pierce county logo Pierce County mount rainier left mount rainier mount rainier left
Parks & Recreation
horizontal page banner

The Foothills Trail

                  Foothills Trail Map

                  View the Foothills Trail Map in pdf format

                  About the Trail

                  The Foothills Trail is a 12-foot wide non-motorized asphalt trail/linear park suitable for bicycles, walking, in-line skates and wheel chairs. It also has a soft shoulder path for equestrians.

                  Completed paved sections include 15 miles from Meeker to the South Prairie Creek in South Prairie and a 1.8 mile section in Buckley. Our future plan is to continue the trail to Sumner where we will connect with the Interurban Trail that now extends through Kent and Auburn. The trail in Buckley will continue east to Enumclaw and King County.

                  The Foothills Trail has been constructed in sections as finances, environmental permits and county ownership have allowed. When complete, the trail will be more than 28 miles in length.

                  Rail-Trail History

                  A Rail-Trail is an abandoned railbed used as a non-motorized public trail with transportation and recreation in mind. There are over 10,000 miles of rail trail in the U.S. Some abandoned rail lines have been rail-banked which keeps the corridor in one ownership. However, to assemble the Foothills Trail, each segment of trail was painstakingly purchased or, in some cases. donated to Pierce County. Federal and state grant funds are used to construct the trial segments into existing and ongoing Foothills Trail.

                  Burlington Northern Railway abandoned the railbed in 1982. The effort started in 1984 when a Buckley physician and a community visionary organized the Foothills Rails-to-Trails Coalition to assist Pierce County Parks in building the trail. Despite roadblocks, construction of the trail is ongoing and thousands of users are already enjoying its benefits.

                  Trail Partners

                  Development of the Foothills Trail would not have been possible without the partnership of the Foothills Rails-to-Trails Coaltion who have provided countless volunteer hours, fundraising efforts, and advocacy for nonmotorized transportation in Pierce County.

                  For further information on the Foothills Rails-to-Trails Coalition please call (253)841-2570 or visit the Foothills Rails-to-Trails Coalition website.

                  What's New

                  Trail Opening

                  Foothills Trail Opening June 28, 2007

                  June 28, 2007 marked the opening of the entire length of the Foothills Trail, extending from Buckley through the Town of South Priarie, City of Orting and into the City of Puyallup.

                  Pictured left to right:
                  John Downs, Foothills Coalition Vice Pres, Markus Dennis, Foothills Coalition President, Kathy Kravit-Smith, Pierce County Parks Director, and Mitch Nelson, Pierce County Parks Supervisor.

                  The trail opening was held at the City of Buckley's southern border on highway 165 where a happy crowd of local dignitaries and trail supporters gathered in liquid sunshine to hear Pierce County Parks Director Kathy Kravit-Smith pay homage to Doctor Tate and give thanks to the Foothills Trail Coalition for their dedication and public service. Other speakers included the Mayor of Buckley, Pat Johnson.

                  Through the countless hours of volunteer labor from the Foothills Trail Coalition and the resourcefulness of Pierce Conty and City employees, the Foothills Trail is now almost fully paved. Over the past few years, both the improved and unimproved sections of the trail have been in use and have supported major events such as the R2R Rainier to Ruston Run.

                  Park Facilities | Special Events | Recreation/Sports
                  Path & Trails | Golf Courses | Conservation Futures
                  Donations | Volunteer Opportunities | Partnerships | Contact Us

                  Pierce County Parks & Recreation, Washington State

                  Parks & Recreation

                  The benefits are endless
                  Privacy Policy | Text Only Version | Webmaster

                  Copyright 1996-2007 Pierce County Washington. All rights reserved.
                  Last Modified
                  2/25/2008 11:26:35 AM
                  "The most effective way of making people
                   accept the validity of the values they are
                   to serve is to persuade them that they are
                   really the same as those which they...
                   have always held, but which were not
                  properly understood or recognized before.
                   And the most efficient technique to this
                   end is to use the old words but change
                  their meaning. Few traits of totalitarian regimes
                   are at the same time so confusing to the superficial
                  observer and yet so characteristic of the whole
                  intellectual climate as the complete perversion
                  of language, the change of meaning of the words
                   by which the ideals of the new regimes are expressed."
                   -- F. A. Hayek