All February long, the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy featured trails in Washington state on its trail blog and other social media outlets.
Then the trail advocacy nonprofit closed out the month by naming the Top 10 Trails in the Evergreen State, based on suggestions from its members and readers.
The results may not be as celebrated as the Academy Awards tonight, but I’m sure that trail-riding bicyclists are just as keen to know the results.
This is a good list, and I can’t really argue with any results. I’ve ridden my bicycle on all but the Chehalis Western Trail; an omission I plan to rectify as soon as I can get down there.
All but the Spokane River Centennial Trail (and part of the John Wayne Pioneer Trail) are located west of the Cascades. In fact, at least half are within a 30- to 40-minute drive of Seattle.
These trails close-in to Seattle get lots of bicycle traffic — both from commuters and recreational cyclists. They also get their share of folks walking dogs and pushing strollers.
Even though the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy created the list, not all the trails are follow the former corridors of heavy trains.
The Interurban Trails are former passenger trolley lines, one heading between Seattle and Everett to the north and the other rolling between Seattle and Tacoma to the south. Neither of those destinations from Seattle are an uninterrupted trail system yet, but long sections are complete.
And the Green River Trail between Tukwila and Kent is a paved trail atop a levee. We know that when it was covered in sandbags for several years when the Green River was in danger of flooding.
There are many other trails that could have been added to the list. Among the rail-trails I know first-hand are the Snoqualmie Valley Regional Trail, the East Lake Sammamish Trail, and the Preston-Snoqualmie Trail.
Other popular trails that are not rail-trails include the Sammamish River Trail, the Tolt Pipeline Trail and the Middle Fork Snoqualmie Trail. Both are open to hikers, bikers and equestrians.
It’s wonderful that old rail-lines — or trolley-lines or utility right-of-ways — can be repurposed. The groups that advocate for these trails deserve our support.