The East Lake Sammamish trail, which has been the subject of a bitter struggle between adjacent homeowners and the county for over a decade has finally ended. See the article here. The old railway has finally been converted to a multi-purpose trail for the citizens of the Lake Sammamish area to enjoy. The 11 mile trail runs from the south end of the lake in the City of Issaquah to the north of the lake in the City of Redmond. 7 miles of the trail passes through the city of Sammamish, my hometown. The trail closely follows the shores of the shimmering and popular lake carved out in the last ice age. Views to the foothills abound and Mount Rainier looms high above the shores.
The trail officially opened on Tuesday, March 21st. I wrote a term paper on this specific controversy in undergrad, which involves eminent domain and the economics of the rails to trails program. Expensive litigation and court battles divided the community for many years until rich lakeshore homeowners finally ran out of energy and resources. Big props to Ron Sims, the County Commissioner, who stuck it out and completed the project. I think the homeowners will ultimately find that the trail will not result in the harms they feared. This trail also serves as a vital connection to the regional trail network. You can now essentially get from my house all the way to Seattle on trails. This is one more reason for me to be excited about going home for Spring break. I will definitely check out this long overdue trail.