Go the Distance on the Palouse to Cascades State Park Trail by Bike
The Palouse to Cascades State Park Trail, formerly known as the John Wayne Pioneer Trail, is one of the longest, most scenic trails in the Ellensburg area. Following the corridor of the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul & Pacific Railroad, the Palouse to Cascades State Park Trail spans 212 miles of Washington state. From the western slopes of the Cascade Mountains to the Idaho border, the trail is part of an emerging multi-state trail system and is one of the longest rail-trail conversions in the country. The route passes through remote and sparsely populated areas of Washington state that are rich in wildlife and natural beauty. It hugs hillsides and runs under cliffs, passes over historic trestles and runs through the Snoqualmie Tunnel. So, hop on your bike and take to the trail!
Ambitious cycling enthusiasts can take on the Palouse to Cascades State Park Trail in its entirety as a long-distance biking trip through diverse environments. Or, can opt to travel it in sections via trailheads and access points located every few miles along the trail. The trail breaks briefly at historic downtown Ellensburg, which happens to be the largest town on the corridor. This makes Ellensburg the perfect starting point or final destination for your ride, allowing you to travel as short or far as you desire! Whether you need a place to stop along the way or you plan to begin or end your journey in Ellensburg, be sure to explore the charming town while in the area. The historic district is rich in agricultural history and hosts the state’s largest rodeo over Labor Day weekend — be sure to stop by the Ellensburg Rodeo Hall of Fame for information on this Ellensburg favorite! The downtown also has many historic buildings dating back to the late 19th century, many forms of public art on display, and is home to Central Washington University and a variety of other historic sites and attractions. Take a relaxing stroll through the streets of Downtown Ellensburg, learn about the history of the area, and reenergize before you hit the road!