Taylor Mountain is a newer addition to the King County Parks system, standing out for its intersecting network of narrow trails and wide roads, and for its history of different land use practices. Between the 1880s and 1970s, the forest was repeatedly logged, and even hosted 15 miles of railroad and a handful of sawmills. Currently, it is a Forest Stewardship Council certified working forest, emphasizing sustainable management practices as well as recreation for hikers, mountain bike riders, and horseback riders.
The Hermit Trail meanders through the forest on the Eastern edge of Taylor Mountain Forest. In order to access this trail you must first hike a series of roads, or take the Elk Ridge Trail for 1.6 miles to the end where it turns into the Hermit Trail. A wooden sign marks the way at each trail junction. After the first 0.21 miles on the Hermit Trail, you’ll have to do a short jog on a service road to connect with the remainder of the trail. From here, begin a gradual climb of about 150 feet to trail’s end.
You will likely encounter horseback riders as this is a popular spot for them. This trail is closed between October 15th and April 15th to prevent erosion and the resulting runoff from entering the salmon-spawning creek below.