lake serene trail

The Lake Serene Trail has long been of Washington’s most popular day hikes. In Ira Spring and Harvey Manning’s “100 Classic Hikes in Washington” it is described as a “jewel of the first order.” More than 45,000 people of all ages and abilities enjoy its stunning beauty each year.
This popular trail crossed land privately owned by Weyerhaeuser, one of the world’s largest private timberland owners. Weyerhaeuser was willing to sell the land for conservation if the necessary funding could be raised.
Committed to protecting the beautiful and tranquil experience of hiking an unspoiled Lake Serene Trail, an urgent grassroots fundraising campaign was launched. Forterra mobilized quickly with help from the community of hikers and climbers, as well as active partners in the nonprofit and outdoor retail sectors to save the Lake Serene Trail.
The total cost of the project was just over $800,000. The Snohomish County Conservation Futures program pledged roughly half of this amount and other planned funding proposals brought the raised amount to around $525,000. This left a crucial gap of $275,000 to be raised during late summer and early fall before the October 30th deadline. Forterra and its partners joined together to publicize the effort. This determined group knew it would take the support of the community to make this hope a reality.

a true all-hands community effort

More than 600 community members contributed to the campaign, which was propelled by a challenge grant from an anonymous couple who had their first hike at Lake Serene and a generous last-minute gift from an anonymous Seattle Foundation donor honoring the memory of a young friend.

While the Lake Serene Trail only traversed a small part of the full 190-acre inholding, Weyerhaeuser offered to sell the entire parcel. To secure the best value, Forterra and Weyerhaeuser agreed on a plan for the company to first harvest second and third growth timber on a 57-acre portion of the property located away from the trail, allowing for a lower purchase price and a supply of timber for local mills.

Forterra worked with the landowner to preserve and limit the timber harvest to less than half of the property, protecting the creek that carries water from Bridal Veil Falls through the property, and preventing logging operations from crossing the trail. This minimizes the impact to users and going forward, public access to the trail will never again be restricted.


A community effort of over 600 supporters raised funds to save the Lake Serene Trail. The purchase of this iconic 190-acre property guaranteed permanent public access to Lake Serene Trail’s breathtaking views, waterfalls and reflective alpine lake—forever.


get involved

To support work like this make a donation or sign up for our newsletter to stay up-to-date on Forterra’s latest projects.

lastest updates

Forterra closed on the Lake Serene Trail in October 2018 with opportunities to steward the property and supplement Weyerhaeuser’s reforestation by planting additional trees to provide for a diversity of species.

related news

explore related projects

Scroll to Top


Sign up for our newsletter and follow us to stay connected, keep up with our work and secure the places you love.