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John Wayne Trail unanimously supported by Spokane City Council

Fat bike riders approach the historic concrete arched railroad bridge crossing near U.S. Highway 395 just south of Rosalia that's a key  part of the old Milwaukee Road rail line that is owned by Washington state and designated for trail development. It is part of the John Wayne Pioneer Trail. (Pat Sprute)
Fat bike riders approach the historic concrete arched railroad bridge crossing near U.S. Highway 395 just south of Rosalia that's a key part of the old Milwaukee Road rail line that is owned by Washington state and designated for trail development. It is part of the John Wayne Pioneer Trail. (Pat Sprute)

TRAILS -- The Spokane City Council tonight voted 7-0 in favor of a resolution supporting maintaining the integrity of the 253-mile John Wayne Trail along the abandoned railway across Eastern Washington.

The vote stems from a legislative attempt to privatize the state-owned rail trail and then some contentious debate in Tekoa when small town folks learned that their legislators were trying give away a prized public asset without letting them know.

Before the vote, Councilman Mike Allen called his support for the trail a "no-brainer."

The Spokesman-Review editorial board already has taken a stand in favor of preserving the irreplaceable trail corridor for future generations.

Did John Wayne have anything to do with the trail, you ask?

In the early 1980s, Washington state acquired most of the abandoned Milwaukee railroad right of way and named it for John Wayne after a lobbying campaign by outdoorsman and horseman Chic Hollenbeck, a fan of the cowboy actor. Hollenbeck also founded the John Wayne Pioneer Wagons and Riders Association, whose members make an annual trek along the trail by wagon and horseback.




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Rich Landers
Rich Landers joined The Spokesman-Review in 1977. He is the Outdoors editor for the Sports Department writing and photographing stories about hiking, hunting, fishing, boating, conservation, nature and wildlife and related topics.

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