Best Rail Trails Pacific Northwest  by Natalie Bartley

Best Rail Trails: Pacific Northwest Guide Book

by Natalie Bartley (Falcon Guides)
Best Rail Trails Pacific Northwest  by Natalie Bartley
Best Rail Trails Pacific Northwest is the complete guide to walking, jogging, biking, and cross-country skiing more than sixty of the best rail trails in one of the most beautiful and geographically varied reaches of America. Written by a local author with expert knowledge of the region, this easy-to-use book provides mile-by-mile descriptions of the most popular rural and urban rail trails in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, plus complete listings of the region’s other rail trails—from Washington’s Burke Gilman Trail that passes above the old sand point naval base, to Idaho’s Route of the Hiawatha Trail, renowned for its tunnels.

© 2015 Natalie Bartley/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.

Trails from the "Best Rail Trails: Pacific Northwest" Guide Book
Displaying trails 20 of 68.

Displaying trails 1 to 20 of 68.

Picture-perfect views of the Seattle skyline across Elliott Bay blend with the sounds of barking sea lions. The north end of the Alki Trail starts at Alki Beach, the Venice (California) of Puget Sound—a beachfront with blades, bikes, and bronze volleyball bodies. Follow the trail as it extends south toward an industrial area along the Duwamish River near the West Seattle Bridge. From there it’s possible to connect with the West Seattle Bridge Trail and, via neighborhood roads, the Duwamish and Green River Trails.
Seattle, WA - Hiking - Trail Length: 3.75
Portland’s beach resort town of the early 1900s sits on the northwestern tip of Oregon, where the Columbia River empties into the Pacific Ocean. Lewis and Clark’s 8,000-mile trek in search of the Northwest Passage brought them here in 1805, making this town the West’s oldest American settlement and a National Historic District. Later the Spokane, Portland & Seattle Railway brought city folk to the beach on Friday night for a weekend on the coast. Today bridges and boardwalks, canneries and cafes, docks and decks, galleries, and espresso shops decorate the riverfront with history, views, and tourist delights.
Astoria, OR - Hiking - Trail Length: 6.4
The paved Banks-Vernonia State Trail stretches through the foothills on the east side of the Oregon Coast Range, 35 miles west of Portland and 52 miles east of the coastal town of Seaside. At the north and south ends you’ll travel near the highway. As you approach the middle third of the trail, it leaves the road, climbs into the forested hills, and enters a different world. Miles of side trails in L. L. “Stub” Stewart State Park create additional options. While on the main trail, look up at two 90-foot-high, 680-foot-long wooden train trestles. Enjoy views of the Oregon Coast Range. Listen for an owl. You might see a fox, an elk, a deer, or a great blue heron.
Vernonia, OR - Birding,Cross-Country Skiing,Fishing,Hiking,Horseback Riding,Mountain Biking,Rail-Trails,Road Biking,Trail Running - Trail Length: 21
The Ben Burr Trail is carved into a basalt rock outcropping above neighborhood homes. You’ll find interesting geological formations here. The condominium building at historic Liberty Park was once the powerhouse for the electric railroad line. Future plans include paving the trail and ultimately linking it with the Spokane River Centennial Trail (Trail 28).
Spokane, WA - Hiking - Trail Length: 1.1
Running from one university town to another, this trail is a well-used urban commuter option featuring detailed interpretive signs about railroad lore and local history. Frequent benches, portable toilets, and emergency phones smooth the way for visitors. You can find free parking on the University of Idaho campus on weekends and evenings. Visitor parking permits are available for a fee at the Parking Office on campus. Metered parking spots also are available.
Moscow, ID - Hiking - Trail Length: 7
Connecting one university town to another, this trail—spanning two states—is popular with commuters and visitors. It weaves along Paradise Creek and features extensive interpretive signs detailing rail history and local points of interest. Cleverly themed “All Aboard” and capturing the spirit of rail history, this trail is an adventure in learning. Discover commonly used rail terms and learn about the natural environment as you travel the route.
Pullman, WA - Hiking - Trail Length: 6
