Type of HikeDay hike
I went with my boss to rediscover this trail that he had been on many years before and do some logging-out if needed. Being aware of the tumultuous history between graduate students and their thesis advisors, Steve knew better than to head off into the woods alone with me while I was carring a double-bit ax so he brought along his wife, daughter and dog for protection. The old Pratt River trail can be be found on the east bank of the Middle for Snoqualmie River just a bit up stream from the confluence with the Pratt (about 10mi up the road). The Middle Fork Road #56 is on the west side of the river here and there is no bridge accross so this trail is rarely vistited. There is a small parking area with a berm blocking off an old road down to the river adjacent to a rough, probably illegal road down to the river. As we arrived, the Middle Fork Zoo was in full bloom. There was an old truck blocking the road down to the river trapping several pickups piloted by young gentlemen eloquently expressing their dissatisfaction at having thier escape route blocked after a long, and difficult night of gracious socialization along the bank of the Middle Fork. Soon thereafter two police sheriffs showed up to assist the young getlemen with their plight, but by this time the older truck that had been blocking them in had been driven away my a man wearing a MidFORC T-shirt. We suspect that he had blocked the party-weary patrons in intentionally while he phoned the sheriff -- a dangerous tactic given how heavily armed most visitors to this area are. While all of this was transpiring we carried our gear down to the river bank still a few minutes walk from the roadside. We ferried accross the river in kayaks and started whacking around in the brush looking for any sign of the Pratt River trail. The area is heavily overgrown, but we eventually found a nice campsite in a clump of cedars that had been used in the last couple of years. From here we found and followed a faint, very heavily overgrown trail away from the river. As soon as we got back into forest the trail was easier to follow. We traveled not much more than a mile along the trail, but did a lot off lopping, cross-cut six logs and axed or dragged several more off the trail. We crossed two small badly rotten and overgrown foot bridges that need to be replaced soon. I beleive the MidFORC has plans to continue the Snoqualmie River trail down to meet the Pratt River trail and to reconnect the Pratt River trail with the Pratt Lake trail. If they do, the trip from the Pratt Lake trailhead to the new Middle Fork Snoqualmie trailhead will make a great one-way trip, but meanwhile the Pratt River trail is dissappearing fast.