When it was completed in
2005, the Tommy Thompson Trail became an instant favorite of the residents of Anacortes, Wash.,
and the tens of thousands of visitors to the city each year.
It's not hard to see why.
Connecting the marina in downtown Anacortes with a stunning trestle over the
sparkling waters of Fidalgo
Bay, this rail-trail is
much-loved by locals and tourists alike for its expansive views across the
water to Mount Baker and the North Cascades.
Now, the success of the
Tommy Thompson has spurred local trail supporters to envision even bigger and
The Anacortes Parks
Foundation recently launched a plan to build a new trail along the waterfront--a project they are calling "Complete the Dream." That dream is to effectively
extend the Tommy Thompson along the north shore of Fidalgo Island,
on which Anacortes sits, bringing to fruition a long-held vision of an island
connected by a perimeter trail.
The trail would follow a
three-mile section of an out-of-service Burlington Northern railbed along the channel
shoreline, linking downtown Anacortes and Washington Park. The transportation benefits and scenic attraction of a shoreline multi-use path from Washington Park
and the busy Washington State Ferry terminal to the heart of Anacortes is sure
to provide both a quality of life and a commercial benefit to residents and
The new trail could even
top the visual splendor of its older sibling--the north shore
of Fidalgo Island looks out across
Rosario Strait to the idyllic San Juan Islands,
and the setting sun to the west.
"It will give Anacortes
residents peaceful and scenic access along the waterfront with views up the
Bellingham Channel and to the Guemes and Cypress Islands,"
Pope of the Anacortes Parks Foundation.
"It will bring economic vitality to both the ferry terminal and the downtown.
By converting this significant trail segment, Anacortes will continue to gain
respect for the care its citizens take in improving the quality of life on this
The Anacortes Parks Foundation
is currently working with the city of Anacortes
and private individuals and organizations on fundraising and initial planning.
Photo courtesy of Michele
Pope/Anacortes Parks Foundation.
great idea as this is a water bourne community and folks enjoy walking and the nature of the channel
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