Behind-the-scenes on the Foothills Trail

King County Parks has begun construction on a one-mile-long segment of trail that will tie the existing Foothills Trail in Pierce County with the trail in Enumclaw.

In Pierce County, the Foothills Trail stretches for more than 20 miles from Puyallup to South Prairie to Buckley. Future segments will take a spur trail through Carbonado to the doorstep of Mount Rainier.

In King County, the Foothills Trail currently passes through the city of Enumclaw. Our portion, which is undeveloped, picks up at the city limits and follows an old railroad corridor along SR 410, crossing over Boise Creek and the White River. Once completed, our segment will connect King County residents with the rest of the trail in Pierce County, enabling the flow of pedestrian traffic and cyclists to travel between Enumclaw north of the White River to Buckley and beyond to the south.

We’re a month into construction on the first phase, a segment that begins at 252nd Ave S, just outside and south of Enumclaw and continues south along the former rail corridor using the abandoned historic Boise Creek Bridge on its way to the White River.

Bridge over Boise Creek

Crews have begun clearing and grading the corridor, which is no easy feat. In order to ensure access for all ages and abilities, Parks regional trail standard means making the trail five percent grade or less, this means a fair amount of digging for the transition down to the White River crossing.

In order to maintain a safe and accessible trail corridor, a protective retaining wall is placed along the embankment.

We’re currently working on the portion of trail from the Enumclaw city limits to the historic Boise Creek Bridge, which we expect to be able to open this fall.

The section of trail around the Boise Creek Bridge is scheduled to undergo construction during the summer of 2020, as this work can only be completed within the “fish window”, a period of time when in-water construction will not disturb fish habitat.

But wait! There’s more! We’re anticipating being able to do the final connection, a bridge across the White River to the existing trail in Buckley, in 2021-22. Once we put in that final critical bridge, intrepid trail visitors will be able to get from Puyallup to Enumclaw on one safe, scenic, paved trail separated from street traffic.

We can’t wait for this amazing south county trail to get completed and join Pierce County’s and King County’s trail networks into one amazing system!

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