak-a-boo views of Mount Rainier, Renton, Lake Washington, Seattle, and the Olympic Mountains.  After joining the Terrace Trail for a short distance, the trail continues to the De Leo Wall Trail in Cougar Mountain Park.

For a pleasant loop walk (2.5 miles), turn right onto the Terrace Trail and follow it down through lovely Boulder Grove to the historic Thomas Rouse Road (144th Place SE).  Follow the tree-flanked road back to Beit Tikvah.  This is Walk 6 in the Trail Book.

(Back to top)


May Creek Trail Closed 1/30-2/18/19

A short section of May Creek Trail will be closed intermittently for maintenance work from Wednesday January 30 to Monday February 18.  The closed section is in the Bartrum Station area, where 124th Ave SE runs south into May Creek Park.  If you have questions, call Newcastle Public Works (Kim Jones) at 425-649-4444. [Note: The work was not completed due to winter storm conditions.]

(Back to top)


January Trail of the Month: May Creek

The Trail of the Month for January is the May Creek Trail, which runs from Lake Washington through Renton and Newcastle to Coal Creek Parkway.  Renton’s section, the West May Creek Trail is incomplete.  Newcastle’s section is complete from the Windtree Neighborhood to the Parkway, and divided into two subtrails.

The Mid May Creek Trail (1.4 miles) is mostly wide and flat (aside from 40+ steps at the Windtree trailhead).  It follows the route of the historic Seattle and Walla Walla Railroad to the Waterline Trail.

The East May Creek Trail (0.8 miles) has more elevation change.  It descends from the Waterline, follows May Creek to its confluence with Boren Creek, crosses the Boren Creek bridge, and ascends to Coal Creek Parkway.  A short section near Bartrum Station (at 124th Ave SE) will be closed: see May Creek Trail Closed 1/30-2/18/19.  For an in-depth trail description, see Walk 3 in our local Trail Book, now available in KCLS libraries.

(Back to top)


Photo Contest Winner Announced

Newcastle Trails is happy to announce the winning entry of our 2018 photo contest, "China Creek Boardwalk" by Brice Lambson. We selected this photo because it not only features one of the newest trails in Newcastle but also nicely shows how trails can enhance an urban area and help preserve nature; in this case the old maple tree. Congratulations, Brice! We will send you a message with details on how to claim your prize, a signed copy of Eva Lundahl’s trails book.  All the contest photos are displayed on our Facebook Page.

Many thanks to all of you who participated!! We will feature all your entries on Facebook in the coming weeks. All the submitted photos were fantastic!! We look forward to seeing more pictures from all of you in 2019.

(Back to top)


NT Newsletter Sent 11/29/18

On 11/29/18 Newcastle Trails sent a newsletter to its members updating three topics: the Photo Contest; the effort to save the DeLeo Wall; completing the Horse Trail connection to the May Creek Trail.

(Back to top)


Newcastle Trails Holds a Photo Contest

Newcastle Trails is holding a photo contest from November 10 through December15 to select the best photo taken on one of Newcastle's many trails. Entrants should post their best photos on Newcastle Trails' Facebook or Instagram pages. The winner will be announced on December 16 and will receive a signed copy of the book, "14 Shorter Trail Walks in and around Newcastle", by local author Eva Lundahl. The winner will also have his or her photo featured as the Newcastle Trails' Facebook cover photo in January 2019 (with their permission) and on this website. For contest rules, see NT Photo Contest.

(Back to top)


Price Memorial Committee Formed

A committee has been formed to create a memorial to Jim Price, using a fund established by Newcastle Trails. The memorial committee includes representatives from local groups Jim was involved with, including the Chamber of Commerce, Community Activities Commission, Newcastle Historical Society, and Newcastle Arts Council. The memorial will likely include a plaque and be sited in a park near a trail. Donations can be sent to the NT treasurer, Peggy Price, at 9131 122nd PL SE, Newcastle, WA 98056. Checks should be made out to Newcastle Trails (For: Jim Price Memorial). Donations are tax-deductible.

(Back to top)


Newcastle Trails Mourns Loss of Jim Price

Newcastle Trails mourns the loss of our long-time vice president, Jim Price, a tireless community volunteer who moved to Newcastle in 1986 with his wife Peggy. He helped to found the City of Newcastle in 1994, and was a founding member of Newcastle Trails, the Newcastle Chamber of Commerce, and the Newcastle Arts Council.   Since 2013 he served as a volunteer on the City's Community Activities Commission.   His memory will live on in Newcastle's trail system, and the Newcastle institutions he helped to create.   A public memorial service honoring Jim was held at Lake Boren Park on Sunday, Sept. 16, at 1:30 p.m.

