William O. Douglas Trail Opening Celebration
The official opening of the William O. Douglas Trail was celebrated on June 9 at Davis High School in Yakima, Douglas’ alma mater, and one of the trailheads.
In 2005, the William O. Douglas Trail Foundation spearheaded the William O. Douglas Trail Task Force, to create a trail to honor its namesake, William O. Douglas, the longest-serving justice in the history of the US Supreme Court, and who grew up in Yakima. As a boy, Douglas roamed the hills and mountains from Yakima to Mount Rainier.
Since the inception of the Task Force, CCC and volunteers have been working diligently to make this trail - from Yakima to Mount Rainier National Park - a reality. When complete, the trail will showcase many places that were significant to Douglas. The plans are to designate this tail as a National Recreation Trail, which requires intricate agreements between CCC and land agencies. While most of the trail already exists in smaller segments, such as dayhikes to Kloochman Rock, Snow Mountain Ranch and Cowiche Canyon, connector trails are needed to complete the whole.
CCC’s Ray Paolella, who first conceived the idea of the trail, hiked the entire route in 2006 (see WTA article here). Saturday’s celebration highlighted six trails that people can currently hike, and included trailhead hosts at the six trailhead locations in order to give the public an understanding of the significance of the William O. Douglas Trail.