State Parks blazes ahead with cross-state trails

In 2016, the Washington State Parks Commission adopted a special resolution reconfirming its commitment to the cross-state recreation trail system. State Parks currently operates five long-distance trails that pass through varied terrain, statewide. Most have trailheads along the route, and some offer opportunities for multi-day excursions. The trails are for non-motorized recreation, including hiking, cycling and horseback riding, as well as non-motorized winter recreation during the snowy months. State Parks progress this year:

Iron Horse State Park Trail:

Adjacent property owners and recreational users expressed concerns about 2015 legislative discussion about the future of the Iron Horse State Park Trail. State Parks formed an advisory committee representing diverse interests and met to gather input and hear concerns. Parks also held four meetings in various Eastern Washington locations last spring to engage the public on trail plan recommendations.

As a result, the Commission adopted land-use classifications, long-term boundaries and increased its trail management efforts. In 2017-19, State Parks is requesting funds for tunnel, trestle and culvert repairs; trail development on the Malden to Lind section; trailheads at Rosalia and Tekoa and staff, along with $438,000 for operation and stewardship.

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Learn more about Iron Horse State Park Trail planning

Willapa Hills State Park Trail: In May, 2016, Washington State Parks completed construction on four beautiful new trestle bridges along the Willapa Hills State Park Trail—with funding from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the Washington Wildlife Recreation Program, Lewis County Community Trails , Washington State Parks Foundation and The Boeing Company. The new bridges and surfacing help open up 22 continuous miles of developed trail between Chehalis and Pe Ell. State Parks will request funding in 2017-19 to construct a trail crossing at State Route 6.

View photos from the June 18, 2016 Willapa Hills trail bridges dedication.

Other trail progress:

  • Centennial Trail State Park: In summer of 2016, Friends of Centennial Trail, Avista Utilities and Washington State Parks together celebrated a 2-mile extension of the trail from Sontag Community Park west of Spokane, to Nine-Mile Recreation Area on Lake Spokane.
  • Klickitat State Park Trail: Parks’ 2017-19 budget requests will include funding for bridge and trail development near Suburbia, on the Klickitat Trail.
  • More information about State Parks trails