Monday, August 12, 2019

Leavenworth, WA & Waterfront Park Trail

  Leavenworth was founded in the 1890s as a lumber town highly dependent of the Great Northern Railroad. In the 1920s the railroad was rerouted away from the town to a safer less avalanche prone path and the lumber mills closed, The depression years of the 1930s added another blow to the town’s economy.

   Local business owners and civic groups started working together in the 1960s to come up with a plan to revitalize the town. The deep valley and steep mountain scenery resembles the alps in Germany so the idea of remodeling the town to resemble a Bavarian village made sense. Today every building in the main section of town follows the Bavarian theme to some degree and tourists flock to the town to enjoy the ambiance and eat, drink, and shop.
   We walked/rolled around town but since we’re not shoppers we just admired the work that went into transforming a turn of the century logging town into a Bavarian village before heading to the Waterfront Park. The Waterfront Park Trail is about 1 mile long, one way, and travels through the woods and along the Wenatchee River.
    Wheelchair access in town is spotty. The sidewalk along US-2, the main route through town, has steep slopes at the cut outs for entry to hotels and other businesses. About a third of the businesses have steps at the entry. The Waterfront Trail is hardpacked dirt for easy rolling but the bridge ends are not flush to the ground and wheelchairs users may need assistance. The trail is on the flood plain and located down a steep hill from the town so drive to Enchantment Park where there’s a lot large enough for RVs.

   Oversized vehicles parking is not allowed in most lots and street parking is at a premium however the city has designated a lot at the west end of town for RV parking. It’s free and overnight parking is permitted for one night every seven days. It’s an easy walk into town. Leavenworth  47.5914, -120.67049


  1. Great idea to transform a dying Washington town into a Bavarian Alps town, and it looks like it's worked. Smart.