Today, Washington Wild submitted a letter to the Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office to support Washington State Parks’ acquisition of the Mt. Washington Trail property, an inholding in the Olallie State Park in the Mountains to Sound Greenway National Heritage Area. Represented in the 26 signers were conservation organizations, local businesses, recreation groups, and elected officials, including the mayors of Snoqualmie and Issaquah.
This acquisition is an important opportunity to protect a popular climbing and hiking destination in the future and provide management for sustainable outdoor recreation, scenic values and wildlife habitat. Olallie State Park is in the heart of the Mountains to Sound Greenway National Heritage Area. Each season, thousands of hikers and rock climbers unknowingly traverse private property on their way to Mt. Washington’s stunning summit or on route to one of its many prized climbing destinations. This 150-acre inholding contains about one mile of the Mt. Washington Trail, whose summit offers views of Mt. Rainier and the Cedar River Watershed.
While the landowner currently allows public access, there is no formal agreement in place to ensure continued public access, nor is an alternative access point possible due to the area’s topography. Given that the property is expected to change hands in coming years, a diverse coalition of conservation, recreation groups, and local community leaders are mobilizing to ensure the protection of this public resource into perpetuity.
With a Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program grant, Washington State Parks, along with The Trust for Public Land and the Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust, will at long last secure permanent public access for the Mt. Washington Trail and the Mt. Washington Climbing Area for all Olallie State Park users.