Iron Horse State Park Trail Planning

The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission recently completed the first phase of planning for the eastern section of Iron Horse State Park Trail. Iron Horse State Park is a linear park comprised of most of the former 287-mile Milwaukee Road Railroad corridor. Planning for the 110 mile western portion of the Iron Horse State Park trail from Cedar Falls (near North Bend) to Beverly Bridge on the west side of the Columbia River was completed in 2000. In 2014, State Parks completed planning for the 34 mile section of railroad corridor between Malden and the Idaho border. This planning process addressed the remaining 140 mile portion of the John Wayne Pioneer Trail that extends from Beverly Bridge to Malden.

Eastern WA Trails with Trailheads

Planning Process

The purpose of the planning process is to engage the public through a series of community meetings. Through the four planning stages described below, the CAMP process established land classifications, identified resource management and adjoining property owner issues, and proposed approaches for addressing concerns based on careful analysis of resource inventories, technical information, and an issue-based public planning process.

Advisory Committee

As part of the planning process, in December 2015 the State Parks Director appointed a 12-member Advisory Committee that included stakeholders representing a broad array of trail interests. The committee advised State Parks by providing background information, assisting with framing trail issues and options to address them, hearing public input and providing the depth and detail required to work towards practical and innovative solutions. The following interests were represented on the Advisory Committee:

  • Adjacent Landowners
  • Tekoa Trestle and Trails Association
  • Agriculture
  • Tourism and Economic Development
  • Natural Resources
  • Historic and Cultural Resources
  • Hikers/Walkers
  • Cyclists
  • Equestrians
  • Utility provider
To hear input from members of the broader public, State Parks staff held four public meetings in geographically distinct locations with proximity to the trail. The following public meetings were held:

  • March 7th in Cheney
  • March 8th in Ellensburg
  • May 10th in Preston
  • May 11th in Ritzville
Materials from the five Advisory Committee meetings and the four public meetings can be found below.

State Parks and Recreation Commission July 21, 2016 meeting in Clarston

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Contact Us 

Randy Kline, Project Lead
P.O. Box 42650
Olympia, WA 98504
Ph:  (360) 902-8632
Fx:  (360) 586-0207

Stage One – Identify issues and concerns

The purpose of this stage is to understand what is important to the park community, what to change or save in the state park. This helps get a sense of the range and type of issues that need to be considered through the planning process.

Stage Two – Exploring alternative approaches

At this stage, the planning team suggests potential alternative approaches to address the various issues and concerns raised by people in stage one. No preferred alternative is established; rather this is an opportunity to understand the range of possibilities.

Stage Three – Preparing preliminary recommendations

The best ideas from the alternative approaches developed in stage two are combined into a preliminary plan in this stage. The plan includes recommendations for use and development of land, changes to property boundaries and ways to address issues raised during the planning process. Another important document completed at this stage is the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) checklist that describes environmental impacts of the recommendations.

Stage Four – Preparing final recommendations

At stage four, final adjustments are made to recommendations and submitted to the seven-member Parks and Recreation Commission for approval. The public is encouraged to attend the Commission meeting and provide testimony or to provide written comment.

Miscellaneous documents