There's a powerful Pacific Northwest vibe on this trail -- leaping
coho salmon, bald eagles, stores selling growlers of IPA, snowy peaks in the
distance and the grey-blue icy waters of the Pilchuck and Stillaguamish rivers.
Since its first phase opened in 1991, the Centennial
Trail in Snohomish County, Wash., has grown in length and reputation to now
attract more than 500,000 users each year. Its appeal with bikers, hikers,
bladers and horseback riders is now set to expand even further with the extension
of the trail another four miles, to a historic barn on farmland near the Skagit
Along a Burlington Northern railroad corridor that had sat
disused since 1970, the area's original trails-activism group, the Pathways
Task Force, succeeded mightily in pushing ahead a rail-trail which is now one
of the county's iconic attractions as well as a much-loved resource for locals.
Rails-to-Trails Conservancy's Graphic Designer, Barbara
Richey, based in Seattle, made the short trip north last summer for a day on
the Centennial Trail and shot these photos (click the photo, above right, for a slideshow of more images) of a trail which is clearly deserving of its popularity.
"There's a lot to be impressed by on the Centennial
Trail," Richey says. "Beautiful countryside and small towns, a wide path with gentle curves -- it's perfect for
an afternoon outing. Everyone seems to move at their own pace, and although there were lots of people on the trail that day it never felt congested. It's fantastic that it has now been extended."
Photo by RTC
The four mile trail extension ribbon cutting ceremony was conducted Nov 3, 2012 thus marking the completion of the north section of the Centennial Trail. Other than a half mile trail gap in Arlington, WA it is now nearly 30 miles continuous - from the town of Snohomish to the Nakashima barn, near the Skagit County line.
The Duke Ellington Building
2121 Ward Ct., NW
Washington, DC 20037