The Ferry County Rail Trail corridor, most recently used by the Kettle Falls International Railway to haul lumber from the Vaagen Brothers lumber mill to Colville and beyond, runs northsouth from Republic to Wall Street in Danville. The track was abandoned in 2006 and the track and ties were subsequently pulled up. The corridor from Republic to Herron Creek Road (3 miles) is multiple use with limited motorized use; the section from Herron Creek north to the border (24.8 miles) is non-motorized multiple use.
The most southern part of the trail, from the Republic High School to Herron Creek is now all referred to as the Golden Tiger Pathway
and is open to use by hikers, bicyclists, horses, ATVs and cross-country skiers in the winter. Many of you have probably already enjoyed the first three miles of the Golden Tiger Pathway, which was improved (with pavement and gravel) for these uses about ten years ago. If so, you have gotten a taste of the great opportunities which will be available along the entire 28 mile route: scenic beauty, isolation on many parts of the trail, good exercise with no arduous ups and downs.
The section from Herron Creek north to Danville, which includes very scenic stretches along Curlew Lake and the Kettle River, will eventually be open to hikers, bicyclists, horses, cross-country skiers and other non-motorized users. Adjacent landowner may also be able to use the trail for agricultural purposes. Although the Commissioners are working with the new Rail Corridor Committee to develop a management plan by year's end to address these probable uses, only hiking is currently authorized.
Access is easy for the southern section, the Golden Tiger Pathway. There are parking lots near the high school and near Pine Grove which provide easy access. For sections further north, look for one of the numerous places where county roads cross the corridor. You may park on a county road if you are far enough off the roadway, so as not to interfere with traffic. Please use common sense and secure your vehicle. For example, you may park at the north end of the town of Curlew and walk north.
Be sure to stay on the rail bed. Though it may be tempting to walk through a field to get to the river's edge, you must remember that the field is private property. The future use of the trail depends, in no small part, on respecting adjacent landowners.