In Bellevue, Washington, there is a special and thrilling trail called the Eastside Rail Corridor Trail. Once upon a time, trains traversing King County’s Eastside used this 42-mile trail, which runs from Renton to Snohomish, as a crucial transportation route. The trail is now a well-liked destination for walkers, joggers, cyclists, and hikers who want to take in the natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest.
Beginning in the early 1900s, the Eastside Rail Corridor Trail has a long and illustrious history. The Northern Pacific Railroad initially used the trail to transport passengers, lumber, and coal between Seattle and the Eastside of King County. Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) later bought the rail line, which was still in use in the early 2000s.
King County paid BNSF $81 million in 2009 to acquire the rail line with the intention of turning it into a trail for the general public. King County, the cities of Renton, Bellevue, Kirkland, and Woodinville, as well as the Port of Seattle and the Sound Transit Authority, worked together on the project.
In 2018, the Eastside Rail Corridor Trail was formally opened to the public, and both locals and tourists have since come to love it. The trail leads hikers and bikers through some of the most breathtaking landscapes in the Pacific Northwest, combining urban and natural scenery in a distinctive way.
The trail’s breathtaking views of Lake Washington and the Cascade Mountains are among its most striking features. Hikers and cyclists can enjoy expansive views of the surrounding mountains and Lake Washington as the trail follows its eastern shore. The trail’s trees turn a stunning shade of orange in the fall, creating a picturesque autumnal scene.
The artwork and installations that can be seen along the Eastside Rail Corridor Trail’s route are another noteworthy aspect. The culture and history of the communities the trail passes through are reflected in these installations, which were made by regional artists. Sculptures of local wildlife and historical markers honoring the rich history of the rail line are some of the most well-liked installations.
The Eastside Rail Corridor Trail is a fantastic location for outdoor recreation in addition to its scenic beauty and artistic installations. The trail is available year-round for a number of activities, including walking, jogging, biking, and hiking. The trail is a well-liked location for picnics and soaking up the sunshine in the summer.
The trail features several steep hills and switchbacks that provide a great workout for those seeking a harder hike. The trail’s smooth surface and easy grade will be appreciated by bikers as well, making it the perfect location for a leisurely ride.
In general, anyone looking to take in the natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest will find the Eastside Rail Corridor Trail to be a unique and exciting destination. The trail will enthrall visitors of all ages and interests with its breathtaking views, artistic installations, and opportunities for outdoor recreation.
Although the trail is still fairly new, there are already plans to expand it. King County made plans to add an additional 17 miles of scenic beauty and outdoor recreation opportunities by extending the trail south from Renton to Black Diamond in 2020.
The trail will undoubtedly become an even more well-liked tourist destination as it develops and grows. The Eastside Rail Corridor Trail should not be missed, whether you are an experienced hiker or just a casual walker. So why not put on your hiking boots, grab your bike, or just go for a leisurely walk to experience the natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest?