New trailhead for Ebey Waterfront Trail


October 25, 2017 | View PDF

Christopher Andersson

The new Ebey Waterfront Trailhead goes underneath the State Route 529 bridge to connect directly with Ebey Waterfront Park.

The City of Marysville opened up their new trailhead for the Ebey Waterfront Trail so that the trail now directly connects to Ebey Waterfront Park.

The new addition opened on Oct. 9.

Previously community members would have to access the trail from its State Avenue entrance, but now they can park at Ebey Waterfront Park and go under the State Route 529 bridge near the downtown area to go onto the trail.

"This was a planned improvement from the start," said Jim Ballew, director of the Marysville Parks, Culture and Recreation Department.

The city had to work on permits though, and they received them last month.

"As soon as we got the permits we had crews going within a week or two working to construct the trailhead," he said.

The cost for the trailhead ended up being around $50,000, about $100,000 less than the initial construction estimates, he said.

Construction was also done in-house with City of Marysville crews.

There was almost a problem with high tides during the construction. "There were some concerns, but we persevered and got it completed," said Ballew.

The improvement had been requested for a while so that visitors can simply park their car at Ebey Waterfront Park and continue onto the trail.

"We've heard from a lot of people who have enjoyed the trail that they wanted this access from the Ebey Waterfront Park," said Ballew.

"There's always a safety concern about people crossing State Avenue," he said.

The Ebey Waterfront Trail has been open since April.

"We hear, and we read on our website, that people are ecstatic about the new trail," said Ballew.

The trail provides two different paths into the Qwuloolt estuary area, which was recently restored by the Tulalip Tribes and other agencies after years of being farmland.

The estuary, adjacent to the Sunnyside area of Marysville, has been showing progress returning to its pre-farmland state with birds and fish returning from the Ebey Slough area.

The city's plan for the trail is still ongoing though, and they are currently in phase three, which they think will complete their original vision.

Currently the trail is in two segments. In the east there is a segment that connects to Harborview Park in the Sunnyside area.

The western segment begins at Ebey Waterfront Park and follows the slough to the east.

The final plan for the trail would connect the two segments by looping around the northern end of the Qwuloolt estuary.

"When it's finished you would be able to walk to the downtown area from the Sunnyside area with the trail," said Ballew.

Ballew said that phase three is in good shape in terms of funding.

The city council has set aside $3 million for the project and they are likely receiving another million from the state's capital budget, said Ballew.

City officials still have to meet with a couple of adjacent property owners to talk about potential impacts and concerns though, he said.

Some foundation work could start this year, however "most of the work is going to be done next year," said Ballew. It could be finished by this time next year, he added.

There are some side loops that can be built in the future, as well, to expand and connect it with other trail systems, he said.

The city also owns an 11-acre parcel of land near Harborview Park that could become another trailhead and park in the future.

"We're glad people are enjoying the trail and we love hearing from the community about their own ideas of how we can make that experience as good as possible," said Ballew.

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