01 Trailhead on 144th Place SE
02 Trailhead Sign
03 Trailhead Turn
04 Approaching Erratic Turn switchback
05 Approaching Big Rock at right turn
06 Ascent past Big Rock
07 Looking back down steps by Big Rock
08 Boulder Grove, rocks dropped by glaciers
09 Boulder Grove with Rocks from Glacier
10 Looking down the trail through Nurse Tree Tunnel
11 Looking back at Switchback 7
12 Looking back from junction with CrossTown Trail (right)
13 Looking back from junction
14 Leaving CrossTown Trail, ascending to Terrace
15 Looking back at CrossTown Trail
16 Looking back toward steps
17 End of trail at SE 81st Street
0.7 miles 1 Road, 0 Driveways
From Highlands Trail at 144th Pl SE & SE 87th Pl to CrossTown Trail and Terrace
The Terrace Trail starts on 144th Place SE at SE 87th Place in the Highlands at Newcastle. It ascends through dense forest on switchbacks, shares a short section of the CrossTown Trail, and ascends on steps to the Terrace neighborhood on SE 85th Street, with connections to Cougar Mountain Park. On the way you can enjoy a wilderness trail with big trees, pleasant views, huge moss-covered boulders, and splendid trail architecture – curbing and steps in rock and wood. See Extended Description below.
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1. The trail starts near the south end of 144th Place SE, at the gated back entrance to the Highlands at Newcastle on SE 87th Place. The gate blocks access from 144th for non-emergency vehicles, but not pedestrians: you can park on either side of the gate. A trail sign on the north side of 87th marks the end of the South Highlands Trail and the start of the North Highlands Trail, which together form a loop around the Highlands. The Terrace Trail starts at the sign, crosses to the east side of 144th, and ascends on steps beneath a small cliff.
2. Proceed up the trail. Soon you'll notice large boulders (glacial erratics) carried south by glaciers in past ice ages, and dropped when the ice melted. You'll see the stumps of trees logged 100 years ago, and their successors: large Douglas firs, western hemlocks, cedars, and maples.
3. At the first switchback, Erratic Turn, rock steps ascend between large boulders. The next switchbacks are in Boulder Grove, a lovely spot where the trail threads between massive boulders covered with moss and ferns. There's a bench, and lovely surroundings: tall trees, and a fallen giant, toppled by a storm. Notice the pit where its root ball was torn from the ground.
4. Follow the trail upward through ferns and forest on a series of graceful switchbacks. On one, you'll pass under a fallen tree, leaning at an angle. At the top the trail merges with the East CrossTown Trail and follows it a short distance southeast past another bench. (A left turn at the junction will take you northwest to Coal Creek Parkway.)
5. Continue walking southeast on the combined trails. At a second junction, turn left, and ascend 52 steps to the Terrace neighborhood. The trail emerges between two homes, and ends on SE 85th Street, in cul-de-sac.
|You can reach Cougar Mountain Park in two ways. (1) From the cul-de-sac, descend on 85th to SE to 146th Place SE, turn right, follow the street up to a utility road, and continue in the park to the DeLeo Wall Trail. (2) Continue past the Terrace junction on the CrossTown Trail, passing behind the Terrace homes, then through forest. The trail is narrow and steep in places, but it ends at the DeLeo Wall Trail, which connects to a trail network spanning the park. You can walk east to Squak Mountain, or east and north to the Red Town Trailhead on the Newcastle Golf Club Road.|