Shannon Hays, Communications
Snohomish County Parks, Recreation & Tourism
Centennial Trail in the Running for Rails-to-Trails Conservancy’s
National Hall of Fame Award
Winner chosen by public vote – Voting runs July 9—13
EVERETT, Wash., July 9, 2018 – Centennial Trail is one of five rail-trails nominated for induction into this year’s Rails-to-Trails Conservancy’s (RTC) Hall of Fame. Public voting begins today and runs through Friday, July 13, 2018 and can be cast online HERE.
Rail-Trail Hall of Fame nominees are selected based on merits such as scenic value, high use, trailside amenities, historical significance, management and community connections. The Centennial Trail will vie for audience votes with the Cardinal Greenway in Indiana, the Raccoon River Valley Trail in Iowa, the Tunnel Hill State Park Trail in Illinois and the Wood River Trail in Idaho to be the 2018 Hall of Fame inductee. The winner will be officially announced later this summer in the annual Green Issue of Rails to Trails magazine.
More than 400,000 citizens utilize the 30-mile Centennial Trail each year as a recreational trail, non-motorized commuter corridor, and race/events trail. This linear park has become one of the most valued and well-used assets in the Snohomish County Parks system and serves as a conservation corridor protecting sensitive and important natural and cultural resources.
“We couldn’t be more thrilled for the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy’s Hall of Fame nomination,” said Tom Teigen, Snohomish County Parks, Recreation and Tourism Director. “Residents and visitors of Snohomish County know what an amazing rail-trail the Centennial Trail is, and we’re excited to share about it on a National platform. Go vote for our rail-trail!”
“All five trails were nominated because of their outstanding qualities and the tremendous value they bring to their regions,” said Keith Laughlin, president of RTC. “It’s now up to America’s trail users to show their support, passion and pride for their favorite trails to help choose our 32nd Rail-Trail Hall of Fame inductee. Good luck to each of the nominees!”
The largest trails organization in America, representing a community of more than 160,000 members and supporters and a grassroots community of 1 million people, RTC started recognizing rail-trails through its national Rail-Trail Hall of Fame in 2007. If selected, the Centennial Trail would join the decorated list of 31 other Hall of Fame trails, including last year’s Tammy Trace in Louisiana.
More information about the Rail-Trail Hall of Fame can be found on RTC's website. Voting online can be found HERE.
More about Centennial Trail:
The Seattle Lake Shore and Eastern railroad company built the rail in the late 1800s mainly for freight use like moving timber. Parts of the rail began shutting down in the 1970s, and the final stretch of rail shut down in 1990 (101 years after it opened). In the mid-80’s, four women in the community, Betty Bauer, Robin Thome, Ellen Chaffee, and Beth Hill, organized a group that would champion the conversion of this once railway into a beautiful park trail. As equestrians, they wanted a long stretch of space free of motor vehicles to enjoy, but they didn’t want it just for equestrian use, they wanted a recreationally diverse community able to enjoy it including bikers, walkers, runners, families with strollers, those with mobility challenges, and more, and because of this, the trail was paved -- a natural surface trail runs parallel to the paved trail for equestrians who prefer a softer surface.
More than 400,000 citizens utilize the trail each year as a recreational trail and non-motorized commuter corridor. This linear park has become one of the most valued and well-used assets in the Snohomish County Parks system and serves as a conservation corridor protecting sensitive and important natural and cultural resources. The 30-mile Centennial rail trail offers non-motorized connecting points between four cities in Snohomish County, WA: Snohomish, Lake Stevens, Marysville, and Arlington including other smaller enclaves.
The Centennial Trail hosts about 25 events a year for groups all over Western Washington and North America with more than 14,000 participants. Event types include Tandem Bike Rides, Long Board Races, Walks, Runs, Fundraisers, and guided History Walks.
- Centennial Sk8fest- Long Boards- https://centennialsk8fest.com/, https://youtu.be/ucJD_whWl_w
- Tour DeVita- https://www.tourdavita.org/
- YMCA Annual Campaign fun run
- Lake Stevens Chamber of Commerce Trail Run
- Tour de Cure
- NW Tandem Rally
- Ride to defeat ALS
- RSVP- Cascade Bicycle Club (Ride from Seattle to Vancouver and Party)
- BC Ride to Conquer Cancer- Raised $7.1 million for cancer research at 2017 event.
- Snohomish River Run
The Centennial Trail boasts several unique features, vistas, places of historical significance, and environmental wonders throughout. A person can pass through several different scenes along the trail from rural to urban areas including Lake Cassidy waterfront, Pilchuck River crossing, a dozen meandering creeks, Cascade Mountain scenes, dairy and tree farms, hay and flower fields, historic preservation sites and art installations. Salmon and other fish migration and spawning can be viewed from the trail as well as wildlife like deer and sometimes bears and cats. Birding is also a popular event along the trail. It’s a gathering place for human and wildlife communities alike. The trail is ADA accessible with covered picnic shelters, benches, and easy parking and restrooms at nine different trail heads along the entire 30 miles. The trailhead and rest stop in the town of Machias is a replica of the Machias Station railroad depot built in the late 1890s which served the rail line. The Machias Trailhead facility can be rented for events and community happenings. The Machias Trailhead also hosts horse watering troughs, horse tie ups, and a bike repair station with tools. Further north on the trail you can see the Washington State Heritage Barn, Nakashima Barn, with installations of several large historical photos on the exterior of the barn. The stainless steel art archway, “Resilience” by Joe Powers, marks a spur in the trail where travelers can continue on to White Horse Trail that boasts another 27 miles of gravel trail further northeast.
The Centennial Trail is maintained by the Snohomish County Parks, Recreation and Tourism department and is monitored by Park Rangers. Various community groups also help to maintain the trail such as the Snohomish and Arlington Trail Coalition, different boys and girls clubs, and wonderful local individuals.
You can find more information on the Centennial Trail HERE. View a partial flyover of the trail HERE .