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Foothills Trail

A metal bench is alongside the Foothills Trail with bare trees in the distance

King County Parks has begun the design of a one-mile segment of the Foothills Trail (formerly known as the Enumclaw Plateau Trail) along right-of-way owned by King County Parks. The trail segment begins at 252nd Avenue South, just outside and south of Enumclaw, and continues along a former railroad route utilizing the abandoned historic Boise Creek Bridge on its way over the White River into Buckley.

King County Parks has secured a State RCO grant and is working in partnership with the City of Enumclaw,Pierce County, the City of Buckley, and the Foothills Trail Coalition to construct a pedestrian and bicycle bridge across the White River. This bridge will connect the King County and Pierce County regional trails within the greater four-county Leafline Trails Network.

The initial segment from 252nd Ave SE to the historic Boise Creek Bridge was completed during the Spring of 2021. The remaining segment from the historic Boise Creek Bridge and over the White River began in late 2022 with an estimated completion date in 2024. For more history on the project and benefits, read this informational handout.

A rendering showing the completed three spans of the bridge over the White River

Trail history

The Missing Link

The White River separates the completed portions of the Foothills Trail in Enumclaw and Buckley. These local governments, along with King and Pierce County Parks, are working together under an inter-local agreement to construct a new pedestrian/multi-use bridge and one mile of trail to complete this vital community amenity. Funding for the preliminary design of the entire corridor and construction of the North Segment was proposed as part of the 2014-2019 King County Parks, Trails, and Open Space Replacement Levy. Construction of the current segment is funded in part by the 2020-2025 Parks, Recreation, Trails and Open Space Levy.

Historic Transportation Route

The trail alignment diverges from the former BNSF railroad grade to follow the old Highway 410 alignment across the historic Boise Creek Bridge and will utilize three (3) abandoned highway piers across the White River to support the new pedestrian bridge connection to Pierce County. This alignment was decommissioned in 1949 for the modern-day bridge and Highway 410 alignment just downstream over the White River.

Why is King County developing the Foothills Trail?

The Foothills Trail is part of a larger vision of mobility and access to all residents of King County. Not only does our Leafline Trails Network in King County provide a connection between locations, it also connects people to healthy living, recreational opportunities, mental health, stress reduction, and much, much more.

South King County is an area that is historically underserved. In line with the King County Strategic Plan, trails in south King County are being prioritized to give those neighbors more access to recreational opportunities.

Economic Development and Tourism

The connection of the Foothills Trail system in Pierce and King counties will help stimulate economic development in the cities of Enumclaw and Buckley as additional trail users visit both cities and spur business development adjacent to the trail.

Health and Safety

Completing the new bridge and trail system will provide an alternative emergency route for pedestrians and vehicles in the event the SR 410 bridge at Buckley becomes impassable during a catastrophic event. Without an alternative crossing, access to the nearest hospital (currently located in Enumclaw) for citizens in the Buckley area could take up to thirty minutes or longer during an emergency. For life-threatening injuries, including those associated with residents of the Rainier School for the developmentally disabled, this presents a critical life-safety issue that this project can successfully mitigate.

Sense of Community

The trail connection will provide an important community link between the Enumclaw and Buckley area communities by providing a safe, separated, non-motorized transportation corridor for walkers and cyclists that currently isn’t available using the existing SR 410 bridge.