Iron Horse Trail

North Bend, Washington

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1 Review
3 out of 5
The Iron Horse Trail ain’t what it was cracked up to be when first proposed. True, freight trains no longer disquiet the mountainside forest serenity; instead, deported to the freeway in the valley below, they toss family cars about in their wake like tumbleweeds in a dust devil. True, rails and ties no longer trip up careless feet and hooves; those impediments, as well as trees that so closely hedged the railroad as to make it a virtual tunnel through forest, have been removed to make a 40-foot-wide truck road and a 230-kilowatt powerline. (That buzz heard on a rainy day is not bees.) So it’s not really a “trail” at all, in the ancient and honorable definition. It’s a “multi-use travelway.” Among the “multis” are servicing trucks, which require a hard-surface road that tends to flatten feet. And no more trees close enough to reach out and touch in passing.
Roads to Trails Northwest Washington

DESCRIPTION FROM:

Roads to Trails Northwest Washington

by Washington Trails Association (The Mountaineers Books)

The Iron Horse Trail ain’t what it was cracked up to be when first proposed. True, freight trains no longer disquiet the mountainside forest serenity; instead, deported to the freeway in the valley below, they toss family cars about in their wake like tumbleweeds in a dust devil.

True, rails and ties no longer trip up careless feet and hooves; those impediments, as well as trees that so closely hedged the railroad as to make it a virtual tunnel through forest, have been removed to make a 40-foot-wide truck road and a 230-kilowatt powerline. (That buzz heard on a rainy day is not bees.) So it’s not really a “trail” at all, in the ancient and honorable definition. It’s a “multi-use travelway.” Among the “multis” are servicing trucks, which require a hard-surface road that tends to flatten feet. And no more trees close enough to reach out and touch in passing.

©  Washington Trails Association/The Mountaineers Books. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: North Bend
Distance: 21
Elevation Gain: 1,500 feet
Trail Type: Several options
Skill Level: Moderate
Duration: Depends on which option is chosen
Season: Best spring to fall
Trailhead Elevation: 970 feet
Top Elevation: 2,400 feet
Local Contacts: North Bend Ranger District, Mount Baker - Snoqualmie National Forest
Local Maps: Green Trails #206 Bandera, #207 Snoqualmie Pass; North Bend Ranger District
Driving Directions: Directions to Iron Horse Trail

Recent Trail Reviews

5/30/2009
0

No spectacular scenery to be found but this is an interesting interpretive trail which transports you back a few generations when everything was grand in scale. It was interesting to see retaining walls - some over 15' thick - that were poured in the early 20th century. I would not do this trail again, but was glad I did this time. We ran into heavy snow about 1/2 mile from the pass.



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