The last gaps in the gem of a bicycle trail in Snohomish County are expected to be filled by late fall.
I happened to visit the trail last week and could only find two sections that were unfinished in the north — a couple of miles along 67th Avenue in south Arlington and the four miles between the Pilchuck Creek bridge and the county line.
The town of Snohomish has just extended the trail from its previous terminus at Pine and Maple more than a mile south to the Snohomish Riverfront Trail along the Snohomish River.
There’s plenty of fresh pavement at the north and south ends of the trail.
Passing beneath an archway over the new section in Snohomish, the trail continues uninterrupted for 20 miles, all the way to Arlington. Although a sign says, “Path Ends,” a wide sidewalk suitable for bicycles continues alongside 67th Avenue.
This road is scheduled for repaving this summer and fall; part of the project involves upgrading this multi-use sidewalk up to standards for the Centennial Trail.
Remaining on 67 Avenue, I caught sight of a newly paved bike trail to my right in a park in old town Arlington. This is where the Centennial Trail starts up again.
It rolls through the downtown park and past some outdoor sculptures that depict Arlington’s social and cultural history. After crossing the Stillguamish River, it ends abruptly at a “Road End” sign.
The trail is clearly visible beyond, and people seem to generally ignore this sign, so I did too.
Continuing past the Bryant Store, I was greeted by another closure sign. I didn’t see any point to stop now, so I passed through that and followed the newly paved trail onto a refurbished trestle over the Pilchuk River. The path ends here, for now.
The Everett Herald reported just today that rain has delayed completion of the trail, and the new target date is late in the fall. Ditto for improving the trail along 67th Avenue.
The trail is the abandoned right-of-way of the Burlington Northern Railroad, which contributed to many of the rail-trail projects in western Washington. Work first started on the trail in 1989, the state’s 100-year anniversary. Hence the name, Centennial Trail.
The impetus behind turning the right-of-way into a first class trail has been the Centennial Trail Coalition of Snohomish County.
Next on the agenda is improving the White Horse Trail that veers to the east of the Centennial Trail just north of the Stillaguamish River.