News Release 11-034
Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission
1111 Israel Road S.W., P.O. Box 42650, Olympia, WA 98504-2650, (360) 902-8500
Don Hoch, Director
Sandy Mealing: (360) 902-8559
Wash. Telecommunications Relay Service:
Celebrate the Snoqualmie Tunnel’s re-opening during the Mountains to Sound Greenway’s 20th Anniversary Trek
Jun. 30, 2011 –
The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission and the Mountains to Sound Greenway invites the public to the 20th Anniversary Trek hiker/biker event and the re-opening of the Snoqualmie Pass (tunnel 50) on the John Wayne Pioneer Trail at Iron Horse State Park.
The re-opening ceremony begins 10 a.m. Tuesday, July 5, in the Hyak parking area at Snoqualmie Pass. After the dedication event, participants are invited to hike or bike through the newly relined tunnel with the bikers and trekkers or continue onto Rattlesnake Lake. Bring a flashlight or headlamp if you venture into the tunnel. The walk takes about 45 minutes one-way. A shuttle service is provided for the return trip to the Hyak parking area from Rattlesnake Lake. For information and reservations regarding the shuttle service visit www.busup90.com or call (877) BUSUP90 or (877) 287-8790.
In January 2009, five former railroad tunnels along the John Wayne Pioneer Trail were closed to the public for safety reasons related to falling debris from the tunnel liners. Two former railroad tunnels along the trail were closed between Thorp and South Cle Elum, one tunnel along Lake Easton, one tunnel between Easton and USFS Road 54 and the 2.3 mile-long tunnel at Snoqualmie Pass (tunnel 50).
The Washington State Legislature subsequently approved $600,000 in state capital bond funds to reline 400 feet of the Snoqualmie Pass tunnel with concrete. This year, the Washington State Legislature approved $1.8 million in state capital bond funds to repair additional tunnels along the trail for public access.
Iron Horse State Park on the John Wayne Pioneer Trail is a 1,612-acre park that once comprised part of the rail route of the Chicago-Milwaukee-St. Paul-Pacific Railroad. More than 100 miles of trail extends from Cedar Falls to the Columbia River. High trestles provide spectacular views.
The Commission manages a diverse system of more than 100 state parks and recreation programs, including long-distance trails, boating safety and winter recreation. The 98-year-old park system will celebrate its 100th anniversary in 2013.
Washington State Parks is now on Twitter at WaStatePks_NEWS and YouTube at WashingtonStateParks.