Vintage Washington: Historical Map Gives Glimpse of Modern-Day Trails

Posted 02/06/14 by Barry Bergman in Building Trails

Here’s one for all you rail-trail nuts.

RTC was extremely intrigued by this Jan. 30 article by Gene Bisbee, avid cyclist and author of the prolific bike-touring-advocacy-racing-recreation-focused Biking Bisblog. If you’re curious, Bisbee’s wife nicknamed him “Biking Bis” years ago because, as Bisbee maintains, he always seems “to be itching for a bike ride.” 

In his recent posting, “Vintage Washington map shows today’s rails-to-trails network,” Bisbee talks about the circa 1928 resource (first created by the Washington Department of Public Works and recently republished online by the Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust), which foreshadows the state’s extensive rail-trail network.

Bisbee writes:

"Consider that the first white settlers arrived in the Seattle area only 76 years before this map was created. Washington state was just admitted to the Union in 1889. The main way to ship goods in those days was by railroad or boat. Heck, in 1928 the first motorcar route over the Cascades had only been open for about a dozen years.

"The railroads become clear, as does the fact that many survive today as rail-to-trail conversions. Essentially, the person who made this map in 1928 also made a blueprint for a bike-trail network launched 50 years later."

Click here to read the full story and view the map in its entirety.

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