During summer 2003 Snohomish PUD constructed a new bridge across the Sultan River at the powerhouse. Unfortunately for river runners and fishermen, this bridge eliminated the historic social trails to the water that provided important river access. Paddlers continued to access the river but this involved climbing over sediment fencing, and with no clearly defined route, resource degradation issues began to develop in an area the PUD had identified for riparian restoration.
Members of the boating community raised concerns with staff from the PUD regarding the issues related to river access, and expressed a need for a site restoration plan that incorporated an appropriate and clearly defined access point. Following these discussions, the PUD did a great job of incorporating boater comments and during the summer of 2004 developed an improved river access site that is now being used by paddlers.
The new trail, in conjunction with restored weekend access to the west side of the river following a safety and security assessment, greatly enhances recreational opportunities on this river. The Sultan River continues to be a great whitewater resource enjoyed by the recreational whitewater community living in Western Washington.