Once a railroad, this trail allows visitors to travel between the towns of Chehalis and South Bend without having to drive! This makes an excellent outing, whether you want a quick jaunt or a longer bike ride, though the trail is in varying stages of development, so be sure you are prepared for pavement, gravel, or possibly dirt, depending on your route.
Access is available for hikers, runners, and bikers from the Pe Ell entrance in Chehalis; or off Dieckman Road, Ceres Hill, or Meskill Road, all near Adna. You can also hop on the trail from Rainbow Falls State Park, where you can ride or walk a short distance from the park's entrance to the trail itself. There are many ways to enjoy this route, here's one:
Begin at the Chehalis trailhead. This 5.5 mile paved section stretches from Chehalis to Bunker Creek and sees the most traffic of the trail. Past Bunker Creek, the trail becomes graveled, perfect for bicycles with thick tires.
As you walk, keep an eye out for equestrians. In addition to hikers and bikers, horses enjoy this trail from the Adna trailhead, found off Dieckman Road. Equestrians can also access the trail from Pe Ell; a Discover Pass is required for both Adna and Pe Ell trailheads.
Though the trail runs 56 miles from Chehalis to South Bend, currently it can only be hiked in sections due to its incomplete nature. Several trestle bridges are closed due to a lack of decking, making them unsafe for travelers. Check out this detailed map of mileposts, closures, and notable sights along the way.
Washington State Parks recommends hikers looking for a longer hike access the trail at Adna and hike west for an uninterrupted long hike - more than 12 miles of graveled trail stretch out in front of you from Adna.
As of December 2015, trestles at Spooner Road and Doty-Dryad Road have opened. This connects more than 12 miles of trail from Spooner Road west of Adna to Pe Ell.
In June 2016, three more bridges have opened. While the bridge at mile 27 is still difficult to cross, this recent development allows visitors to enjoy an unbroken 27 miles of gravel, paved, and hard-packed dirt road.