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Bridging the Gap on Tiger Mountain

Posted by Kate Neville at Aug 31, 2017 12:52 PM |

Tiger Mountain’s Section Line Trail sports a new bridge, thanks to the collaboration of Department of Natural Resources, Washington Trails Association, and the support of two WTA members who just wanted to help other hikers enjoy one of their favorite trails.

Tiger Mountain’s Section Line Trail sports a new bridge, thanks to the collaboration of Department of Natural Resources, Washington Trails Association, and funding from two local hikers, Dick and Anna Armstrong.

Celebrating the new bridgeThe Armstrong family and friends recently joined representatives from DNR and WTA, including Executive Director Jill Simmons (far left) to celebrate the new bridge.

Located in the I-90 Corridor east of Seattle, Tiger Mountain trails are among the most heavily-used in the state, and the Section Line Trail is no exception. From trail runners to families with children, the Section Line beckons a diverse community of trail users seeking to stretch their legs and challenge their lungs.

As avid hikers, Dick and Anna frequently explore Tiger Mountain trails. An encounter with a fellow hiker on one of their outings inspired them to inquire about the possibility of installing a new bridge on the Section Line trail. While steep, most of the Section Line is nicely graded and accessible. The exception was an unmaintained creek crossing about halfway up the trail. To cross the creek, hikers were forced to scramble down a steep embankment and navigate slippery fallen logs to reach the other side. Here Dick and Anna encountered the older gentleman just as he had been turned around by the creek crossing. Only with their help was he able to cross the creek and continue his journey.

Concerned that the creek crossing put one of their beloved trails off limits for a significant number of their fellow hikers, Dick and Anna reached out to WTA to inquire about the possibility of providing funding for a new bridge. Working with the Department of Natural Resources, WTA learned that the bridge was already on a “wish list” with DNR. In a true public-private partnership, the Armstrongs provided the funding that allowed DNR to design, build and install a new bridge. Their support also allowed WTA trail volunteers to build a safe approach on either side. The result, dubbed the “Trillium Bridge,” will help keep the Section Line trail open to many future generations of explorers.

The Armstrongs with the Trillium BridgeAnna and Dick Armstrong's support for the Trillium Bridge helped stretch DNR and WTA's resources while making a favorite trail more accessible for fellow hikers.

WTA and the Department of Natural Resources are thrilled to find new, creative ways to support the infrastructure necessary for sustainable recreation on our public lands. As a nonprofit organization, support from contributions makes it possible for Washington Trails Association to mobilize volunteers to build and maintain trails. And while our trail volunteers can move mountains, our agency partners are uniquely suited to tackle major maintenance like repairs to roads and parking lots, and bridge projects like the Trillium Bridge. As WTA and our agency partners struggle to keep up with the growing demand for trials, we are sincerely grateful to the Armstrongs for making this project possible.