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  • Writer's pictureChris Toepker

Issaquah Preston Snoqualmie Trail

Updated: Jul 5, 2021

By now you’ve noticed - I really enjoy running rails to trails. It’s the way they wind through so much, connecting it all. The rails are dead; long live the rails!

Likely, you have a bunch in your area too, thanks to "rail banking." Here's a guide and review for easier enjoyment of the Pacific Northwest rail-trails, and maybe a little inspiration to check out those nearest you!

So, using the 1920s US Department of Transport rail map of Washington below...

Check out these major corridors around the region!

  1. East Rail Corridor + Cross Kirkland Corridor

  2. East Sammamish Trail(s) [One on each side of Sammamish river then along east side of Lake Sammamish to Issaquah]

  3. Issaquah- Preston trail (aptly named for the rail line it totally follows).

  4. Snoqualmie Valley trail

  5. Cascades to Palouse Trail (formerly Iron Horse trail)

  6. Cedar River trail

  7. Coal Creek (a.k.a. Newcastle) trail

A focus on Issaquah-Preston Trail

3. Issaquah- Preston trail + Preston Snoqualmie trail

The East Lake Sammamish trail crosses the Issaquah-Preston trail guessed it...Issaquah. From here, simply head east. Again, it’s quite easy to follow for most of the way. For fun, notice the 1920s map above and log the locations like High Point, where there used to be cable cars to take folks to villages and move logs down. Of course, Preston and it’s mill are preserved in a park now too. Throughout this stretch, it’s easy to understand why the Pacific Northwest is seen as a lumber center. The Tiger Mountain State Forest (just south of most of this stretch) still produces lumber today!

Eventually though, you’ll have to take a dramatic turn over Snoqualmie Ridge. The rail line is closed beyond the Snoqualmie Falls viewpoint because the “other side” is still an active railway, part of the Northwest Railway Museum where they run historic locomotives a short way from North Bend to Snoqualmie Falls. So, be sure to take the Deep Creek Trail!

Once you’re over the Ridge, you can make your way across Snoqualmie to the Snoqualmie Valley Trail.

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