This week, we made multiple visits to Rattlesnake Lake, a local gem at the foot of the Rattlesnake Ridge (also known as Rattlesnake Ledge or Rattlesnake Mountain) located south of North Bend, Washington.
Rattlesnake Mountain is the easternmost mountain of the Issaquah Alps. Due to its expansive views and proximity to Seattle it has become a very popular destination for thousands of hikers all year round.
According to an old The Seattle Times' article, the "lake and nearby ridge are said to have gotten their inapt name from Seattle pioneer Arthur Denny when the rattle of seed pods on a nearby meadow frightened a road surveyor into thinking he was being attacked by a rattler. The surveyor didn't know there were no poisonous snakes in Western Washington."
The famous ledge has three parts. The lowest\main one is the largest and most popular. It provides the best view of the lake, but the highest one, which is a short hike up and just over 300 vertical feet above the main ledge, has grand views of the valley and Mt Si.
In Summer, the lowest ledge is packed with people but even on cold, rainy days you are bound to pass plenty of hikers going up and down this beautiful trail lined with massive moss covered boulders and magnificent cedar trees. Currently, you can spot some of the gorgeous trilliums still flowering along the trail. In mid August, when the Earth passes through streams of cosmic debris that originated from the Swift-Tuttle comet, Rattlesnake Ledge becomes a great viewing platform for those who enjoy watching the Perseids.
Rattlesnake Lake hides an old secret under its emerald green waters - a drowned ghost town originally called Moncton, but later renamed Cedar Falls. "Moncton was once a stop along the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul & Pacific Railroad, also known as the Milwaukee Road. The town met its demise in 1915 when Masonry Dam was constructed on the hillside above to provide Seattle with power and water. The dam created Chester Morse Lake, and water from the lake slowly seeped through glacial soils that lay between it and the town site. Moncton was soon submerged under the waters of what is now known as Rattlesnake Lake."
"Today you can stroll a paved path or walk the lakeshore to find the remains of Moncton. When the waters are high you may have difficulty spotting the lake’s secret, but in the fall the water level is often low enough to reveal foundations, stumps, an old fireplace, and other reminders of the town that once was."
We also made sure to check out the Cedar River Watershed Education Center and listen to the captivating music of their African drums played by rhythmically falling waterdrops.
To paraphrase William Butler Yeats:
“Time drops in decay,