Name Change: What to Call the Iron Horse Park/John Wayne Pioneer Trail?
The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission is considering renaming the Iron Horse State Park/John Wayne Pioneer Trail and they want your opinion. Speak up and let your voice be heard!
The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission recently announced that it is considering a name change for the cross-state trail known as the Iron Horse State Park/John Wayne Pioneer Trail. This 285-mile trail starts in North Bend and runs east to the town of Tekoa on the Washington-Idaho border.
To gain a better lay of the land, check out the Friends of the John Wayne Pioneer Trail. (For some great hikes along the John Wayne Pioneer Trail take a look at the John Wayne Trail - Rattlesnake Lake and John Wayne - Trail Tunnel found in our hiking guide.)
Why the name Change?
State officials believe renaming the trail will help eliminate confusion. As it stands now, the “Iron Horse State Park Trail” actually includes the John Wayne Trail -- the two are one in the same.
Additionally, the current name does not follow the State Parks’ policy for naming trails. According to the policy in place, trail names must be based on geographical locations, significant events, geological features or include native botanical/biological references.
Proposed Trail Names:
- Cascalouse State Park Trail (a contraction of the Cascade and Palouse geographic areas)
- Columbian State Park Trail (a named passenger train that operated on the trail)
- Cross Washington State Park Trail (descriptive trail name)
- Iron Horse State Park Trail (current name of this State Park trail acknowledging the trail as a former railway)
- Milwaukee Road State Park Trail (name of the railroad that operated on the trail)
- Palouse to Cascades State Park Trail (geographic description of the trail route)
- Trail of the Olympian State Park Trail (name used to describe the route from Chicago to the Puget Sound)
Giving the trail a single meaningful name would not only create clarity for hikers across the state, but also be more representative of the region as a whole and highlight its importance as one of the longest cross-state trails in the country.
Members of the public are being asked to weigh in and give their public opinion on the matter by 5 p.m. Friday, May 4. For more details and information visit Washington State Parks.