Pair of North Bend trails added to National Trail System

Two North Bend-area trails are among 10 added to the National Trail System, Department of the Interior secretary Sally Jewell announced in a statement released Thursday.

The Mount Si and Snoqualmie River trails were designated national recreation trails in an announcement timed to coincide with Saturday’s National Trail Day.

Washington and North Carolina were the only states with two trails to receive the designation on Thursday.

“By designating these exceptional trails as part of the National Trails System, we recognize the efforts of local communities to provide outdoor recreational opportunities that can be enjoyed by everyone,” Jewell said in the prepared statement. “Our world-class network of national trails provides easily accessible places to get exercise and connect with nature in both urban and rural areas while also boosting tourism and supporting economic opportunities in local communities across the country.”

The National Trail System has approximately 16,000 miles of trails.

A trail selected as a national recreational trailreceives a certificate of designation, a letter of congratulations from Jewell and a set of trail markers.

The designation is reserved for trails “that link communities to recreational opportunities on public lands and in local parks across the nation,” according to the DOI statement.

Mount Si Trail is often referred to as the most popular in the state. The 4-mile trail climbs more than 3,000 feet and offers sweeping views of the Snoqualmie Valley. The trail’s popularity is bolstered by its proximity to Seattle and a low trailhead elevation that allows for its use in winter months. It has served as an off-season training ground for many outdoor athletes.

The 31-mile Snoqualmie Valley Trail stretches from Duvall to Rattlesnake Lake and is the longest trail in King County. The trail passes forest, historic sites and farmland and is open to hikes, cyclists, and horsemen. The trail was once a spur line for the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacitic Railroad. It connects to other trails including the Iron Horse Trail, which travels from Rattlesnake Lake to the Columbia River.