PARKS & TRAIL CORRIDORS IN YAKIMA COUNTY
The linkage of rural Yakima County and the cities and towns through pathways, trails, and/or bike lanes has been widely discussed. Yakima County’s 20-Year Comprehensive Plan (Plan 2015) and the 2008 Yakima County Trails Plan consider the creation of pathway and open space park areas as vital to the quality of life of the county. Local, regional, and statewide efforts to enhance pedestrian and bicycle travel are being addressed by individuals, groups like DRYVE and TRANS-Action, and local governments that one day could link Naches to Grandview and White Swan to Moxee.
Active Trail Efforts:
Centennial 2013 Plan — Celebrating the 100th Birthday of the State’s Park System, the plan aims to improve and/or expand existing state parks & trails
Yakima Greenway - http://www.yakimagreenway.org/ — Long the backbone of Pathway efforts in Yakima County, the Yakima Greenway extends from Union Gap to 40th Avenue & Fruitvale Boulevard in Northeast Yakima along the Yakima and Naches Rivers.
William O. Douglas Trail: — Yakima’s Own United State’s Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas regularly hiked from his home in Yakima to Mount Rainier to strengthen his body following a childhood disease. This 75-mile trail follows actual routes traveled by the young Mr. Douglas and existing public trails.
City of Yakima Parks & Trials -http://www.ci.yakima.wa.us/services/parks/ - The City of Yakima maintains a variety of parks, pathways and bike lanes throughout the city and accessible to the Yakima Greenway. Yakima’s Central Business District recently went though a major rehabilitation of its sidewalk system along Yakima Avenue.
Toppenish Mural Trail - http://www.toppenish.net/ - Walk around town and view over 70 mural depicting the history, culture, and people of the Yakima Valley.
Lower Yakima Trail — Connecting the Cities of Sunnyside, Grandview and Prosser, this paved trail parallels the Gibbon-Granger Short line Railroad.
Naches Branch Line — Rail banked and acquired in 2006 by the county, this rail corridor is in the planning stages for conversion from an inactive rail line to a paved extension of the Yakima Greenway. The Town of Naches completed a mile stretch of pathway from its downtown south towards Yakima in 2009. Community fundraising efforts are underway to close the 10-mile gap between Naches and the Greenway.
Ice Age Flood Trail - http://www.iafi.org/trail.html - In stages of the last several ice ages, an ice dam in present day Montana held back a glacial lake comparable to some of today’s Great Lakes. Occasional cataclysmic floods breached this dam and scoured out the landscape of large sections of Montana, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington, including the valleys and hills of the Yakima Valley. The Ice Age Food Trail will highlight geographic features on existing public lands.
Updated in 2008, this plan addresses pathway and trail alternatives throughout Yakima County.
Active Countywide Parks:
Eschbach Park (Yak. Co.) - Eschbach Park has been closed with no plans to reopen as a public park.
Lower Naches Community Park (Yak. Co.) www.yakimacounty.us/transportation/parks2.htm