Trestle closes last major gap along Palouse to Cascades State Park Trail between North Bend and the Columbia River
OLYMPIA – April 29, 2021 – Washington State Parks announced today that the Renslow Trestle is now open for non-motorized recreation. The trestle is located about 6 miles east of the town of Kittitas.
This announcement comes as good news to hikers, bikers and equestrians who use the Palouse to Cascades State Park Trail. The trestle completion closes the last major gap on the trail between North Bend and the Columbia River, allowing for roughly 100 miles of unimpeded — and safer — travel for recreationists.
The trestle crosses the busy I-90 highway. Previously, people had to take a detour along Prater and Boylston roads, both of which have poor visibility and no shoulder.
To make the trestle safe and navigable for pedestrians, bicyclists and equestrians, contractors attached concrete decking to the existing steel trestle and added safety railing. The decking and railing design work began in May of 2019, and construction began in July 2020. The project was funded by a grant from the Recreation and Conservation Office’s Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program.
Background on the Renslow Trestle
The Renslow Trestle is a remnant of the old Milwaukee Road Railroad, which went bankrupt in the late 1970s. In 1983, the state legislature enabled the Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to acquire a portion of the Milwaukie Railroad right-of-way through a grant.
During the 2006 legislative session, this portion of the then-named Milwaukee Road Corridor was transferred from DNR to State Parks as were portions of the corridor from Lind, WA, and the Idaho border. All trestles and tunnels were part of that acquisition.
Since that time, the U.S. Army acquired the property that includes the trail between the Renslow Trestle and the Columbia River as part of an expansion of the Yakima Training Center (YTC). The training center is an active firing range used for military training. An agreement in September 1991 created a partnership between the Army and State Parks to keep the trail open for users through the YTC.
About the Palouse to Cascades State Park Trail
From the densely forested Cascades to the scablands carved by the Ice Age floods, Palouse to Cascades State Park Trail gives hikers, cyclists and, in some places, equestrians, a taste of Washington’s diversity. In the past, sections of the 285-mile-long trail were known as the Iron Horse Trail and the John Wayne Pioneer Trail. In 2018, the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission unanimously voted to give the trail a new name that better reflects its importance as a long-distance cross-state trail.
News media contact:
Toni Droscher, Communications Office, (360) 902-8604
About Washington State Parks
The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission manages more than 100 state parks and properties totaling approximately 120,000 acres. The Commission provides a variety of recreation opportunities for citizens and provides stewardship protection for a diverse array of natural, cultural and historic resources. State Parks’ statewide programs include long-distance trails, boating safety and winter recreation.
News release number: 21-021