The hiking trail, east of the town of Gold Bar, travels through thick timber to Lake Serene, a spot at the foot of Mount Index.
Seattle-based land conservancy Forterra closed last month on its purchase of 190 acres of land from timber company Weyerhaeuser to preserve the popular Lake Serene Trail, according to a Friday news release from the nonprofit.
The trail, east of Gold Bar and accessible from Highway 2, travels through thick timber to Lake Serene, a chilly alpine lake at the foot of imposing Mount Index.
When Weyerhaeuser said it planned to log in the area and close the trail, Forterra organized a fundraiser to purchase the acreage. Helping to raise funds were Snohomish County, the Washington Trails Association, Washington Alpine Club, Outdoor Research and REI, according to a Forterra news release.
Michael Beneke, Forterra’s vice president of communication, said the deal ultimately cost about $617,000. As part of the agreement, Weyerhaeuser has harvested 57 acres of timber during a closure that began in September last year. Beneke said the timber harvest would not affect the aesthetic on the trail.
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“The process is complete. The trail is open,” Beneke said. Forterra plans to keep the property, he said, and is working with Snohomish County to apply a conservation easement on the acreage, so it will continue to be used as trail and forest habitat.