The "improved section" of the John Wayne Pioneer Trail, part of Iron Horse State Park, connects Rattlesnake Lake near North Bend, WA to the Columbia River in central WA, a distance of just over 100 miles. The actual rail corridor continues east of the Columbia River all the way to the Idaho border but it is not maintained and in some areas is not contiguous. Various permits and other approvals are necessary to traverse the more remote sections.

To the west of North Bend it is possible to ride all the way to Seattle using only rail trails, with only a couple of minor deviations to connect the various trails (less than 1 mile at a time).

On the Olympic Peninsula it is a different story entirely: the trails are not nearly as complete although there are some big plans to develop the Olympic Discovery Trail. Of the ~140 miles to traverse the north side of the Peninsula, less than half the surface is actual trails with the rest being paved roads.

 Crossing Hansen Creek bridge, JWPT, Iron Horse State Park

Crossing Hansen Creek bridge, JWPT, Iron Horse State Park

Initial Route

Stats:

Distance: ~490 miles

Elevation gain: ~30,000 feet

Length: 10 days (?)

  • Day 1 - Idaho Border to Ewan: 60 Miles
  • Day 2 - Ewan to Lind: 62 miles
  • Day 3 - Lind to Warden: 24 miles
  • Day 4 - Warden to Beverly (Columbia River): 61 miles
  • Day 5 - Beverly to Ellensburg: 32 miles (toughest day)
  • Day 6 - Ellensburg to Lake Easton: 38 miles
  • REST DAY!!! (We are taking a rest day in here) 
  • Day 7 - Lake Easton to Duvall: 67 miles
  • Day 8 - Duvall to Sequim: 69 miles
  • Day 9 - Sequim to Lake Crescent (Fairholme): 56 miles
  • Day 10 - Lake Crescent to La Push: 44 miles

 

 

Maps:

Part 1 - Pacific Coast to Kingston Ferry

Part 2 - Edmunds Ferry to Duvall

Part 3 - Duvall to Beverly

Part 4 - Beverly to Idaho Border

 

 

 

Resources: 

Iron Horse State Park website 

John Wayne Pioneer Trail on TrailLink (Rails-to-Trails Conservancy) 

Washington State Department of Natural Resources: Permits to ride the eastern section of the trail (Columbia River to Idaho) can be obtained through the WA-DNR.

Tolt Pipeline Trail website hosted by Trails.com

Tolt Pipeline Trail map hosted by King County

Snoqualmie Valley Trail website hosted by King County

Sammamish River Trail website hosted by King County

Burke Gilman Trail website hosted by the City of Seattle

Olympic Discovery Trail (ODT) website 

Olympic Discover Trail maps

Olympic Peninsula Tourism Commission info site for the ODT 

 

Ride reports by others: 

Bikefishing on the Iron Horse Trail

BikingBis John Wayne Pioneer Trail page 

26InchSlicks JWPT ride report, along with a thread he posted on mtbr.com.

Gazette9 ride report of the "Milwaukee Road" 

Photo Gallery from Nick Thomas, who rode most of the state-wide trail in 5 days in August 2015

Cool Tumblr blog from a guy who came over from Switzerland in 2014 to ride the entire length of the Milwaukee line from Seattle to Chicago