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Greenway march and photo contest open to Snoqualmie Valley enthusiasts

By Laura Geggel
SnoValley Star
This year, the march will take place over nine days, with festivities celebrating the hikers and the greenway during the first two weeks of July. The hike starts in Ellensburg with stops in Cle Elum, Crystal Springs, North Bend, Snoqualmie, Preston, Issaquah, Bellevue and finally Pier 58 in Seattle. <br>Hikers, bikers and avid outdoorsmen or women are also invited to compete in the first Mountains to Sound Greenway photo contest, held in honor of the greenway’s 20th anniversary.

In 1990, a group of 100 hikers backpacked all of the way from Snoqualmie Pass to Seattle’s waterfront. Their five-day trek raised awareness about the vibrant places between the mountains and Puget Sound, including working forests, farms, historic sites, lakes, campgrounds, rivers, trails, wildlife habitat and communities, and helped inspire the creation of Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust one year later.

Every decade, the trust holds an anniversary march, making this the third time people will hike and ride from Eastern Washington to the sound.

This year, the march will take place over nine days, with festivities celebrating the hikers and the greenway during the first two weeks of July. The hike starts in Ellensburg with stops in Cle Elum, Crystal Springs, North Bend, Snoqualmie, Preston, Issaquah, Bellevue and finally Pier 58 in Seattle.

Some cities, including Ellensburg, Cle Elum, Snoqualmie — on July 6 — and Issaquah will host events open to the public. Learn more about the times and locations at www.mtsgreenway.org.

The first two days, participants can ride a bike or a horse, and the rest of the hike is by foot. Marchers will be able to connect with nature and each other, walking through paths far from the chaos of the city.

In 2000, 100 people participated, and this year the nonprofit organization is aiming to double that. Children older than 12 are invited to join the march, as long as they are in good physical shape. The toughest day of the hike, July 9, will take the group on a 16-mile route from Issaquah, over Squak and Cougar mountains and down to Coal Creek Park in Bellevue.

Hikers concerned about their endurance can arrange for their own transportation to ferry them between checkpoints.

Participants should bring a sleeping bag, tent and other camping gear, but the trip’s organizers will provide breakfast, lunch and dinner. The $450 fee for the march includes, food, insurance, permit fees, bus transport, entertainment, portable toilets and administrative costs.

People who would like to help with the hike, but are unable to participate for the entire march are invited to sign up for day hikes, help drive, raise funds, set up campsites or entertain those on the trail.

Photo contest

Hikers, bikers and avid outdoorsmen or women are also invited to compete in the first Mountains to Sound Greenway photo contest, held in honor of the greenway’s 20th anniversary.

People who take extraordinary photos in Mountains to Sound Greenway territory — stretching from Seattle to Ellensburg, can upload their photos for free at www.mtsgreenway.org/photocontest. The six categories include: nature and landscapes; working farms and forests; history, culture and architecture; outdoor recreation and people in the greenway; feathers fur, fins and bugs; and cities and towns. The contest ends July 15.

Judges will pick the 30 best photos, which will go on display in an exhibition that will travel throughout the greenway through 2011.

“We really wanted people to get out in the greenway and capture moments, and the landscape as they visited the communities,” Erin MacCoy, communications manager for Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust, said.

Laura Geggel: 392-6434, ext. 241, or lgeggel@isspress.com. Comment at www.issaquahpress.com.

Get involved
20th anniversary march
  • July 2-10
  • Adults $450; Youths $250
  • Register online at www.mtsgreenway.org
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