The Trail Coalition of Snohomish County (AKA Centennial Trail
Coalition of Snohomish County) is reaching out to reinvigorate local participation
in our advocacy effort promoting the development of long-distance trails for
non-motorized use in Snohomish County.
Our group has had a long and productive relationship with Snohomish
County Parks as advocates and information sharing enthusiasts. We want to encourage new members and board
The purpose of the coalition has evolved through time, beginning
in the 1980s, when the “Housewives from Hell” campaigned Snohomish County to
build the trail on the existing railroad between Snohomish to Arlington. The
first section, from Snohomish to Lake Stevens, opened October 26, 1988. The trail was named “The Centennial Trail” in
recognition of the State Centennial in 1989. The coalition was then named the
Snohomish to Arlington Trail Coalition.
As the trail got longer the group officially became the Centennial Trail
Coalition of Snohomish County. We had
active participation from walkers, bike riders, equestrian users, and local landowners,
and functioned as a unique community of advocates from many perspectives.
When the trail was completed to Arlington in the late 1990s, and
then to the Nakashima farm near Skagit County, a group of coalition members
decided to continue as the Trail Coalition of Snohomish County, largely focusing
on the Whitehorse Trail to Darrington. It seemed like a long shot, but then the
big landslide near Oso buried the railroad and the highway in 2014, instigating
regional and national interest to complete the trail to Darrington for economic
Our interaction with Snohomish County Parks has been especially
useful in both directions, sharing public interest and advocacy goals of the
neighbors and trail users with the county managers, and in return getting
information from county managers about plans and updates.
Here is the latest update of plans and projects in progress shared
from Snohomish County Parks at our January board meeting (special thanks to
Snohomish County Senior Parks Planner Emily Griffith):
the next few years, Snohomish County will be moving ahead in the development of
our regional trail system. We have many upcoming projects, including the
development of new regional trail connections. For all of these projects, we
will be reaching out to the community for their input and insight. Some of the
Whitehorse Trail Phase 3: This project will address
the two closures on the Whitehorse Trail due to landslides and river washouts.
The first closure is between the Centennial Trail connection and the Trafton
Trailhead and the second is just west of 435th Ave NE near Darrington. This
project is already underway and in the early stages of design. We anticipate
sharing out the conceptual designs for the project Spring/Summer 2023. For more
project information visit the project website: https://www.snohomishcountywa.gov/3693/Whitehorse-Regional-Trail
Snohomish River Regional Trail Phase 1: This new,
approximately 5.5 mile trail will connect the City of Everett to the City of
Snohomish, approximately between Rotary Park and the future Centennial Trail
South extension. Work on this corridor is beginning in 2023 and will take place
over the next few years as the corridor alignment is finalized and design and
development of the trail occur.
Centennial Trail South Extension: This trail will
extend the current Centennial Trail from the City of Snohomish south to
Woodinville in King County. This 12 mile trail corridor will complete the
regional trail through Snohomish County, from the Skagit County line to the
King County line and will eventually connect to the King County trail system
further south. The new trail section will be similar to the existing Centennial
Trail, and will accommodate both pedestrian and bicycle usage. The proposed
alignment traverses areas with steep cross slopes, bridges, trestles, sloughs
and other natural features which complicate construction. As a result, trail
construction is anticipated to take place in phases. Work on this corridor is
resuming in 2023.”
Our advocacy group would like to pass along this opportunity for residents
to join in the discussion, share ideas and proposals, and give continued
opportunities to learn from park management what is happening. Members have actively used our connections to
bring in suggestions and needs concerning other regional trails such as the
Interurban Trail, the North Creek Trail, and a future connection between the
Centennial Trail to Monroe and eventually a hoped-for connection to the
Snoqualmie Valley Trail.
In 2020 the Coalition board prioritized online zoom meetings
replacing the 30 plus years of local monthly participation in open meetings and
activities at various locations around the county. This change to online meetings led the board
to limit participation while still trying to be completely open to
participation but limiting participation to people who requested to join the
monthly online discussions.
In the future it is possible that new neighborhoods near the
developing trails will encourage new participants who to want to become
active. The Trail Coalition would like to
continue facilitating those goals and learn what will best encourage successful
participation from new members.
If you are interested or know others who would like to join, contact us: firstname.lastname@example.org
The next board meeting will be 5:30 PM May 18, 2023.