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Trailhead Congestion Prompts Pilot Shuttle Program in Snoqualmie Valley

Posted by Anna Roth at May 13, 2015 01:45 PM |
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As more hikers hit trails, it is vital that we invest in our state's recreation infrastructure—providing trails and facilities that can support the growing demand. In North Bend, a city nestled at the base of Mount Si—arguably the most popular trail in the state—local businesses are piloting a shuttle program to try and address the issue of trailhead parking.

If you live or hike in the Puget Sound area, there's one thing you know for sure: trails are crowded.

Unless you're an early riser, you'll be hard pressed to find parking at popular trailheads on a weekend. And as the population of the Puget Sound area booms and more hikers hit trails than ever before, it is vital that we invest in our state's recreation infrastructure—providing trails and facilities that can support the growing demand.

Pilot program: take a bus to the trailhead

In North Bend, a city nestled at the base of Mount Si—arguably the most popular trail in the state—local businesses are working to address the issue of trailhead parking. One exciting idea is the the SnoValley Adventure Shuttle a pilot summer program that will launch June 6, 2015.

Created with the intent to help to ease trailhead congestion in this area, the shuttle is a collaborative effort between Compass Outdoor Adventures, the City of North Bend, Washington State Department of Natural Resources, Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust and Washington Trails Association. The shuttle will run weekends, leaving from a park-and-ride in downtown North Bend and stopping at popular recreation destinations along the Mount Si Road, including the Little Si, Mount Si and Teneriffe trailheads.

The shuttle’s schedule also works with public transit arrivals from King County Metro, so people coming from Seattle and Issaquah can reach trailheads without ever getting in a car. Partners hope to expand the shuttle’s reach as it gains popularity. Future destinations could include the Middle Fork Valley, or Rattlesnake Lake, whose trailheads currently see cars by the hundreds on a summer weekend. The hope is to encourage hikers to use alternative methods of transportation to get to a trailhead, particularly those that are close to urban centers.

Join WTA in advocating for a long-term plan

Statewide, the issue of parking availability and crowding on trailheads is becoming increasingly visible. With more and more people visiting the same number of trails, it becomes ever more important to fight for our current trail system and for new hiking opportunities.

WTA's advocacy program works hard to make this a reality, and you can add your voice to our cause.

Join the Trail Action Network. You'll get pertinent news about upcoming issues affecting trails, and have the opportunity to speak up on behalf of trails you love to hike on.

The details on the shuttle

Round-trip tickets cost $5 per person, though transaction fees may apply. Shuttle users can pre-register online and drop-ins are welcome. Shuttle runs every 30 minutes on Saturdays and Sundays during the summer. For more information and to pre-register visit: compassoutdooradventures.com/shuttle

Hiking car-free? Check your local bus schedules for a bus lift to the North Bend park-and-ride location.

Shuttle users will get an additional incentive with SnoValley Adventure Bucks, which grant discounts at a variety of North Bend and Snoqualmie merchants.


Comments

Columbia River Gorge shuttle to trailheads

Similarly down here in the SW the Gorge has many congested trailheads. Friends of the Columbia River Gorge is in their second season of a program to link transit to trailheads. From their Website: "Friends is proud to be one of the backers of the WET bus service, which is also funded by a Western Federal Lands Access grant, the Washington State Department of Transportation, and tourism funds from Stevenson, North Bonneville, and Skamania County." Check out this link of suggested hike itineraries that use the West End Transit (WET) bus: http://gorgefriends.org/section.php?id=116

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Ryan Ojerio on Jun 11, 2015 05:28 AM