Each visit to the greenbelt along the Boise River brings new discoveries about this wonderful resource that runs through the heart of Boise and through the Treasure Valley. Encounters with nature are common. On any given trip you might see great blue herons, mallards, Canada geese, even deer. Plus, there are numerous stops along the trail that can add variety to any outing. This description covers a section of the trail that serves as the heart of the culture- and nature-based activities on the north side of the river, from downtown Boise to Lucky Peak Reservoir.
Boise, ID - Hiking - Trail Length: 11
Seattle’s popular Burke-Gilman Trail invites you on a tour of funky Fremont, Lake Union and the ship canal, the University District, Lake Washington, and north-end neighborhoods. You’ll pass above the old Sand Point naval base and along the busy, commercial Lake City Way, as well as by a cornucopia of tempting eateries.
Seattle, WA - Hiking - Trail Length: 18.8
The Cascade Trail reaches into the Cascade foothills in rural northwestern Washington. It parallels WA 20 on the flats until it climbs to a wooded hillside near Concrete. The trail crosses over twenty trestles, which range from 10 to 2,200 feet long.
Sedro Woolley, WA - Hiking - Trail Length: 23
Beginning as a paved trail near Boeing in Renton, the Cedar River Trail heads east toward Maple Valley and Landsburg Park. The final miles of rural, wooded pathway visit the Cedar River at its most dramatic. A side trip on the Green-toCed
Renton, WA - Hiking - Trail Length: 17
This peaceful trail takes you from the Woodard Bay Natural Resource Conservation Area near Puget Sound, through a commercial district near I-5 just a few miles from the state capitol building in Olympia, then on to Chambers Lake Trailhead. Travel beside homes, farms, and ponds in the north and near stores and eateries in the south, culminating near the water at Chambers Lake. There’s a separate path for horses along portions of the trail, sometimes through the woods. Enjoy the sounds of birds, ducks, and cows on this delightful trail smartly designed for all users.
Olympia, WA - Hiking - Trail Length: 7
This trek through the 454-acre Coal Creek Natural Area takes you northwesterly through a bit of coal-mining history on your way to spectacular Cougar Mountain Regional Wildland Park. It offers woodsy tranquility and a great workout close to town.
Bellevue, WA - Hiking - Trail Length: 2.5
The remote and woodsy Colfax Trail, originally an electric interurban railway hauling passengers and later freight, currently follows the Palouse River for 3 miles. Cattle graze across the trail in a couple of areas. Keep alert for bald eagle, deer, and other wildlife. About one mile in there’s a path detouring around the closed bridge. This trail is part of a nature preserve. Please keep your dog on a leash.
Colfax, WA - Hiking - Trail Length: 3
Cowiche Canyon Trail takes you through both geological and railroading history. Slicing through a canyon and crossing the creek repeatedly, this rail trail makes for a tour that’s both dramatic and peaceful. You’ll have many opportunities to observe plant and animal life.
Yakima, WA - Hiking - Trail Length: 3
Views of West Mountain, on the far shore of Lake Cascade, add beauty to this trail. In the winter snow blankets the area, while in the spring and early summer, snow-covered mountains add contrast to the glittering lake.
Cascade, ID - Hiking - Trail Length: 3
Take a scenic desert tour in a canyon above the Deschutes River. Visit the Columbia Gorge, Hood River, Goldendale, and The Dalles and you’ve got an aesthetic, tasty, and interesting weekend. The canyon is hot, somewhat rocky, and occasionally sandy. It’s a fairly flat trail that offers a slight downhill grade on the return. Nifty features along the way include a constant view of the river and trailside fishing access.
Portland, OR - Hiking - Trail Length: 16
The Dry Creek Trail #194 parallels Dry Creek and passes through pockets of old-growth timber. It starts out flat and then climbs; your total elevation gain is nearly 400 feet. The end of the route is after Bourbon Creek, at the junction with Trail #158.
Guemes, WA - Hiking - Trail Length: 3.75
Rural in nature, this trail winds beside two small towns as it runs along the Potlatch River and amid lush vegetation. It follows the original Northern Pacific/Burlington Northern Moscow–Arrow rail line in west-central Idaho.
Juliaetta, ID - Hiking - Trail Length: 5.3
The Elliott Bay Trail provides a picturesque tour of Seattle’s downtown waterfront. It connects with the Seattle Waterfront Pathway (Trail 2) for a longer stroll or ride along the waterfront through various parks.
Seattle, WA - Hiking - Trail Length: 3.45
This trail originates from the Oregon Electric ROW. It connects two parks in a rural section of Beaverton and is part of a master plan to link Beaverton’s 2,240 park acres, 90 parks, and 60 miles of trails.
Tigard, OR - Hiking - Trail Length: 0.8