FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
SEATTLE-AREA TRAIL RECEIVES NATIONAL RECOGNITION
Rails-to-Trails Conservancy Names Burke-Gilman Trail to Hall of Fame
Washington, D.C. —Rails-to-Trails Conservancy (RTC) has named the Burke-Gillman Trail as the fourth inductee to the Rail-Trail Hall of Fame. The Seattle-area trail is featured in Rails to Trails magazine, RTC's Web site and TrailLink.com, complete with pictures and a detailed description of its scenic views and remarkable railroading history.
The 17-mile rail-trail is known for its dramatic skyline views and waterway vistas. The rail-trail travels from Seattle's northern end, through the town of Fremont, past the University of Washington, through parks and farmland, and gracefully ends along the Sammamish River. In the summer months, the trail is a great way to get to Marymoor for the annual Heritage Festival and Fourth of July Fireworks.
"The trail is great! It's full of so many different people, and I saw more of the city than I ever had," says Andy Lin, who recently moved to Seattle and experienced the Burke-Gilman for the first time. The transition along the trail from city-to-parkland is what attracts many of its users, as well as the community connections it fosters.
Planning for the Burke-Gilman Trail started in the mid-1970s. King County opened the local section of the trail in 1978. Since the acquisition, community members and volunteers have transformed the rail line into a retreat for hikers, bicyclists and runners.
RTC's Rail-Trail Hall of Fame was established in 2007 to honor outstanding rail-trails. There are currently 1,457 open rail-trails, and nearly 1,000 more in development. Hall of Fame inductees are selected based on merits such as scenic value, high use, trail and trailside amenities, historical significance, excellence in management and maintenance of facility, community connections and geographic distribution.
"I think [this award] is fantastic!" says Robert Foxworthy, regional trails coordinator for King County Parks. "It's great that the trail is getting national recognition and we've worked very hard to make it a premier facility for the community. This is a good thing."
Past trails that have received the designation are the Katy Trail State Park in Missouri, the Pinellas Trail in Florida, and the Great Allegheny Passage, which spans from Maryland to Pennsylvania.
Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, a nonprofit organization with more than 100,000 members, is the nation's largest trails organization dedicated to connecting people and communities by creating a nationwide network of public trails, many from former rail lines and connecting corridors. Founded in 1986, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy is located in Washington, D.C., with regional offices in California, Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania. For more information visit www.railstotrails.org.