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Help Shape the Future of John Wayne Trail

Hikers have another chance to help Washington State Parks determine the future for the John Wayne Pioneer Trail at two public meetings in Preston (near Issaquah) and Ritzville.

A view of a trestle bridge along the John Wayne Pioneer Trail near Rattlesnake Lake. Photo by wafflesnfalafel.

Hikers will have another chance to help Washington State Parks determine the future for the John Wayne Pioneer Trail next week at two public meetings in Preston (near Issaquah) and Ritzville.

The John Wayne Pioneer Trail is the state's longest rail-trail, reaching across Washington from east to west.

Goal: Access and collaborative management in 140-mile section

The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission has begun a planning process to shape the future of the eastern section of Iron Horse State Park and the John Wayne Pioneer 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. The current planning process will address the remaining 140 mile portion of the John Wayne Pioneer Trail that extends from Beverly Bridge (where it crosses the Columbia River at Beverly) to Malden.

At the end of 2015, State Parks began working with a citizen advisory committee to address management concerns and plan for recreational use on this section of the trail. WTA has been included on the committee and continues to advocate for access and collaborative management between the state and communities along the trail.


Attend a meeting in Preston or Ritzville

May 10 in Preston

  • The meeting will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Preston Community Center, 8625 310th Ave., Preston.

May 11 in Ritzville

  • The second meeting is 6 to 8 p.m. at the Washington Association of Wheat Growers, 109 E. First, Ritzville.

State Parks said in an email the meetings will begin with a presentation followed by a breakout session to collect public comments on trail-related issues, including noxious weed and vegetation management, trailhead and camping opportunities, fencing and trail-use permits. Learn more and view a map here.

Can't attend? Comment online

If you're unable to attend one of the meetings, comments can be submitted online at Washington State Parks' website.

Show your support for the trail by sending in a comment to let State Parks know that you use or would like to use the trail. Consider letting them know how you recreate on the trail and provide any ideas for trailhead locations, camping opportunities or your thoughts on any other trail-related issue that the John Wayne Trail faces.

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