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  • Writer's pictureChris Toepker

Snoqualmie Valley 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

Focus on Snoqualmie Valley trail, Duval to Rattlesnake Lake corridor!

4. Snoqualmie Valley trail

The trail officially starts in Duvall. However, the rail line actually stretches far northwards to Monroe. This part has not even begun re-building, and suffers a lot of bridge outages, plus is overgrown with blackberries (the bane of the northwest!).

From Duval, heading south, you follow the Snoqualmie river and slowly climb the ridge to Tokul. The valley floor alternates between long rural stretches with farms and stands of trees, crossing Carnation and past Remlinger Farms. As you get close to the top of the line, don’t be startled by the gun fire. There’s a shooting range below you. It’s normal!

At Tokul, you need to climb onto the road, and use sidewalks to cross the city of Snoqualmie. You can also take a short jaunt over to the famous Snoqualmie Falls. You’ve earned by then!

The closest re-entry point to the trail is at the old Reinig Bridge. However, you can also walk through the city and take in the Northwest Railway Museum, housed in the Snoqualmie station.

If you’ve come over Snoqualmie Ridge, you will also likely walk past the station, and then you can get onto the trail at the Mt. Si Golf Course. Unless it’s night time, as we learned! In that case, you should walk along the eastern roadside trail towards Meadowbrook farm. Right about here (almost, but not quite to the farm buildings) you’ll notice a pathway that’ll take let you re-enter the Snoqualmie Valley Trail.

No matter when you’re going through these areas, beware of the elk! There’s a sizable herd that roams the plains and forest around the river here. Startling them would be a bad idea!

The Snoqualmie Valley trail then winds its way up the South Fork of the Snoqualmie River, towards Cedar Falls and Rattlesnake lake.

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