Sustainability nonprofit Forterra has officially closed a sale on the last privately-owned portion of the popular Lake Serene Hiking Trail, ensuring its long-term preservation. The purchase comes after a $275,000 fundraising campaign last year, which allowed Forterra to enter a deal with timber company Weyerhaeuser to preserve and restore the trail.
The trail, located near Index, Washington, included a 57-acre portion of a 190-acre property owned by Weyerhaeuser. The trail was shut down last year to prepare for logging and to make some trail improvements. The trail was set to reopen with Weyerhaeuser’s portion logged—but with the land deal pending, Weyerhaeuser agreed to only log on the property away from the trail and to restore the trail itself. Forterra initially sought to buy the 57-acre portion of Weyerhaeuser’s property, the company offered the full 190-acre parcel.
While Weyerhaeuser started a reforestation effort of its own, Forterra plans to plant additional trees “to provide for a diversity of species,” according to a press release. The trail re-opened over Labor Day weekend.
The $275,000 from the fundraising campaign came from more than 600 people. The total project cost is $800,000, which includes money from the Snohomish County Conservation Futures program.
Here’s what Curbed Seattle contributor Josh Cohen had to say about the trail while mapping 12 essential Seattle-area hikes:
With a towering waterfall and a gorgeous alpine lake, you get a lot of bang for your buck on the Lake Serene and Bridal Veil Falls hike. A little less than 2.5 miles of hiking (and about a half mile of stair climbing) gets you to Bridal Veil. The 1,328 foot waterfall cascades down in four sections. From the trail, you can see several hundred feet of waterfall skimming across the rocky cliff. Continue on from the falls to your halfway point at Lake Serene and soak in the views of Index Peak looming across the water.
The purchase is part of a larger effort by Forterra to preserve places along the Highway 2 corridor. Next, the nonprofit hopes to secure a 320-acre Maloney Creek and Forest property.