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The 14-mile Yelm-Tenino Trail travels through the rural towns of Yelm, Rainier, and Tenino on a paved route through agricultural areas, forests, and wetlands. Commuters can access Olympia, Lacey, and other areas of Thurston County on a triad of linked trails. The 21.2-mile Chehalis Western Trail intersects the midpoint of the Yelm-Tenino Trail. The Chehalis Western then runs north, connecting with the Woodland Trail and reaching the perimeter of Woodard Bay. The Yelm-Tenino Trail climbs a gentle 320 feet from Tenino to Yelm.
Tenino was the destination of the Northern Pacific Railroad's 65-mile Pacific Division line between Kalama and Tenino as early as 1872. In 1874, a 40-mile line was built through Yelm to Commencement Bay in Tacoma; this line operated as a Burlington Northern line until the late 1980s. Tenino, known as the Stone City, built a sandstone depot, now the Tenino Depot Museum, in 1914 along the main line from Portland to Tacoma.
You can start your journey at Tenino City Park, adjacent to a campground. After running past a few homes, a ballpark, and restrooms, the route begins to parallel State Route 507. The forested path then crosses Military Road to rise above SR 507. The road is never far, but a swath of fir and maple trees provides a barrier. A historical kiosk precedes 1 mile of scenic forest trail beside McIntosh Lake, where herons come to watch trail users.
At 6.5 miles, you'll reach the intersection with the Chehalis Western Trail. The Rainier trailhead lies just 2 miles farther. The landscape widens as you pass through Wilkowski Park and cross under a trestle. The trail runs closer to the road for the next 5 miles as it approaches Yelm, eventually ending at the trailhead on Railroad Street SW.
Please use this form to notify us of any changes or updates that we need to make to the trail information on TrailLink for this trail. RTC staff will review your submission and contact you if there is any need for further clarification.