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Featured National Recreation Trails

Hosted by AmericanTrails.org

Every kind of trail activity is represented in the listing of designated NRTs. Besides hiking and bicycling, the system includes water trails, motorized routes, snow tracks, greenways, and equestrian paths. The NRT program showcases the diversity of trails across America, from our cities and suburbs to the deserts, waterways, and high mountains.

 

Snoqualmie Valley Trail

 

Map of NC

The 31-mile Snoqualmie Valley Trail Paralleling the Snoqualmie River from Duvall to Rattlesnake Lake just outside North Bend, followings the historic Milwaukee Road rail route.

 

photo of trail near creek

The trail follows the Snoqualmie River as it winds through forests, historic sites and farmland.

 

The Snoqualmie Valley Trail is King County’s longest and perhaps most majestic trail. Paralleling the Snoqualmie River for more than 31 miles from Duvall to Rattlesnake Lake just outside North Bend, the Snoqualmie Valley Trail connects communities and provides ever-changing views, access to natural areas along the riverbank, historic rail trestles and many opportunities to observe wildlife and enjoy the beauty of the Snoqualmie Valley. The Snoqualmie Valley Trail occupies the historic path of a spur line of the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul & Pacific Railroad. The Milwaukee Road, as it was known, shaped the history of the region by serving as an artery of commerce and communication between the Eastern states and the previously isolated Pacific Northwest. The Milwaukee Road completed a transcontinental railroad over Snoqualmie Pass in 1909, connecting Puget Sound with the rest of the country.

The railroad industry served as the foundation for quickening settlement of the region. Rail towns sprang up along the main lines, and spurs off the main line paved the way for timber mill towns that brought immigrant workers who bolstered the population, and whose descendants still live here today. Communities prized their railway depots as the town center for news, mail and business. When the railroad was built into the Snoqualmie Valley, the town of Duvall picked up and moved to accommodate the optimal route of the tracks. Today the railway, converted to the Snoqualmie Valley Trail in the 1980s, continues to connect communities.

photo of bird

The Snoqualmie Valley Trail continues to serve as an arterial route,
as it did in the railroad days, connecting to a number of other regional
trails.

The Snoqualmie Valley Trail starts at Rattlesnake Lake outside of North Bend and ends at McCormick Park in Duvall. The trail follows the Snoqualmie River as it winds through forests, historic sites and farmland. Several historic sites along the trail are recognized for their importance, including the North Bend Ranger Station and Civilian Conservation Corps Camp Waskowitz on the National Register of Historic Places and the North Bend Covered Railroad Bridge on the State Historic Register. Near the trail, visitors can ride an historic train between the communities of Snoqualmie and North Bend, run by the Northwest Railway Museum. Along the way, one can stop at their Railway History Center which includes the expansive Conservation and Restoration Center, where historic railway artifacts are restored by volunteers. The trail crosses near Snoqualmie Falls, a Hydroelectric Power Plant Historic District, a Traditional Cultural Property and the most popular tourist attraction in the Valley.

The Snoqualmie Valley Trail continues to serve as an arterial route, as it did in the railroad days, connecting to a number of other regional trails. Seattle residents can get to the Snoqualmie Valley almost entirely on separated trail, starting with the former Northern Pacific Railroad route, now the Burke-Gilman Trail, to the Tolt Pipeline Trail, which intersects the Snoqualmie Valley Trail. The Snoqualmie Valley Trail also connects to the Interstate 90 corridor and to Issaquah, Bellevue and other Eastside cities via the Preston-Snoqualmie Trail. At the trail’s southern terminus at Rattlesnake Lake, it joins with the main line of the old Milwaukee Road, now the John Wayne Pioneer Trail in Iron Horse State Park and already a designated National Recreation Trail, which climbs the Cascades to Snoqualmie Pass and descends to Central Washington and beyond.

As a path open for bicycling, walking, and horseback riding, the Snoqualmie Valley Trail provides clear benefits to the health of local residents and visitors. The scenic route encourages visitors to take a healthy, self-powered tour of the valley. For the residents of the communities along the trail, it serves as a conduit to surrounding natural areas. The students of Riverview Learning Center, Tolt Middle School, and the Two Rivers School use trail to get to nearby forests and rivers for field study sessions.

photo of trail near creek

The Snoqualmie Valley Trail is the single longest trail in King County’s Regional Trail System,

one of the nation's most extensive multi-use, off-road systems with over 175 miles of trail.

The last train ran through the Cascades on the Milwaukee Road in 1980. Washington State Parks acquired the main line of the Milwaukee Road and King County Parks acquired a spur line that would become the Snoqualmie Valley Trail. In the following decades, King County turned the railroad into a gravel path for hikers, bicyclists and trail enthusiasts of all ages and abilities. The Snoqualmie Valley Trail is the single longest trail in King County’s Regional Trail System, one of the nation's most extensive multi-use, off-road systems with over 175 miles of trail. New spurs and connections to the Snoqualmie Valley Trail are part of a planned network of 300 miles of trails that King County is actively planning and developing.

The Snoqualmie Valley Trail merits the National Recreational Trail designation for its magnificent natural setting, connection to railway heritage in our region, extension of an existing National Recreational Trail, and its location connecting urban residents to a spectacular rural river valley.

 

For more information:

See the NRT Database for more trail information and a map: http://www.americantrails.org/NRTDatabase

See the trail on the Washington Trail Association's website.

 

 

trail noteWe frequently add NRT information, photos and maps to these pages. Send suggestions and information requests to American Trails. Research additional NRTs in the NRT database. Trail managers can update online trail information in the NRT database. You may also e-mail information on minor changes or to update Featured NRT pages.

 

 

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The on-line database has details on the currently designated National Recreation Trails. The NRT Program online is hosted by American Trails: www.AmericanTrails.org

 

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Promote your trail through the National Recreation Trails Program

 

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