Just east of Granite Falls lies the beautiful Mountain Loop Highway with forests thick with trees and wildlife and mile upon mile of hiking trails for everyone from the beginner to the most advanced hiker.
Because of this natural beauty being just a stone’s throw from the quaint town of Granite Falls, the Mountain Loop Tourism Bureau, which was created in 2010, is working to market this beauty and encourage outdoorsmen from all over the country to enjoy this pristine splendor.
Edith Farrell along with her husband Randy and the rest of the MLTB is hoping to generate sponsorship, increase volunteers, create sustainable solutions and identify destination markets around The Loop.
“Our desire is to continue to be a resource to the Snohomish County Tourism Bureau and others in reference to the Mountain Loop, and another point of information distribution to broaden our efforts in growing a strong economic base through tourism. Each community around the loop will benefit as we continue to brand the Mountain Loop Tourism Bureau with imaging, print and visual content, social media exposures and focused media campaigns,” Randy said.
One of the flagship projects of the Mountain Loop Tourism Bureau is working with the US Forestry Service, agencies within Snohomish County and other local groups surrounding the region to secure permitting for operation of the former Camp Silverton/Wadhiem from the Everett School District.
“The history of Camp Silverton/Wadheim is grounded from earlier years of being used as a Tree Nursery and Forest Ranger Station, the Monte Cristo Ranger District, the County School Camp by County School Superintendent Dorothy J. Bennett, and used by the Everett School District as a mountain educational retreat center,” Edith states in a written document.
“Last used by the school district in the early 2000’s, Camp Silverton/Wadheim has been slated to be decommissioned and turned into a group camp site and many of the cabins and kitchen/dining hall removed. It is our desire to restore the intent of Ms. Bennett and establish Camp Silverton Retreat Center as an educational retreat facility with opportunities for training, equipping and providing a unique location for outdoor gatherings for all. We must look at raising $100,000 to take over the permit.”
Branding the Mountain Loop is a top priority for the MLTB and using the slogan, “Come play in our backyard…” is helping them in this process.
The Mt. Loop Scenic Byway consists of over 30 percent of the overall land footprint within Snohomish County.
“We are partnering with others around the loop to enhance the efforts to educate and promote the Mountain Loop as a destination market for visitors and guests looking to experience the beauty of nature and the outdoors. There are so many activities that we provide a backdrop for everyone looking for the, as the Forestry Services says ‘Land of many uses’ and let’s not forget the historic relevance the Mountain Loop is to the county by the discovery of gold, silver, galena and iron ore in Monte Cristo at the turn of the century,” Farrell said.
They also hope to offer dozens of classes at the camp during all seasons of the year.
“We believe that all communities around the Mountain Loop will realize the importance for a unified effort supporting our local area resources and specifically Camp Silverton/Wadheim. The closure over the years of the Mountain Loop has prevented many from realizing the true value of the natural resources of the Wilderness Areas, Forestry Service and County lands that have been preserved from past generations. True, many of the activities we are able to experience in this outdoor recreational area already exist and are available through efforts from groups and organizations already servicing the Mountain Loop. Snohomish County and the Forestry Service are both working within the policies and budgetary guidelines established by those that may not realize the significance having the Silverton/Waldheim facility,” Randy explained.
If you would like to help in the MLTB efforts you can donation at any BECU.
For more information email the MTLB at firstname.lastname@example.org. Anyone wanting to get involved can contact them at www.ml-tb.org, their Facebook page or call 360-975-3654.