In Washington State, Anacortes Eager to Build Upon Success of Coastal Trail

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When it was completed in 2005, the Tommy Thompson Trail became an instant favorite of the residents of Anacortes, Wash., and the tens of thousands of visitors to the city each year.

It’s not hard to see why. Connecting the marina in downtown Anacortes with a stunning trestle over the sparkling waters of Fidalgo Bay, this rail-trail is much-loved by locals and tourists alike for its expansive views across the water to Mount Baker and the North Cascades.

Now, the success of the Tommy Thompson has spurred local trail supporters to envision even bigger and better things.

The Anacortes Parks Foundation recently launched a plan to build a new trail along the waterfront–a project they are calling “Complete the Dream.” That dream is to effectively extend the Tommy Thompson along the north shore of Fidalgo Island, on which Anacortes sits, bringing to fruition a long-held vision of an island connected by a perimeter trail.

The trail would follow a three-mile section of an out-of-service Burlington Northern railbed along the channel shoreline, linking downtown Anacortes and Washington Park. The transportation benefits and scenic attraction of a shoreline multi-use path from Washington Park and the busy Washington State Ferry terminal to the heart of Anacortes is sure to provide both a quality of life and a commercial benefit to residents and businesspeople.

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