This Abandoned Railway Hike In Washington Is A Historic Treasure
Tucked away in Northeast Washington sits Ferry County, an underrated — and scarcely populated — part of the state. Ferry County is loaded with local railroad history, and it’s where you’ll find the impressive Ferry County Rail Trail. This 25-mile trail showcases this part of the state at its finest while paying homage to our past.
The Ferry County Rail Trail sits in a mountainous setting, spanning about 25 miles through a forested trail along the Kettle River.
The trail begins near the town of Republic and leads to Danville, which is near the Canadian border.
It all began in 2008 when a local group got together to talk about an abandoned railway in the area and its potential transformation into a trail.
They formed a non-profit, worked tirelessly, and made it happen.
These days, the trail is open to walkers and runners, bikers, and horseback riders.
You can also bring your dogs along as long as they stay on a leash.
The best spots to access the trail are by Highway 97 through the Okanogan Valley or by Highway 395 from Colville to Spokane.
The south section of the trail winds along Curlew Lake, crossing the lake at the north end.
The center section of the trail travels over unfinished rail bed to Lundimo Meadows Road near the town of Curlew.
The north section begins at Curlew, along the Kettle River and through a short tunnel to Danville.
Of course, 25 miles is a substantial distance, so you're more than welcome to just enjoy a few miles of it, especially if you're short on time.
That's why the trail is divided into the afore-mentioned north and south sections, which are 5.5 and 10 miles, respectively. The center part of the trail is about 9.5 miles long.
The Ferry County Rail Trail is well maintained by an amazing group of volunteers who work to keep it clean, safe, and accessible for all.
Ferry County is truly one of Washington's best kept secrets, and this trail is a beautiful reminder of that. You can access the area in any season, although nothing quite compares to it on a warm summer day.
The Ferry County Rail Trail is a must-see for all Washingtonians. But if you’re a bit short on time, you may want to choose
one of these trails instead.