Rails AND Trails Make for Great Riding, Train-Spotting

You’re probably fairly familiar with the term “rails to trails”–after all, there’s an entire organization, the Rails to Trails Conservancy, working to create a nationwide network of trails converted from former rail lines and connecting key corridors.

Perhaps less familiar is the labels “rails and trails”: Creation of a trail running alongside an active rail line, whether light rail or heavy rail. Yet these types of trails are safe, comfortable, and growing across the country.

Railyards on the Elliott Bay Trail. Photo courtesy of "Toolbear" on TrailLink.org.

Railyards on the Elliott Bay Trail. Photo courtesy of “Toolbear” on TrailLink.org.

RTC has released a report examining these trails and providing guidelines for successful trail design (download the free report on America’s Rails-with-Trails).

If you want to get out and ride a trail somewhere in Washington we have miles and miles of wonderful riding. If you’re also a train buff and want the chance to look at something with a few more wheels than the two on your bike, check out these rails-with-trails. The list is courtesy of TrailLink.org, created and maintained by RTC; each trail description includes mention of nearby trails and some connect to let you keep riding, minus the train companions.

If you have pictures or video of you and friends riding any of these, let us know and we’ll add them to our site so others can see what it’s like to bike these. We welcome guest bloggers who can share your stories about bicycling in Washington.

Southwest Washington

Thurston County, Chehalis Western Trail: 20.5 miles

Cowlitz County, Cowlitz River Trail, 2.5 miles

Central Puget Sound

King County, Burke-Gilman Trail: 17 miles

King County, Duwamish Bikeway: 2.95 miles

King County, Elliott Bay Trail: 3.35 miles

King County, Interurban Trail (South): 18 miles

Northwest Washington

Whatcom County, South Bay Trail: 4 miles

Central Washington

Yakima County, Lower Yakima Valley Pathway: 14 miles

Eastern Washington

Spokane County, Fish Lake Trail: 10 miles

Southeast Washington

Whitman County, Pullman Riverwalk: .42 miles

Whitman County, Grand Avenue Greenway: 1.7 miles

Grand Avenue Greenway, part of the Pullman Loop Trail. Photo courtesy of "Trailbear" on TrailLink.org.

Grand Avenue Greenway, part of the Pullman Loop Trail. Photo courtesy of “Trailbear” on TrailLink.org.

 

This article was posted in Adventure, Cowlitz County, Infrastructure, King County, News, Olympia/Thurston County, Spokane/Spokane County, Trails, Trains, Travel, Whatcom County, Yakima County. Bookmark the permalink. Follow comments with the RSS feed for this post.Post a Comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

One Comment

  1. Posted October 30, 2013 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

    There’s been an effort to promote these gray corridors for some time.

    Check out http://www.railsWITHtrails.com

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