The Foothills Trail is a 12-foot wide non-motorized asphalt trail and linear park suitable for bicycles, walking, in-line skates and wheel chairs. It also has a soft shoulder path for equestrians. Completed paved sections include 15 miles from Meeker through Orting to So. Prairie. There is also a 1-mile section in Wilkeson and a 1.8 mile section in Buckley. Our future plan is to continue the trail to Puyallup and Sumner where it will connect with the Interurban Trail that now extends through Kent and Auburn to Seattle. The trail in Buckley will continue north to Enumclaw and King County. The Foothills Trail has been constructed in sections as finances, environmental permits and county ownership have allowed. When complete, the trail will be more than 28 miles in length, forming the backbone of a 50-mile trail from Mt. Rainier to Tacoma.
Burlington Northern Railway abandoned the railbed in 1982. The rail-trail effort started in 1984 when Dr. Tate, a Buckley physician and a community visionary, organized the Foothills Rails-to-Trails Coalition to assist Pierce County Parks in building the trail. Despite roadblocks, construction of the trail is ongoing and thousands of users are already enjoying its benefits. Development of the Foothills Trail would not have been possible without the partnership of the Foothills Rails-to-Trails Coalition and its members who have provided countless volunteer hours, fundraising efforts, and advocacy for non-motorized transportation in Pierce County. For further information on the Foothills Rails-to-Trails Coalition please call (253) 841-2570 or visit the Foothills Rails-to-Trails Coalition website.
Parking and Trail Access
McMillin and Orting trailheads: 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 Orting City Park.
From the McMillin trailhead there is an approximate 7-mile stretch southward which is paved, with an additional amount cleared for some level of use. This portion goes through the Town of Orting. The 26 mile Foothills Trail goes from this locaton to Buckley (not all of the trail is paved).
Buckley Traihead: 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. The trailhead is a paved section through the town of Buckley and north about 1 mile beyond Ryan Road.