We at Issaquah+Sammamish are incredibly proud of our region. The combination of natural beauty and man-made aspirations makes our pocket of the Pacific Northwest unique. The rich history of our towns and the community spirit that dwells therein, help the landscape to sit long in the hearts and minds of residents and visitors alike. It is for these reasons and more, we have chosen to present this Visitor’s Guide. We hope that all new and returning visitors to the area may be captivated by the essence of the Northwest; we hope residents may find new treasures to explore and all may be enthralled by the unique and inspiring features of Issaquah and Sammamish.
Treasures of our town
While this issue focuses on many of the wonderful features of our community, we can’t include everything worthy of note. Aging and new, adventurous and serene—here are a few of our favorites. The treasures of our town. ☛
Lake Sammamish State Park
Lake Sammamish State Park is a 512-acre day-use park with 6,858 feet of beautiful waterfront on Lake Sammamish. The lake itself is perfect for water-sports and real moments of serenity. The park provides deciduous forest and wetland vegetation for the enjoyment of visitors. A salmon-bearing creek and a great-blue-heron rookery make this state park a wonderful place to experience. parks.wa.gov
The Issaquah Salmon Days is a two-day award-winning festival, held from 10am to 6pm on both Saturday and Sunday of the first full weekend of October. It is initiated by a parade, celebrating the return of the salmon to their birth-waters. This free festival showcases over 270 arts and crafts artisans, attracting many Northwest artists. These artisans feature wood, glass, jewelry, paintings, pottery and metal artworks for sale. There are five event stages, including cover bands, a kids’ stage and a dedicated Bluegrass stage. salmondays.org
Boehms Candy Store
The famed Candy factory with chocolates “as high as the alps in quality” offers over 150 chocolate confections, produced by master Candy Makers. The Factory-Store produces everything from American favorites like Caramels, English Toffee and Peanut Brittle, to European specialties like Mozart Kugeln, Chocolate Marzipan, and Brandied Cordial Cherries. Visit today for a delicious taste of Issaquah. boehmscandies.com
Views of Mt. Rainier
One of the most humbling experiences available in Issaquah is to stand in awe of the grand stature of Washington’s most famous peak. Mt. Rainier can be viewed from various points throughout the area with staggering clarity. We suggest the view is best enjoyed from the lofty heights of Poo Poo Point. See page 24 for more information. myparksandrecreation.com
A hub of activities featuring festivals, trade shows and celebrations, this quaint meeting place has been at the center of the Issaquah social scene for years. A favorite amongst business owners for conferences, this diverse property provides a historical setting and ideal facilities. Updated regularly and housing a beautiful garden, This Issaquah favorite is most certainly worth a visit. ci.issaquah.wa.us
Heavily featured in these very pages, no one need tell you how highly we value the unrivalled beauty of these cascade foothills. Winding trails and stunning vistas are all on offer just minutes from the bustle of suburbia. Trails cater to the adventurous hiker and the leisurely rambler alike. For a truly authentic northwest experience, there really is no better location. issaquahalps.org
Issaquah Creek Trail
Now known as the Issaquah-Preston Trail, this picturesque byway links our home in Issaquah and the town of Preston. The trail features a newer section between High Point and SE High Point Way which is embedded with hard-packed gravel. The trail intersects the southern terminus of the E. Lake Sammamish Trail at I-90. The most convenient place to begin is at Pickering Farm in Issaquah, which has a paved city path leading to the actual start of the Issaquah-Preston Trail. traillink.com
The acclaimed regional theatre employs top Pacific Northwest artists, and has work-shopped such shows as the Tony-award winning musical Next to Normal. Combining an incredible mix of local interest projects and Broadway classics, this Issaquah theatre has established itself as a treasure of the arts and theatre scene in the region. villagetheatre.org
Snoqualmie Falls is a 268 ft (82 m) waterfall on the Snoqualmie River between Snoqualmie and Fall City. It is one of Washington’s most popular scenic attractions, but is perhaps best known internationally for its appearance in the cult television series Twin Peaks. More than 1.5 million visitors come to the Falls every year, where there is a two acre (8,000 m²) park, an observation deck, and a gift shop. The majesty of the falls never fails to leave tourists and locals standing in awe of the power of nature. snoqualmiefalls.com
The Issaquah Hatchery was constructed in 1936. The hatchery was established to restore the historic salmon runs that once thrived in Issaquah Creek but had been destroyed by logging, coal mining and other activities in the Issaquah Creek Basin. Now each year the hatchery, which is owned and operated by the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), serves as the epicenter for Issaquah Salmon Days. With many of the area’s Salmon captured within the hatchery for counting, this makes for an interesting and educational experience. issaquahfish.org
Historic Railroad Depot and Museum
Originally incorporated to the town of Gilman in 1892, Issaquah was a center of coal mining activity in the late 19th century. The Seattle, Lake Shore and Eastern Railway constructed a modest Queen Anne-style depot building in 1889. Now operated by the Issaquah Historical Society, the depot has been restored to its original grandeur. A steam engine in front of the depot showcases the history of logging in the area. discoverissaquah.com/issaquah-historic-attractions ❖
By Jane Garrison
The early settlers grew hops, milled timber and mined coal to sell in Seattle. They built houses, churches, taverns, social halls, schools, businesses and civic buildings to accommodate all aspects of civil life. Their structures were built with hand-hewn local materials. Their passion and their blood are in them. Some of these early buildings still stand, and their aura pervades the entire community, giving Issaquah a unique presence in residents’ hearts and minds today. Big change came in 1940 with the opening of the first floating bridge across Lake Washington. Issaquah went from being a farm community to a suburb of Seattle. Highway 10, now Gilman Boulevard, was built as part of a direct link over the Cascades. Big signs, bright colors and theme styles dominated architecture to attract motorists to the new businesses along the highway. Standout structures from that era include the Triple XXX and Boehm’s Candies. We can still experience both the passion of those early Issaquah settlers and the zany excitement of the car culture by just walking through the old sections of our town. ❖
Trails, Tails, and Poo Poo Point
How to tame a tiger
By Reisha Holton
It takes me two attempts to get most things right. My SAT score, my first marriage, my first pot roast. I am the poster child of second chances. So when I set out to climb Tiger Mountain to Poo Poo Point, my pattern was on repeat.
