Log in
Log in

Foothills Rails-to-Trails Coalition

Trail Line News

Read our most recent edition here (September 2023)! You can also access older editions of the Trail Line News here.

Trail Line News Archive


<< First  < Prev   1   2   Next >  Last >> 
  • Friday, September 22, 2023 1:54 PM | John Paine (Administrator)

    Construction Update

    During the past Summer quarter the Foothills Trail Construction has progressed to achieve a very important milestone in the placement of the initial bridge segment framework across the White River.  This task occurred after the placement of ten 30’ deep concrete foundation shafts and seismic structural retrofit work associated with the three existing piers to ensure proper support for the new bridge segments. There was also a new pier built with a drilled shaft foundation on the King County side to provide support for the segment crossing the White River’s potential channel migration area.

    Work To Come

    Upcoming work within the Fall quarter includes the placement of the concrete deck for the river span as well as the building of the remaining two segments (with the pouring of their respective concrete decks) along the proposed trail alignment in Buckley and King County.

    The Segment B (White River Bridge with approaches) project is still on schedule to be completed during the late Spring/early Summer of 2024 for public use. Segment C, the final segment across a cultural resource property on the KC side, is now in the Bid Phase and scheduled for completion in coordination with the Segment B project completion date. While we are striving to get the overall project completed in the best timely manner, the timeline is subject to material availability market conditions as well as winter weather condition impacts in the execution of the remaining work.

  • Friday, September 22, 2023 1:48 PM | John Paine (Administrator)

    After decades of bike riding throughout Pierce County, Theresa Turpin decided to focus more attention on her local trails following her retirement in 2022. As Steilacoom native, Ms. Turpin grew up riding the local trails and remembers the early days of the Foothills Trail, seeing its construction on her way to the Interurban Trail.

    “Once parts of the Foothills Trail were constructed, I would bike it, often with my sister as my biking buddy,” she said. “We both became members of the Foothills Rails to Trail Coalition off and on. Before the trail was connected to Buckley, we would bike on the narrow South Prairie Carbon River Road between Crocker and South Prairie and even did Tubbs Road - what a hill! - prior to the trail being connected.”

    Aside from personal recreation, Ms. Turpin’s career led her to become more entwined with the trails. As a consultant and transportation planner, she worked alongside early leaders of the Foothills Coalition including Buzz Grant and Dixie Getchel, and in 2016, was hired as a project manager for Pierce County Parks and Recreation with the goal of completing the Foothills Trail’s connection from South Prairie to Buckley - which is now a frequented portion of the trail, especially during summer when the dense forest provides excellent shade.

    Since first seeing its construction, through the time working on the Foothills Trail, Ms. Turpin saw the value it brought to the local community and the region.

    “It is an amazing trail that provides active transportation opportunities. It connects communities, provides commuting options, and regional recreational opportunities. Now, when biking on the trail I often see friends from Tacoma and Seattle enjoying it too,” she said.

    During this time, she was a regular participant in Foothills Coalition meetings and even made presentations at its annual gatherings.

    Her career continued to advance her involvement in local trails, even after transitioning to the Washington State Department of Transportation where she served as the Multimodal Development Manager for Olympic Region. There she facilitated trail plans in the region, worked with the Olympic Discovery Trail, and was involved in conversations with the Great American Rail Trail which considered it to complete the trail that begins in Washington, D.C.

    “Once I retired in 2022, I didn’t see myself not being involved in trails and became a board member for the Foothills Coalition. Once I was part of the board, I was asked to be the Vice President and accepted that position,” she said.

    As a board member, Ms. Turpin brings a big vision for the future of the Foothills Trail and with her long career in the sector is sure to serve as a valuable resource in long term planning.

    “I look forward to seeing the potential connections of the Foothills to the Riverwalk and to the Sumner Link Trail. Plus, once the Foothills Trail connection to Enumclaw is completed in 2024 there will be many opportunities for other connections, maybe even onto SR 410,” she said. “With the SR 167 work being completed by WSDOT and Canyon Road work being done by Pierce County, I would really like to see a road buffet that would entail converting the existing north lane of River Road into a protected two-way bike path along the Puyallup River, avoiding all the driveways on the south side and providing views of the Puyallup River.”

    During her days on the Foothills Trail, Ms. Turpin enjoys biking with friends and family.

  • Thursday, October 13, 2022 10:42 AM | Dennis Brooke

    The Foothills Rails to Trails Coalition is excited to seek out new members to fill our board! If you, or someone you know has a passion for growing, extending and improving trails in Pierce County and beyond, joining the FTC board is an amazing way to have some input and make your voice heard. It is an exciting time to join the board of the Coalition, as we have recently hired a new Executive Director to run the organization as the FTC looks to increase its involvement and advocacy around activities that further our mission to develop a continuous non-motorized trail from Mt. Rainier to the Puget Sound. If you are interested in joining our board, please contact Steve Brown of the nominating committee at  Or, send them a short note about why you’d like to be a board member and your relevant background.

    DEADLINE for nominations or application is Wednesday, November 30th.

    Elections will be at our January meeting. Each board member is elected for a three year term.

  • Thursday, October 06, 2022 7:55 AM | Dennis Brooke

    The Foothills Rails-to-Trails Coalition is pleased to announce the hiring of Shayla Miles as its new Executive Director. Miles will manage day-to-day operations of the coalition and serve as their representative with a number of government and other non-profit agencies. 

    Miles earned her BA from the University of Washington and her MPA from Evergreen State College. Most recently, she served as the Development Director for the Pacific Bonsai Museum located in Federal Way, Washington. Her former supervisor there described her as prepared, professional, and driven. She said that the Foothills Coalition would be lucky to have Shayla join the organization. 

    “Hiring Ms. Miles is an important step in the growth of the Foothills Coalition,” said Bryan Bowden, Coalition Secretary. “Since our formation in 1984 until now, the management of the organization has been primarily a volunteer activity and our upcoming goals will require the leadership and dedication only an experienced employee can offer.”

    The Board made the decision in early 2022 to create this permanent position and after interviewing qualified candidates, found Miles to be the best choice to manage the organization and help it achieve its vision of trail development.

    “Living in western Washington, I’ve seen how important trails are in our communities and I believe the preservation and expansion of the Foothills Trail is vital as we move into the future,” Ms. Miles said. “I’m looking forward to being a part of the Foothills Coalition and helping them reach their goals.”

    Upcoming projects Ms. Miles will be working on include the expansion of the Foothills Trail into King County and the completion of the White River Bridge which will connect the trail in Buckley to the Enumclaw Trail system. King County Parks is the lead on that important link. Connections to both Kitsap and Thurston Counties are also planned. The coalition partners with many government agencies, especially Pierce County Parks, as well as other organizations to procure and develop trails suitable for users on cycle, foot, and even horseback. Ms. Miles will act as a key liaison for the organization. 

    The Foothills Coalition is pleased to welcome Shayla Miles to their leadership team and the trail family. They are confident she will help take them to the next level as they continue to advocate for trail networks in the area. 

    About the Foothills Rails to Trail Coalition

    The mission of the Foothills Rails-to-Trails Coalition is to assist Pierce County governments and communities in the creation, maintenance and usage of a connected system of non-motorized trails for healthier people from Mount Rainier to Puget Sound. To learn more about the coalition or to become a member, visit

  • Thursday, September 08, 2022 11:48 AM | Dennis Brooke

    From a recent email by Chris Erickson, Project Manager for King County Parks:

    "The construction of the White River Bridge was awarded to Ceccanti Inc. out of Tacoma for a bid amount of $11.2M. There are a number of bridge component materials which have a considerable lead time in delivering to the project site. The construction should break ground by early 2023 and be complete in early 2024.

    There is one more separate construction contract to be bid out for the final short connection from Mud Mountain Rd to the historic Boise Creek Bridge.  This portion of the alignment has undergone permitting delays, but KC Parks remains hopeful this work can be bid out and constructed in coordination with the projected White River Bridge completion date."

    For more information about the project see this article

    The Foothills Rails-to-Trails Coalition is pleased to be able to partner with King County Parks, Pierce County Parks, and the city of Buckley on this important project.

  • Thursday, September 01, 2022 9:42 AM | Dennis Brooke

    The coalition was pleased to receive a letter of support for our work and the planned Doctor Tait Plaza from Roxanne Miles, the Director of Pierce County Parks & Recreation. She also recognized the work done by the coalition to make the dream of a trail network a reality. 

    We're happy to be working with Pierce County Parks, other agencies, and our many supporters to extend this jewel of a trail system. 

    To read the entire letter click here.

    To support the Doctor Tait plaza and other coalition efforts check out the Take Action page on our website. 

  • Tuesday, July 12, 2022 10:33 PM | Dennis Brooke

    The Foothills Rails-to-Trails Coalition Historical Pavilion and Doctor Douglas Tait Plaza project was featured in The News Tribune. Read the article here.

    To support the project visit this page: Donate

  • Thursday, May 12, 2022 4:36 PM | Daniel Bucci (Administrator)
    The Foothills Rails-to-Trails Coalition (FTC),, is seeking to hire an Executive Director to lead and manage all aspects of the coalition’s activities and affairs.  The mission of the FTC is to assist Pierce County communities in the creation, maintenance, and usage of a connected system of non-motorized trails from Mt. Rainier to Puget Sound.  The Coalition has grown to a point where it is no longer feasible for an all-volunteer Board of Directors to perform its work.  The Executive Board of the FTC will supervise the Executive Director and provide overall workload expectations and priorities.  The incumbent will receive little day to day supervision and will have broad flexibility to establish and maintain their work schedule within the parameters provided by the Executive Board.

    If you, or someone you know is interested in working in a rewarding position helping progress our mission of developing a trail network in Pierce County, WA and beyond, you can apply here:

  • Friday, January 28, 2022 4:49 PM | Dennis Brooke

    Click here to see the new documentary: R2R An Adventure in Your Own Backyard. The Rainier to Ruston Relay runs from Mount Rainier to Tacoma, and has been a delight for runners for almost 20 years!

  • Friday, January 28, 2022 11:16 AM | Dennis Brooke

    Brianne Blackburn, Planner & Trails Coordinator (extraordinaire) for Pierce County Parks gave a great presentation on trails plans at our annual meeting on Thursday, January 27th. 

    See this link for the PDF version of her presentation. 

<< First  < Prev   1   2   Next >  Last >> 

The Foothills Rails-to-Trails Coalition is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. 

Mailing Address: P.O. Box 192; Puyallup WA 98371-0021

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software