On August 31st, Washington Wild submitted a letter to Skykomish Ranger District with 19 conservation, recreation and wildlife organizations strongly support the Blanca Lake Trail relocation and the construction of the Heybrook Ridge Connecting Trail. Both of these projects would maintain and enhance recreational access for residents of Index, Gold Bar, and Skykomish as well as visitors to some of the Skykomish Valley’s most popular and stunning trails. These proposed trail improvements or connections allow for more sustainable recreational use in areas that already provide hiking and other recreational use.
Blanca Lake is one of the most stunning alpine lakes in the region whose popularity continues to grow as hikers are drawn to its turquoise blue waters and stunning peaks. The outlined improvements would create sustainable access and increased safety for all those who wish to enjoy its beauty. The proposed trail work includes reroutes of switchbacks, would receive tread and drainage work (i.e. native rock or log water bars), rock steps, and native log or rock stairways. Many switchbacks would have native log switchback barriers, utilizing downed logs.
The Heybrook Ridge trail boosts some of the best views of the Wild Sky Wilderness Area and is popular amongst hikers, birders, and snowshoers. Heybrook Ridge County Park, located adjacent to the town of Index, is the result of a local effort to protect the town’s viewshed from logging several years ago.
In a time where more and more Washingtonians are turning to the outdoors to find peace and escape, it is important now more than ever to maintain and improve the beautiful trails where we play.