A long-held aspiration throughout the Mountains to Sound Greenway is to link urban, rural, and wildland trail systems for recreation and transportation.
While residents of our region enjoy a world-class system of safe, enjoyable, non-motorized trails, some significant gaps in the system mean that not every community has access to trails near homes, schools or businesses.
We are fortunate that leaders of our region preserved former railways and converted them to trails, providing a framework for the entire system. The former Milwaukee Road became Palouse to Cascades State Park Trail with its historic trestles and tunnels. The Seattle, Lake Shore and Eastern Railway is now the Burke-Gilman Trail. The Snoqualmie Valley Trail connecting Rattlesnake Lake to Duvall was once part of the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul & Pacific’s Everett Branch. East Lake Sammamish Trail on Lake Washington, the Eastrail between Renton and Woodinville, and the Coal Mines Trail connecting Cle Elum and Roslyn were parts of the Burlington Northern Santa Fe railway.
These rail-to-trail corridors are the foundation of an active transportation network for enjoyment and public health. Now, our job as a region is to fully connect these transportation corridors through cities and into every community.
Thankfully, we have a new coalition to help our public land managers and municipalities tackle this challenge! The Leafline Trails Coalition launches today, as a partnership between local governments, nonprofits, community groups, and businesses to commit to working to build a comprehensive trails network across the Puget Sound Region in King, Snohomish, Pierce and Kitsap counties.
The Leafline Trails Coalition will develop a shared future vision and map of this regional network, work to fill gaps and enhance the trail experience, and promote awareness of trails, building on iconic trail connections underway including the Eastrail and Mountains to Sound Greenway Trail and many more.
This partnership effort will seek to provide equitable access to safe places to walk and bike, offering reliable and healthy transportation options, and growing the region’s economy.
Coalition membership is open to local governments, non-profit organizations, community groups, local businesses and individuals that support the completion of a comprehensive trails network.
Join the Leafline Trails Coalition at www.leaflinetrails.org.