TRAIL MAPS   Leave a comment

I appreciate any interest people have about the trail map details. While we have some maps of the broad trail alignment for descriptive purposes, we are about 30-60 days from having more specific details. The dozen or so jurisdictions involved in the 80 miles presents some complications. Our plan is to release a set of  descriptions, maps and pictures of day hikes, along what we plan is the eventual  alignment of the  trail. I will post link(s) on the blog.


Posted January 24, 2012 by tghikerted in Uncategorized


The William O. Douglas National Heritage Trail is being developed as an 80-mile muscle-powered route from the sidewalks of Yakima to the high-country trails of Mount Rainier National Park. The William O Douglas Trail Task Force, spearheaded by the Cowiche Canyon Conservancy, is leading the trail development effort. Our short term primary goal is to have a formal opening by June 9, 2012, during the week after National Trails Day. The volunteer Task Force organization is busily sorting out the things that are absolutely essential by the June deadline, to separate those from all the other long term tasks that we can refine sometime in the future. One of these refinements will be application for National recognition as either a Recreational, Scenic, or Historic trail. The June essentials include a series of usable day-hikes that the public can begin to enjoy and grow to appreciate, and a workable, though not the culturally or historically accurate overall route, which can accommodate the rare long distance hikers desiring to follow in those historic footsteps.

The driving force behind its inception is the history and legacy of the man whose name it bears. The trail’s route was selected specifically to highlight the area’s natural and cultural wonders that so captivated Douglas and led him to become one of the country’s most influential and environmentally-focused jurists. Numerous spots along the route will feature signs or kiosks explaining their significance in Douglas’ life, from his old high school to the bridge where he talked philosophy with train-hopping hobos and the basalt structure on which he faced his own mortality.

Portions of the trail follow the old Cowlitz Pass Trail route used by Native Americans to cross the Cascade Mountain Crest. The natural and cultural history of this project is probably at least as important as the recreational use. We’re trying to educate everyone, especially kids, that this trail, in addition to being a place to go walk is a place to experience the setting of much of our area’s history.

We are developing this trail in a way that is consistent with valley resident and visitor values, and at the same time represents strong natural, cultural, and recreational principles.

Posted December 18, 2011 by tghikerted in Uncategorized