Cedar River Watershed newsletter, Issue 28
Discover Learn Connect
Connecting people to the source of Seattle's drinking water, inspiring confidence, stewardship and sustainability.
Questions? Comments? Contact Cedar River Watershed Education Center
or (206) 733-9421

Wisdom Begins in Wonder

Watersherd survey camp in 1910

The view of the watershed inspires hikers at Rattlesnake Ledge

Did you know the mission of the Cedar River Watershed Education Center is “connecting people to the source of Seattle’s drinking water and its unique cultural and natural history, inspiring confidence, stewardship and sustainability”? What does all that really mean? One of the key words is connections. The Education Center and Rattlesnake Lake Recreation Area are the gateway to the Cedar River Watershed. Everyone who visits has created, at the very least, a memory that is shaped by the watershed. Often they gain much more. As Socrates stated, “wisdom begins in wonder”.

Here, wonder can take many forms. Almost 300,000 people climb the ledge trail each year. Many who stand on the ledge wonder what body of water they are seeing in the distance. In turn, that curiosity leads them to the center. Here they learn about Chester Morse Lake and Seattle’s drinking water. Even those not seeking an outdoor experience can feel the magic of the watershed. Of the 30,000 yearly visitors about 4,000 of them come to the center for meetings, parties and weddings. While these folks don’t come for hikes or education, they find themselves immersed in the experience of water: the sounds of the rain drums, the views, and watershed maps. All of these foster new understandings.

In 1911, the watershed was officially closed to public access, and the City of Seattle began to acquire property to protect water quality, including using condemnation proceedings to remove homesteads and towns. Trains continued through, but bathrooms were locked while within the municipal watershed. The last train passed through in 1980, and by 1988 the tracks were gone.

One opportunity to dive into the wonder of the watershed is by attending our Signature Tours on summer weekends. Stand at the source of the water you drink, with wilderness all around, and make connections that last a lifetime. Sign up to experience the wonder of the Cedar River Watershed.

Did You Know?

 Men posing with a railway motor car, 1914

Masonry Dam from Vista Viewpoint.

Built to generate electricity for Seattle, the Masonry Dam was constructed on the Cedar River between 1912-1914. Engineers employed cyclopean masonry consisting of boulders, rocks, and gravel from nearby gravel beds to build the 215-foot high, 1000-foot long wall. At the time, it was one of the largest dams in the world. Come see it for yourself! Register for one of our Signature Watershed Tours for a chance to walk on this wonder and explore the source of your drinking water.

Breaking News

Get 50% off

Get half off adult tickets for The Watershed Tour! Enter code: H2OADULT. Good for up to 4 adult-priced tickets per registration. Cannot be combined with other offers. Expires 8/8/2016. See Signaure Tours to register

Family Watershed Tour

Only $5 per seat!
Every Saturday & Sunday. July 9 through September 4 from 2:00 – 3:00. See Signaure Tours to register

Visit Us

Education Center

19901 Cedar Falls Rd SE
North Bend, WA 98045

April thru October
Tuesday - Sunday
10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

November thru March
Tuesday - Sunday
10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Rattlesnake Lake Recreation Area

19901 Cedar Falls Rd SE
North Bend, WA 98045
All Year
6:00 a.m. – Dusk


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Cedar River Watershed  email   |  (206) 733-9421  |  (425) 831-6780