Sunday, June 19, 2016

Trail Town Program

Trail Town ProgramThe Stillaguamish Valley Trails Action Team has identified an interesting community program that might be a model for a similar trail program in the Snohomish County area.

"The Trail Town Program® is an initiative of The Progress Fund working in small rural towns across western Pennsylvania and western Maryland, focusing on community and economic development around trail tourism and outdoor recreation."

As the Centennial Trail expands with the completion of the Whitehorse Trail and with future connections developing to The Sammamish River Trail and the Snoqualmie Valley Trail, this type of project could be developed here so that communities, businesses, adjacent land owners, and users will be better served with a regional way to share opportunities, focus on needs, and connect with each other and the managing agencies.  The Centennial Trail Coalition of Snohomish County plans to grow with this process too.  

The Stillaguamish Valley Trails Action Team is a focus group continuing the effort begun by the Snohomish County Rural Tourism Workshop Series.  For additional specific information about the sessions and what was covered, visit


  1. Grow while maintaining our identity & focus on trails~

  2. I read the “Trail Towns” guide for capturing trail-based tourism that was provided at the June 16th CTC meeting. I believe thanks go to Annique Bennett for sharing this. Trail Towns helped me realize the bright opportunities that can come to life for communities when trails are integral part of local economies.
    There are completed trails, trails under construction, trails being designed, and trails being planned that will connect Snohomish County with the expanding network of King County trails and beyond. I believe bicycling from populated areas to the scenic mountains, river valleys, and countryside of western Washington will increase as the new regional trail travel options become available. Economic benefits should increase too.
    Snohomish County has a unique asset to the east that offers outstanding scenic wonders, outdoor activities, and an interesting history – commonly referred to as the Mountain Loop Highway. I suggest a new stretch goal for the CTC to consider: development of a Mountain Loop Scenic Trail.
    The 110 mile Mountain Loop Scenic Trail is already partially there. The 18 mile section of Centennial Trail from Machias to Arlington already exists. The 27 mile Whitehorse Trail from Arlington to Darrington is under construction. The Machias to Barlow Pass (40 miles) and Darrington to Barlow Pass (25 miles) corridors exist as roads that would need some trail quality improvements. A long loop trip provides trail users with a heightened sense of adventure through a continuously changing travel experience, and provides opportunities for overnight trail user service providers. Accessing this loop trip by other trails adds into the experience and benefits also.
    The Mountain Loop Scenic Trail would allow for trail town economic development in the many communities along the way to provide trail user services. A fully functional Mountain Loop Scenic Trail could be used by multiple forms of non-motorized recreational transportation and become a destination for adventure travelers from afar.
    Rick Proctor