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Middle Fork Snoqualmie Road to close above Dingford Creek

Posted: 06/21/2007
By: Thomas O'Keefe
The Middle Fork Snoqualmie River Road above the Dingford Creek trailhead will be permanently closed to motor vehicle access, beginning June 27, 2007, according to Jim Franzel, Snoqualmie District Ranger, Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest.  This closure completes implementation of the 2005 Middle Fork Snoqualmie Access Travel Management Plan.

“Road 56 beyond this point will become a public national forest trail open to hiker, mountain bicycle, and equestrian use only,” says Franzel.  “This road-to-trail conversion is in conjunction with the recently completed Middle Fork Trail which will provide multiple trail loop opportunities of up to 28 miles in length.”

A new footbridge has been constructed across the Middle Fork Snoqualmie River at the Goldmyer Hot Springs.  This new bridge will initially provide safe hiker access across the river.  Next year, equestrian approaches will be added to the bridge.

The 2005 decision to close Road 56 at Dingford Creek Trailhead, and to convert the last 7.6 miles of road to a multi-use trail, was part of a cooperative citizen planning effort supported by user groups, environmental groups, landowners, and the Forest Service, said Franzel. 

This effort began in the early 1990’s with the Middle Fork Concept Plan developed by citizens and brought to the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest for consideration.  American Whitewater has participated in this ongoing process and the organization's Pacific Northwest Stewardship director Thomas O'Keefe notes that "while this action means loss of vehicle access to the upper reaches of this river, it allows the Forest Service to focus scarce maintenance resources on more critical areas of the forest. O'Keefe further notes that "enhancements for recreational users on the more heavily used sections of the river are being provided including improved river access, sanitation facilities, vegetation restoration, and increased law enforcement presence to prevent dumping and other illegal activities." Last year’s opening of the new Middle Fork Snoqualmie Campground, the first new campground on the forest in decades, was also a part of this overall effort.

"The Forest Service has done a great job of consolidating input from a diverse set of stakeholders. Accessible to a population of approximately 3 million people,  concludes O'Keefe. "The Middle Fork Snoqualmie Valley has always been a challenge to manage but the Forest Service has been improving both the resource values and recreational opportunities in one of the nation's most incredible natural areas so close to a major US city--a tremendous achievement in a time of tight budgets and limited resources."

“The Forest Service thanks the many private citizens who have donated their time and volunteer efforts to improve the Middle Fork Snoqualmie valley for everyone’s enjoyment,” concluded Franzel.  “It is doubtful that much of these improvements would have happened without their concept and subsequent support.”

Thomas O'Keefe

3537 NE 87th St.

Seattle, WA 98115

Phone: 425-417-9012
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Middle Fork Snoqualmie (WA)

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Snoqualmie, Middle Fork WA
Snoqualmie, Middle Fork WA
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