Visualize a trail connecting Allan Yorke Park on the south shore of Lake Tapps that follows Fennell Creek to its confluence with the Puyallup River and then connects with the Pierce County’s Foothills Trail. Along the way the trial passes by beautiful 70 foot high Victor Falls. This was the vision that inspired Bonney Lake’s Ad Hoc Committee as they worked with the City to create the Fennel Creek Trail Plan in June 2007. The Plan calls for the approximate 5.2 mile trail to parallel the creek and allows “users to experience the sights and sounds of the woodlands and pastoral scenes along the creek corridor”. The City of Bonney Lake is making progress to develop a multiuse trial in the segment within the city’s boundaries, roughly from Allan Yorke Park to Victor Falls.
On October 26, 2013 the City held a ribbon cutting ceremony to mark the opening of the inaugural segment of the trail. A Safe Routes to School Grant funded a trail Victor Falls Elementary School, of which a one mile section was part of the planned Fennel Creek Trail. That accomplishment has served to stimulate community interest in completing the remainder of it.
Gary Leaf, Bonney Lake’s Facilities and Special Projects Manager, has provide the internal focus and been the constant in seeking avenues for the trail development. He convened meetings for public comment leading to a design grant from the Puget Sound Regional Council in 2105 for .8 mile segment from the current trail to Highway 410. The City’s grant WSDOT grant for construction is currently under consideration. If the grant is successful, the focus will shift to the next section from Highway 410 to the Sumner Buckley Highway and to solving the dilemma of how to deal the barrier of Highway 410, to tunnel under or divert along the local street underpass.
Bonney Lake’s park impact fees have made design and construction of the trail possible. Over one million dollars in impact fees have been used as the primary source for grant match requirements. There are still many challenges to confront and a new trail champion will be needed as Gary is looking forward to a well-deserved retirement later this year.
More information about the trail, it’s history and progress can be found on the City of Bonney Lake’s website: