The John Wayne Pioneer Trail (JWPT), of which Iron Horse State Park is one part, needs the support of anyone who might enjoy riding it on a bike, or other non-motorized use. In case you haven’t heard, it’s a rails-to-trails project that runs more than 200 miles from North Bend to Tekoa, Washington, a mile from the Idaho border. Seattle to North Bend isn’t formally part of the JWPT but there are good bike routes (plural) to the trailhead, with bike connections from the King Street Amtrak station. The JWPT itself includes crossing the Cascades, the 2.3 mile Snoqualmie Tunnel, upper Yakima River, arid shrub-steppe hills, Columbia River, Channeled Scablands, and the Palouse Hills. The western part of the JWPT is already in use but parts of it are still in primitive condition. There has been an attempt to give part of the eastern right-of-way over to local land owners, which would stop public access. Positive, friendly words explaining how bike tourists bring money to rural communities, and how we are respectful users and neighbors, will go a long way to bolstering support to retain the trail. Out-of-state writers are great; they show the scope of interest and potential tourism customers.
Tom Fucoloro has more information, including public meeting dates and locations as well as some of the back-story, in this post:
Ellensburg is the closest hearing location to Portland. Those of us who can’t make a meeting, please consider sending your words of support to email@example.com.
History and photos by a horse-drawn wagon association here: