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Pierce County

Foothills Trail - Puyallup to Buckley

From State Highway 167 and/or 512 take the State Highway 410 exit. Then take the Orting/Sumner exit which is Route 162 and turn south towards Orting. Turn right onto East Pioneer then travel about 1 mile and turn right on 134th Avenue east by VanLierop Bulb Farm. The trailhead is on 80th Street, on the right.

See below for few directions to different areas of parking on Foothills trail.
GPS: Latitude: Longitude: Elevation:
Rating , Beginner [an error occurred while processing this directive]

    Rides / Notes / Trail ConditionsUpdate Trail
  1. Family friendly - Meeker to McMillin
    Distance: Approximately 4 miles

    The new four miles of trail winds through trees and farms and runs alongside an active railway. It's a wonderful alternative to riding SR 162! This extends our trail to 15 contiguous miles from Meeker through McMillin and Orting to South Prairie, or a tremendous 30 mile roundtrip!

    This is also Pierce County’s first Rails-With-Trail, paralleling an active Burlington Northern track. The Trail crosses the railroad track in four locations. Use extra care when crossing the track. From early spring through late fall, you can observe the farming cycle of spring planting through a variety of harvest seasons.

    The trailheads at McMillin and South Prairie along with the new East Puyallup location are designed to look like miniature train stations.

    East Puyallup Trailhead (also known as Meeker Trailhead)
    Located: 13810 80th Street in East Puyallup (edge of VanLierop Bulb Farm)

    The East Puyallup Trailhead features a restroom facility, kiosk, bicycle rack, equestrian hitching post and 23 parking spaces. This trailhead is located on the right directly after the cement bridge at the confluence of the Puyallup and Carbon Rivers.

    From State Highway 167 and/or 512 take the State Highway 410 exit. Then take the Orting/Sumner exit which is Route 162 and turn south towards Orting. Turn right onto East Pioneer then travel about 1 mile and turn right on 134th Avenue east by VanLierop Bulb Farm. The trailhead is on 80th Street, on the right.

    The next extension will connect the trail from South Prairie to the already completed Buckley section. King County, Pierce County, Buckley and Enumclaw are planning a bridge across the White River that will connect the trail to Enumclaw's existing trail.

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    McMillin to Orting
    Distance: 3 miles

    The McMillin Trailhead is a popular starting spot for bikers, skaters and stroller pushers. Most of this 2.3 mile section is parallel is SR 162. This was the original 'Model Mile' of the trail and many consider it the most scenic part of the trail as it runs through Orting.

    There is sufficient parking available along the where there are restrooms, an information kiosk, and a children’s play area. From State Highway 167 and/or 512 take the State Highway 410 exit, then take the Orting/Sumner exit which is Route 162. Turn right towards Orting.

    The McMillin trailhead is on the right directly after the cement bridge at the confluence of the Puyallup and Carbon Rivers. The Orting trailhead is 2.2 miles further on the right located in the Orting City Park.

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    Orting to South Prairie - Rivers and Bridges
    Distance: 10+ miles

    This diverse section of trail at almost 11 miles is the longest section of the Foothills route. There are 3 rest stops and all of them have been through private gifts. The Foothills Trail runs through the first rest stop located in Orting City Park. There is a large parking lot along the trail, a restroom in the park and a variety of city services.

    The trail extends north three miles to the McMillin trailhead and east two miles to the Crocker trailhead. The Crocker trailhead has a dirt/gravel lot with no sanitary facilities. Follow the trail five miles north-east to South Prairie.

    The Orting to South Prairie section is very picturesque. From the trail you can view a cattle farm and a buffalo ranch but the real feature is the Carbon River, South Prairie Creek, and the railroad trestles crossing them. Take a break at the Carbon River at 'Bernie's Place' where there is a bench and a picnic table named for the late Bernie Dixon, a long-time Rails-to-Trails member. The trail also crosses Voights Creek and Roush Creek that are both salmon bearing streams. There are 8 bridges on this section, four of them are former railroad trestles that were converted for trail use.

    In September of 2004, an additional 18,000 linear feet of paved trail surface began that connects to the existing trail at the Wetland Bridge and the existing trail within the town limits of South Prairie.

    REI Rest Stop

    This 3.3-mile section and a 3-1/2 acre wetland created along the trail section between Orting and South Prairie was dedication at the 'REI Rest Stop' adjacent to the wetland in November of 2004.

    The trail section links to previously completed sections and provides 11 miles of continuous paved trail between McMillin and South Prairie.

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    The South Prairie Trail and Trailhead

    The South Prairie Trail was completed in 2002 and added 2200 feet to the Foothills Trail. This piece of trail is located in the Town of South Prairie. The trailhead will have parking for 20 vehicles plus an information kiosk and a sani-can enclosure.

    The trail currently ends east of the trailhead at a park on South Prairie Creek. This section of Foothills Trail will eventually link with the towns of Buckley to the east and Orting to the west.

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    The Lower Burnett Trestle

    This section of the Foothills Trail is a 150 foot span across South Prairie Creek about 1 mile east of South Prairie. The original railroad trestle in this location was removed in 1983. This new bridge was made possible by the combined resources of several different agencies. The Foothills Rails to Trail Coalition purchased and fabricated most of the necessary materials.

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    Wilkeson to Carbonado
    Distance: 3 miles

    'If you are looking to have a section of the Foothills Trail all to yourself, your best bet is parking by the Wilkeson Fire Department and hiking to Carbonado. The trail is unpaved and secluded. The trail is in good shape and easily handled on a mountain bike.'

    There are two parking areas alongside Highway 165 which provide easy access. The first is just past the Gale creek bridge, across from a gas station and espresso stand. The trail extends northeast four miles, joining the main trail at Cascade Junction. The Wilkeson Trestle just north of the parking area was redecked in 2003.

    The trail continues south along the highway to the second access point across from the Wilkeson Fire Station. Here the trail follows a true railroad switchback heading back to the north, but uphill, before continuing three miles south to Carbonado.

    Wilkeson Trestle to Paintball Trestle
    Distance: 2.5 miles

    Starting at Wilkeson, follow an unpaved section of the trail northwest toward Burnett. From the Wilkeson Trestle follow the trail to a trestle on the edge of paintball park. Beyond the trestle is private property. When you reach the far trestle, it's time to hike back to Wilkeson.

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    Cascade Junction

    Two more trail sections connecting Cascade Junction, which is located just east of South Prairie, to the Town of Wilkeson and later into the Town of Carbonado, are still in the design stage and probably can anticipate construction in 2006-2007. To pick up the trail from here, follow state Route 162 to Buckley or state Route 165 to Wilkeson.

    Buckley Traihead
    Distance: 1.8 miles

    This trailhead is a paved section through the town of Buckley and north about 1 mile beyond Ryan Road. This section runs from about a mile into the woods southwest of town along state Route 410 to the northern edge of town. By 2006, the Trial is expected to connect South Prairie into Buckley, which already has a 1-1/2 mile of asphalt trail.

    From State Highway 167 and/or 512 take the State Highway 410 exit. Take the Park Avenue exit and turn right heading east. Turn at the first left onto North River Avenue. Go straight to the National Guard parking.


    Ride rating: Beginner
    Ride distance: 17 Elevation change:
    Rodeogirl73 a 34 year old Weekend Warrior riding a Magna Outreach from Lakewood, WA
    Posted on 5/09/08


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