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 Knee Knocker trail goes through the northeast corner of the Taylor Mountain Forest. In order to get there, you can either walk along access roads or link up several trails. For the second option, walk a short way on Road G to the first junction for the Elk Ridge Trail. After 1.6 miles on the Elk Ridge Trail continue straight onto the Hermit Trail. This trail is bisected by an access road, which you will come to after 0.21 miles. Head right on the access road then take the first left to keep on with the remainder of the Hermit Trail. This will deliver you to the Knee Knocker Trail. All junctions are clearly marked with wooden signs installed by King County Parks.
Gentle ups and downs commence to take hikers through a thick second-growth forest and over a feeder creek for Carey Creek. Use caution when brushing up against the plants in this area because stinging nettle grows here. This trail, and others in the Taylor Mountain Forest are closed between October 15th and April 15th to prevent erosion which causes sediment to runoff into this salmon-spawning creek. At trail’s end you will come to the park boundary. Head back on the same route, or reverse along the Knee Knocker Trail and choose a different route through this vast trail network.