Moore’s Restaurant
January 18, 2019 – 12:23 am | 5 Comments

If you were around in the area in the 70s and 80s, then you are familiar with Moore family. The Moore Family Mountain Crafts in Ashford, Washington provided a place for a multitude of talented …

Read the full story »
The Native Americans

The First Settlers

The Early 1900s

The 30s, 40s and 50s

To The Present

Home » To The Present

New Zoo Park – Northwest Trek

Submitted by on March 6, 2011 – 6:46 amNo Comment

Original Northwest Trek Map

Original Northwest Trek Map

Forty years ago, in 1971, an article ran in the Dispatch about the development of a “535-acre Zoo-Park”. This facility, tentatively called Northwoods Trek, would “exhibit, propagate and preserve predominately native Northwest and Alaska species of wildlife in their natural habitat,” and potentially bring in 500,000 people a year.

Large Donation
A local couple — Dr. David Hellyer and his wife Connie — had already donated the large tract of land. He was a 58-year-old Tacoma pediatrician and they operated a cattle ranch outside Eatonville. Their gift was substantial in more than just acres. The couple had recently been offered $1 million for the site by a developer — approximately $5.5 million in today’s dollars.

Plans were already in the works for this self-supporting Zoo-Park. It would be stocked with elk, buffalo, antelope, moose, muskoxen and more; and the offspring would stock the Point Defiance Zoo.

Noah’s Ark
The whole thing sounded a little like Noah’s Ark. Then Parks Director, W.O. Glundberg told folks that for the next year, one pair of each kind of animal would be released in the park to determine the numbers of each species the acreage could support. A $50,000 loan was being secured to pay for a two-year animal acquisition program.

How they were going to move people around this zoo-park was still a mystery. There was talk though of an “aerial tramway” to allow visitors great views.

The article ran in 1971 and Northwest Trek opened to the public in 1975.

A few interesting facts 40 years later
• The park has grown to over 722 acres.
• Attendance never did reach 500,000, but a 210,356 record was set when the grizzly and black bear exhibit opened in 1993.
• Since it opened, over 4 million people have visited.
• In 2006 Dr. Hellyer passed away, leaving an amazing legacy.



Leave a comment!

Add your comment below, or trackback from your own site. You can also subscribe to these comments via RSS.

Be nice. Keep it clean. Stay on topic. No spam.

You can use these tags:
<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

This is a Gravatar-enabled weblog. To get your own globally-recognized-avatar, please register at Gravatar.