Two new snowshoe loops have been created starting from Ribbon Creek parking lot. Both are touted for winter walking and fat tire biking and are groomed on a regular basis by Jeff E. Both are 5.3 km in length and well signed with maps and red snowshoe markers at junctions.
This article describes the Ribbon Creek Snowshoe Loop that incorporates two new trails, Shinrin and Studless, neither of which have tread and will be closed when the snow leaves the ground. And the name Shinrin? It comes from the Japanese Shinrin-Yoku meaning “Taking in the forest atmosphere.” So this is mainly a forest loop—but a really nice one—with just a few viewpoints.
Going Clockwise, you cross the bridge over Ribbon Creek and head up the multi-use section of Terrace trail. Around the first bend turn right onto Studless, a 440 m-long winding trail that climbs to the largest loop of the Village Trails. Turn right, following the undulating Village Trail to where it heads back left to Kovach. Go straight on the new Shinrin, enjoying 1.4 km of trail winding along the very edge of steep slopes plunging to Ribbon Creek. In parts the forest is quite dense, hence the trail name, but you get a few viewpoints looking across to Olympic Summit. And there’s a wee section where you have to transfer onto Kovach. Ultimately it climbs onto Link trail close to the junction with Kovach.
Descend Link multi-use trail to Ribbon Creek trail. (Unfortunately, a plan to circumvent Link was not approved and would have proven difficult given the terrain.) Return via the multi-use section of Ribbon Creek, then the snowshoeing/biking only trail through the narrows below Shinrin to the parking lot — another enjoyable section with its multiple bridges crisscrossing the creek.
Start: upper Ribbon Creek parking lot, Distance: 5.3 km, Height gain: 200 m (656 ft.)