One of the longest rail-trails in the US just underwent a name change.
The Washington Parks and Recreation Commission voted on Thursday to change the name of the John Wayne Pioneer Trail to the Palouse to Cascades State Park Trail.
The new name reflects the trail’s geographical stretch across Washington state from the rolling Palouse in the east to the snow-capped Cascade Range in the west.
The commission and staff has been pondering a name change for the past couple of years. The plan is coupled with efforts to upgrade parts of the trail, especially in the eastern part of the state where several sections have remained largely undeveloped since the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul & Pacific Railroad abandoned the line in the 1980s.
The state will update the parks signs, materials, and other information as resources permit.
The old railroad corridor runs for nearly 300 miles from Rattlesnake Lake in the foothills above North Bend to the Idaho border near Tekoa.
The busiest section is the 20 miles from the 2.2-mile Snoqualmie Tunnel at Hyak downhill to Rattlesnake Lake.
The 110-mile section of trail between Rattlesnake Lake and the Columbia River is within the Iron Horse State Park, as is a 105-mile stretch from Lind to the Idaho border. The rest of the corridor is either under private ownership or controlled by the state Department of Natural Resources.
For more information on the trail:
Iron Horse Trail State Park – state parks
John Wayne Pioneer Trail – DNR (at the Naneum Ridge State Forest website)