(Back to top)


New NT Website Activated

The new NT website has been activated, thanks to volunteer David Lam who has the expertise and time to update and maintain the website. Newcastle Trails also thanks: Justin Nguyen, the designer of our greatly expanded new website; the original website designer, Chris Gubbels; and Peggy Price, for providing detailed trail descriptions (including distances and info icons). Many others contributed to the final result, especially those who supplied trail photos: Liz Anne Bowman, Eva Lundahl, David and Peggy. David also did the small trail maps that accompany trail descriptions. The website is still a work in progress: your corrections, comments, and suggestions are welcome.   9/5/18 – GRK

(Back to top)


Trail Book

The book 14 Shorter Trail Walks In and Around Newcastle by NT member Eva Lundahl is now available from Amazon.  The book includes detailed trail maps, local history and geology, and the delights of each walk: plants and animals; historic sites and artifacts; views, waterfalls, and moss-covered boulders. There are expert photos of all these things, and even an index. Eva is donating the proceeds to Newcastle Trails; buying the book via this website increases the share of the price going to NT.

(Back to top)


Logging near DeLeo Wall Trail

A forested hillside in SE Newcastle may be logged in the near future, and local residents have rallied to preserve it. The tract adjoins Cougar Mountain Park, and it contains the DeLeo Wall Viewpoint. Buying the tract and adding it to the Park would preserve the Viewpoint and several trails.

Concerned residents have created a website, Save DeLeo Wall. They've met with Newcastle officials, appealed to the City Council, and sent letters to the Department of Natural Resources (DNR). Newcastle Trails supported the effort with a letter and maps. Although the DNR has now approved the logging permit, the City has appealed, buying time to search for alternatives. The DeLeo Wall Trail and the Viewpoint are included in Walk 8 in the trail book 14 Shorter Trail Walks by Eva Lundahl.   5/25/18 – GRK

(Back to top)


Trail Overview

The May Creek Greenway is complete from the Renton boundary at Windtree to Cougar Mountain Park.  It will reach almost to Lake Washington when Renton completes its section of the May Creek Trail from Newcastle to the rail trail (now under construction) in the Eastside Rail Corridor.  The CrossTown Trail is now open and walkable from Newcastle Way (near Risdon Middle School) to Cougar Mountain Park.  The East CrossTown Trail (east of Coal Creek Parkway) awaits improvements and trail signs.  And the West CrossTown Trail (west of the Parkway) awaits trail signs and two major relocation projects: moving the trail into the woods by the Middle School ballfields; moving the trail to a shorter route along the south shore of Lake Boren.  The China Creek Trail is essentially complete from Hazelwood Ridge to Coal Creek Parkway, but is closed by a fence at the Parkway.  The Thomas Rouse Trail in the Newcastle Commons is complete (mostly on sidewalks) from Bellevue's Coal Creek Trail south to the top of the mound (mini-park with view).  Newcastle Trails is working with City staff (Julie Cassata) on trail signs for most of these trails (and others).

(Back to top)


West CrossTown Trail

In Hazelwood Ridge, a new 30-home development on 126th Ave SE between Hazelwood and Olympus, the CrossTown Trail has been relocated onto a mix of sidewalks and City-owned trail easements.  Trail sign bollards have been installed, and sign plates will be ordered soon.  East of 126th, the trail leaves the sidewalk and follows a mostly easy grade past the historic cemetery into Lake Boren Park; this segment needs improvements (new trail sign, slope mitigation) west of the cemetery.  At Risdon Middle School, the relocated trail will start just opposite the Newcastle Way crosswalk from Newport Hills.  The work is scheduled for this summer.  At Lake Boren Park the trail will be relocated onto newly acquired parkland south of the lake, crossing the wetland on boardwalks elevated to give views of the lake.  It will provide quick access to the East CrossTown Trail and the east side of the expanded park.  And (with a trail along the east lakeshore) it will complete the long-sought around-the-lake trail.  These lakeshore trails are part of the planned park redevelopment.  

