A multi-use trail system in the city of Roslyn, the trails here offer a variety of outings that can be enjoyed by many different users. Views here extend across the Teanaway Valley to the snow covered peaks of the Stuart Range and even Mount Rainier in the southern distance.
There are many ways to explore the Urban Forest in Roslyn, but do keep in mind that it is a multi-use area, so you'll be sharing the trail with bikers and horses. Some trails are designated downhill trails for mountain bikers, and hikers are asked to keep off of these, particularly during busy times.
There are many ways to create your own loops here, what follows is just one route, which offers an out-and-back climb to gorgeous views. Be sure to bring a map -- this trail system has not been fully developed yet and as a result signage is poor. Note also that the area is popular for snowshoers and cross country skiers during the winter and spring months when roads into the higher elevations are blocked with snow; consider visiting at every season!
Begin in Roslyn at a trailhead for the Coal Mines Trail, which runs from Ronald to Cle Elum, sandwiching Roslyn in between. Heading east on this graveled old railroad grade of the Burlington Northern rail line, you will come to signage and a map. Here, a historic marker tells the story of the mining that occurred in the area. Turn left and head up a gated forest road; the red clay dirt path is lined by the tall ponderosa pines with the characteristically deeply cracked bark that so are common on this side of the state.
At this point, take a shorter, steeper forest road that heads up towards the ridge more directly (named Whitehead Road on maps). Follow the old road up about two miles to where it branches with the official Rat Pac Trail. There are several branches off the road and it becomes more of a trail in places as you make your way towards the ridge but keep a northerly path and you'll be fine. Stay left at the branch with the Rat Pac, go through the gate to the west and follow the slope around to where it meets the ridge.
Once on the ridge (named Main Ridge Road on maps), you are now on land managed by the Nature Conservancy in agreement with the Kittitas County Parks and Recreation District. Bask in the amazing views of Mount Stuart, Colchuck, Dragontail and Navaho Peaks. More trails extend from here, taking you up on Slick Rock if you want to extend your hike further.
As for your descent, the two footed adventurers head back the way they came while those on wheels can enjoy a bike only downhill trail that heads into Cle Elum to meet up with the beginning of the Coal Mines Trail to make an 11 mile loop.