Most locals have heard of Poo Poo Point. It’s the trail name that tickles a toddler’s tongue. It’s the trail that tests Issaquah’s trademark hang gliders. It’s the trail name that has two histories behind its name. One story is based on the railroad system that used to run trains from Seattle nto Gilman and out to North Bend. When train whistles drifted through the forests up to the highest point on the trail, the onomato-poetic “poo poo” replaced choo choo. However, this here town has logging roots and that’s where others rest their case. Loggers used a powerful winch called a steam donkey to move logs to a loading location. The winch worked with a steam whistle and the pitch echoed “poo poo”. You take your pick of the tales.
The most direct route up to Poo Poo Point is called the Chirico Trail and is named for the Seattle Paragliding owner, Marc Chirico. The steep, almost two mile trail took three years and a lot of hands to build, but is single handedly maintained by Mike McKillop today. You may see him bent over the trail that starts at the landing field off Issaquah-Hobart Road. This trail, a single track staircase of rocks and hard packed dirt, winds upward in a series of switchbacks. But don’t let the steepness scare you. I often see a toddler teetering up the trail in sneakers, a few steps ahead of a panting parent.
This route offers challenging terrain, a creek feature most of the year, and a birch lined meadow. Rambling, you’ll reach the South Launch, a wide open meadow, perfect for picnics or napping. If you’re game, continue across the meadow to the North Launch. Fast hikers can make it to the top in 30-45 minutes, but hiking is not a race. Take your time and take plenty of water and an extra layer.
The Chirico Trail is my go-to, no-brainer training hike. But, I needed all my smarts to ace Poo Poo Point from Issaquah High School. Here are the SparkNotes: Get yourself to the back of the school. You can park where you want, but put yourself parallel to the football field. When you reach the bleachers, the ones closest to the high school, look away from the football field and you’ll see a narrow trail cut through the trees. This is the High School Trail. You’ll end up on a wide service road. Stay straight until you come to a junction that leads to the Poo Poo Point trail. There’s one more unmarked junction—stay to the right—and 100 yards further, you’ll see the sign that sends you to the official start of the hike.
This route is 4.2 miles to the top. The terrain: dusty, rock and gravel, with soft- packed rotten tree bark. Shaded cedars keep you cool on a hot day and less wet if the weather turns. You’ll reach a higher elevation on this route: 1,900 feet. There’s a serviceable restroom on the left that lets you know you’ve made it: the North Launch.
With a sense of overt satisfaction, doubling back the 4.2 miles to the car, there was no second guessing. I had tamed Tiger twice. ❖
A New Service
Keeping you safe when it matters most
Summer is just around the corner, and many area residents are busy planning a dream getaway. You may be planning a once-in-a-lifetime vacation, a trip to see family or friends, or an extended stay in a less-developed country. You may even be preparing to serve as a humanitarian-aid worker.
Whether you’ll be embarking on domestic or international travel, you need to know about possible diseases, current health hazards, emerging epidemics and the changing political climate you may encounter.
Travel medicine, which focuses on the prevention and management of health problems associated with travel, should be on your radar. “Travel medicine is about an overall assessment of your health needs and risks for your planned trip,” says Marybeth Lambe, M.D., a board-certified family practice physician at the Swedish Snoqualmie Primary Care clinic who specializes in travel medicine. “We want patients to have the best possible experience as they travel to and around their destination. A travel physician is an expert in destination-specific health risks and preventive measures who can help you evaluate the risks and prepare for a safe trip with essential information, vaccines and medications.”
During a travel-medicine appointment, Dr. Lambe reviews a patient’s itinerary and current travel conditions and advisories pertaining to his or her destination. Vaccine and medication recommendations are tailored to that corner of the globe. Dr. Lambe will also discuss any personal safety concerns the patient may have. Services at the Snoqualmie Clinic’s travel medicine program include:
■ Pre-travel consultation
■ Specialized vaccines
■ Complete health assessment
■ Tips on insect-and food-borne illness
■ Medication prescriptions for travel
■ Electronic medical records
■ Travel supply recommendations
■ Wilderness medicine
■ High-altitude care
■ Pediatric travel
■ Cruise ship information
■ Liaisons with international physicians
■ Email support during trip
In addition, Dr. Lambe addresses and responds to travelers’ disease, epidemic and vaccination issues, and maintains relationships with government agencies such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization. She has been accredited by the CDC to provide information, care and vaccinations for malaria, rabies and yellow fever.
For additional information, contact Dr. Marybeth Lambe at Swedish Snoqualmie Primary Care, 425.888.2016, swedish.org/snoqualmieclinic. ❖