After a parking issues around the Rattlesnake Lake Recreation Area in North Bend caused nearby residents to take to social media to express safety concerns, on Friday, August 21st, the Cedar River Watershed Education Center said some closed parking lot areas would be reopened.
According to the Cedar Watershed Education Center Facebook post, “Starting this weekend, the closed parking areas at the Rattlesnake Lake Recreation Area will be open. Hopefully this will ease the congestion and unsafe parking.”
Seattle Public Utilities, which owns and manages the Rattlesnake Lake Rec Area, partially reopened the popular lake on June 11th after COVID-19 distancing concerns had closed it for nearly 3 months.
SPU’s reopening plan, though, installed cement barriers in the parking lot and reduced parking to 70 cars and 10 boat trailers to “help maintain social distancing.”
Opening the lot will provide 70 more vehicle parking spots and 10 more boat spots. SPU said they decided to make the change in an effort to “reduce the impact on the neighborhood caused by overcrowded street parking.”
SPU said the statewide mandating face coverings be worn outdoors – when physical distancing can’t be maintained – remains in effect during the pandemic
The Rattlesnake Ledge Trail remains closed, although local residents say many people are ignoring the multiple closure signs and fencing and hiking the narrow trail anyway. The overflow parking lot closer to the Cedar River Watershed Education Center will also remain closed.
According to Sabrina Register of Seattle Public Utilities, “SPU has posted signs, including reader board messages along Cedar Falls Road, to remind visitors that Rattlesnake Ledge Trail remains closed. We also installed a fence at the trailhead to discourage use. There are signs near and at Rattlesnake Lake Recreation Area requiring visitors to use masks and socially distance, per Public Health guidelines.”
Last weekend, North Bend residents living near Rattlesnake Lake reported approximately two miles of parked cars lining Cedar Falls Road, some blocking access to the lake area and trail access if emergency crews were called.
Area resident Melissa Grant (and Living Snoqualmie writer) said parking on Cedar Falls Road it was as bad as she’d seen it in 15 years.
King County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Ryan Abbott said deputies will continue to respond to calls and said those who see parking issues in the area can call 911 to report violations.