The Bill Chipman Palouse Trail stretches 7.1 miles through the rolling wheat fields of the Palouse region, offering a convenient, paved connection between Washington State University and the University of Idaho.
The trail follows a piece of corridor from the former Union Pacific Railroad (constructed by the Columbia & Palouse Railroad in 1885), which transported passengers from Colfax to Moscow. The last passenger train ran in 1957. Now, the wide, mostly flat pathway—a respite from the area's many hills and valleys—accommodates non-motorized users of all types, with additional trail connections at either end.
Along the route from Pullman to Moscow, 13 original railroad bridges cross Paradise Creek. Opportunities abound to spot birds and other forms of aquatic wildlife thriving in and near the water. Trail users will also find emergency phones, restrooms accessible for people with disabilities, benches, bike racks, and interpretive signs describing the history, agriculture, and ecology of the region.
The Bill Chipman Palouse Trail overlaps with the Pullman Loop Trail for approximately 1 mile, starting near the Chipman trailhead at Bishop Boulevard. From here, you'll cross Paradise Creek to a cirque of benches and an interpretive station at Birdhouse Depot. Magpies are common; the stream also provides a habitat for hawks, falcons, and more than 100 other bird species.
As you travel farther along the gentle uphill grade, you'll come to the next point of interest, a giant grain elevator. A greenway buffers you from the four-lane highway to Moscow, as do the lovely waysides with interpretive signs and benches along the corridor. Grab some water at Neil Wayside near Pullman. This dry, unsheltered path is often windy heading eastward.
The trail culminates at Farm Road (Perimeter Drive) in Moscow. Continue east on the 2-mile Paradise Path through the north and east edges of the University of Idaho campus and up Paradise Creek to the Moscow city limits. Here, you can connect with the paved, 12-mile Latah Trail to Troy, Idaho.
To get to the west end of the trail from US 195 near Pullman, WA, take State Route 270 for 3.4 miles (following signs to remain on SR 270), and turn south (right) onto Bishop Blvd. (From the east, Bishop Blvd. is at the first light going into town.) After approximately two blocks, turn left into a small parking area. The trail begins at Bishop Blvd. Parking in Pullman is available at the Quality Inn lot or on Derby St. near Koppel Farm.
To get to the Moscow, ID, trailhead from US 195 near Pullman, WA, take SR 270 (Idaho SR 8) approximately 11 miles into Moscow. Turn north (left) at Farm Road, and park in the Palouse Mall parking lot. Cross back over SR 8, and go west onto the path. All property to the south of SR 8 is part of the University of Idaho and not available for public parking.