(Back to top)


China Creek Trail

China Creek Trail.  The trail is now essentially complete from its junction with the CrossTown Trail in Hazelwood Ridge to its current end-point on Coal Creek Parkway.  From Hazelwood Ridge it descends to 129the Ave SE and passes behind the Lake Boren Townhomes, with access to the north shore of Lake Boren.  From the Townhomes (at SE 75th Street) it continues, mostly on boardwalks, along the north side of China Creek to the Parkway.  From here a short walk south (past the Aegis Gardens senior living community) will bring you to the East CrossTown Trail.  Trail signs are planned.  Note:  The east end of the trail is closed by a fence at the Parkway, awaiting trail work required by the City; the opening date is indefinite.

(Back to top)


East CrossTown Trail

The trail is now complete from Coal Creek Parkway all the way into Cougar Mountain Park, mostly in woodland with scenic viewpoints.  Newcastle Trails played a major role in obtaining the last easement needed.  The City hired the WCC (Washington Conservation Corps) to build the final link on heavily wooded slopes from Beit Tikvah to Newcastle Vista.  And major improvements were made all along the trail, with many hours of work by Peggy Price, Boy Scouts, and other volunteers.  Further improvements are planned, including trail signs from the Parkway to the Terrace Trail junction.

(Back to top)


RSD Newcastle Plans

RSD Newcastle is the official name for the proposed 30-home development in the School Woods between the Hazelwood and Olympus Neighborhoods. The developer, Quadrant Homes, arranged last year to buy the Woods from the Renton School District (RSD) subject to plat approval by the City.

After many public comments on their 2014 preliminary plat, Quadrant withdrew the application; the revised plat was submitted in early 2015. It was approved by the City Council on October 6 with a significant change: 129th Avenue SE, which was platted to connect Hazelwood and Olympus, will be constructed as planned, but closed by a gate on the Olympus side. Trail connections, ignored in the first plat, are provided in the new plat. And we understand that the proposed runoff ditch alongside the CrossTown Trail, which NT opposed, will be replaced by a shared drainage with the townhome development to the east. The existing China Creek Trail will be extended west across 129th Ave SE through the new townhomes into RSD Newcastle. Sadly, NT's trail-friendly proposal for a green trail corridor from the cemetery to the plat's central open space was not among the options submitted to the Council by City staff.

This entry was posted in News and tagged assignment, template, categories, on July 3, 2013 by ChristopherG.

(Back to top)


West CrossTown Trail Updates

When RSD Newcastle is constructed in 2016, the trail will be relocated to sidewalks where it crosses the plat. Elsewhere on the trail, improvements are planned: when the new Middle School is completed, the trail will be relocated close to its original route in the woods by the ballfields; and when the remaining private land on the south shore of Lake Boren is purchased, it will be possible to reroute the trail closer to the lakeshore. NT worked to ensure that both routings were included in the current Comprehensive Plan.

(Back to top)


East CrossTown Trail Walkable

Thanks to many hours of work by Peggy Price, Boy Scouts, and other volunteers, the trail is walkable from Newcastle Vista to its trail connection within Cougar Mountain Park. Trail improvement work is continuing. And we hope to begin work in 2016 on the "missing link" between Newcastle Vista and Beit Tikvah to the northwest. From Beit Tikvah, west-bound walkers can continue on sidewalks to the West CrossTown Trail at Lake Boren Park.

(Back to top)


New Trail Signs on Waterline Trail

New trail signs have been installed to mark an alternate, safer route for folks taking the Waterline Trail south from Bellevue. Where the trail reaches Newcastle Way, a sign directs walkers southeast along the sidewalk to a crossing at traffic lights near the Newcastle Library. Signs mark the route on sidewalks south from the library to SE 73rd Place, where southbound walkers rejoin the Waterline Trail , which continues on sidewalks past the Lake Boren Townhomes. The trail signs guide walkers to the section of the China Creek Trail behind the Townhomes, and an access trail to the shore of Lake Boren.

(Back to top)


China Creek Trail Plans

The developers of the new Aegis retirement home are building the trail, mostly on boardwalks, along the north side of China Creek, which has been rerouted into a graceful curve north of the facility. When the facility is completed in late 2016, the trail will be opened. NT has urged the City to complete another "missing link", a short section of boardwalk linking the existing trail (behind the Lake Boren Townhomes) to the new section. This will provide a continuous trail from 129th Ave SE to the Coal Creek Parkway, with lake, creek, and wetlands on view.

(Back to top)

Copyright 2016 Newcastle Trails | Original Design by Gubbeleye Digital, Current Design by Justin Nguyen