[5/2/18] Friday Is Final Day To Weigh in On Washington State Parks Trail Name Change

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From former railroad right-of-ways to John Wayne. A unique trail in Washington is looking for a new name.

The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission recently announced that it is considering a name change for the cross-state rail trail known as the Iron Horse State Park/John Wayne Pioneer Trail. This 285-mile trail starts in North Bend and runs east to the town of Tekoa on the Washington-Idaho border. The trail consists of former railroad right-of-way and tunnels from the old Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific Railroad. Randy Kline, Statewide Trails Coordinator for the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission speaks to the reason behind the name change.

043018 KLINE BITE #1 :39

“….this renaming effort.”

Additionally, the current name does not follow the State Parks’ policy for naming trails.

043018 KLINE BITE #2 :31

“….go out on the trail.”

Many of the proposed trail names pay homage to the trails rail history like

  • Columbian State Park Trail (a named passenger train that operated on the trail),

  • Iron Horse State Park Trail (current name of this State Park trail acknowledging the trail as a former railway)

  • Milwaukee Road State Park Trail (name of the railroad that operated on the trail)

  • Trail of the Olympian State Park Trail (name used to describe the route from Chicago to the Puget Sound)

And there are some geographic and descriptive names as well like;

  • Cascalouse State Park Trail (a contraction of the Cascade and Palouse geographic areas)

  • Cross Washington State Park Trail (descriptive trail name)

  • Palouse to Cascades State Park Trail (geographic description of the trail route)

Giving the trail a single meaningful name would not only create clarity for hikers across the state, but also be more representative of the region as a whole and highlight its importance as one of the longest cross-state trails in the country. But the question that still needs to be answered is how did the trail wind-up the name “John Wayne Pioneer Trail?”

043018 KLINE BITE #3 :49

“….could and should be using.”

Members of the public are being asked to weigh in and give their public opinion on the matter by 5 p.m. Friday, May 4.