Newcastle Trails, Newcastle, WA

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Terrace Trail

../images/trails/terrace//01 Trailhead on 144th Place SE.jpg

01 Trailhead on 144th Place SE

../images/trails/terrace//02 Trailhead Sign.jpg

02 Trailhead Sign

../images/trails/terrace//03 Trailhead Turn.jpg

03 Trailhead Turn

../images/trails/terrace//04 Approaching Erratic Turn switchback.jpg

04 Approaching Erratic Turn switchback

../images/trails/terrace//05 Approaching Big Rock at right turn.jpg

05 Approaching Big Rock at right turn

../images/trails/terrace//06 Ascent past Big Rock.jpg

06 Ascent past Big Rock

../images/trails/terrace//07 Looking back down steps by Big Rock.jpg

07 Looking back down steps by Big Rock

../images/trails/terrace//08 Boulder Grove, rocks dropped by glaciers.jpg

08 Boulder Grove, rocks dropped by glaciers

../images/trails/terrace//09 Boulder Grove with Rocks from Glacier.jpg

09 Boulder Grove with Rocks from Glacier

../images/trails/terrace//10 Looking down the trail through Nurse Tree Tunnel.jpg

10 Looking down the trail through Nurse Tree Tunnel

../images/trails/terrace//11 Looking back at Switchback 7.jpg

11 Looking back at Switchback 7

../images/trails/terrace//12 Looking back from junction with CrossTown Trail (right).jpg

12 Looking back from junction with CrossTown Trail (right)

../images/trails/terrace//13 Looking back from junction.jpg

13 Looking back from junction

../images/trails/terrace//14 Leaving CrossTown Trail, ascending to Terrace.jpg

14 Leaving CrossTown Trail, ascending to Terrace

../images/trails/terrace//15 Looking back at CrossTown Trail.jpg

15 Looking back at CrossTown Trail

../images/trails/terrace//15 Looking back at CrossTown Trail_noversion.php

15 Looking back at CrossTown Trail_noversion

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16 Looking back toward steps

../images/trails/terrace//17 End of trail at SE 81st Street.jpg

17 End of trail at SE 81st Street




0.7 miles   1 Road, 0 Driveways   Walkable Steps

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.