Bill Chipman Palouse Trail

Idaho, Washington

5 Reviews

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Bill Chipman Palouse Trail Facts

States: Idaho, Washington
Counties: Latah, Whitman
Length: 7.1 miles
Trail end points: SE Bishop Blvd. (Pullman, WA) and Farm Rd. (Moscow, ID)
Trail surfaces: Asphalt
Trail category: Rail-Trail
ID: 6015815

Bill Chipman Palouse Trail Description

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, 16-mile Latah Trail to Troy, Idaho.

Parking and Trail Access

There are two spots for designated parking along the trail. At the western terminus in Pullman, there is parking at the gas station across from the trailhead, 1455 SE Bishop Blvd. Halfway between Pullman and Moscow, there is parking at the Sunshine Trailhead. 

Although there is no designated parking at the eastern terminus, the trail ends here in downtown Moscow where there is ample public parking.

See TrailLink Map for more detailed directions.

Bill Chipman Palouse Trail Reviews

Flat, yes, but….

Id rate this trail a C- overall for a couple of reasons. The biggest drawback is the overfilled cracks which have been poorly managed. These bumps are hard to take on a rigid frame road bike and they are frequent—as in every few yards. The continual jarring diminishes the riders experience overall. Secondly, as of late August 2023, the bridge near Pullman is out. Some local kids decided to party there and burned the bridge. There is a detour that takes you onto Highway 8, but that’s never enjoyable to ride a busy highway. I wouldn’t recommend going out of your way to ride the trail, bu rid you happen to be in the area and want to do a short ride it’s okay.

Great trail for biking between Pullman and Moscow

I only bike this trail, when I want to go to Pullman for some reason and prefer to bike there rather than drive. I don't choose this trail to bike on for the scenery, because the Latah Trail between Moscow and Troy is a lot nicer. But I do like this trail a lot. While you are parallel to the highway, which isn't a big highway by any means, it's not as loud and intrusive as you might think.

Easy commuter trail along the creek

This trail is perfect for an evening workout or leisurely ride. It is a slight but noticeable downhill from Moscow to Pullman, the two end points of the trail. Also there can be a strong wind from the SW. So keep these two facts in mind when take off. The trail is well marked, wonderfully maintained, smooth surfaced with great views of the rolling wheat fields of the Palouse. It also connects to the Paradise Trail system in Moscow and through to the Latah Trail to the city of Troy. Good for roller blades too.

Not much traffic noise

"Although the trail does parallel the 4-lane road, we have to say that with the wind blowing, we barely heard any traffic noise. There is a nice buffer of green space between the trail and road on most of the pathway which was visually appealing along with providing a ""comfort-zone"" for riding. The green hills and wildflowers added to the beauty. Overall, we had a great ride on this path. Thank you Rails-to-Trails!"



"The Chipman Trail is an amazing 8-mile trail between Pullman, WA, (WSU) and Moscow, ID (UI), through the rolling Palouse. It is pristinely paved with minimal traffic and winds its way along a stream for a short time, past solo trees and a few horses or cows depending on the season. It has beautiful purple, yellow and white wildflowers along with high wheat fields at the peak of the season. It's a fabulous journey east and can get a bit windy for those heading West, which makes the journey even that more exhilarating. I've left Washington state for Washington, DC now and I must say one of the things I miss is my daily blade on the Chipman Trail.

Enjoy and say ""Hi"" to the Palouse for me! :)"

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