Million dollar Naches Trail extension to start soon

Million dollar Naches Trail extension to start soon »Play Video
NACHES, Wash. -- Yakima County is making a big investment on the outdoors. It's spending more than a million dollars to extend the Naches Trail. The long-term plan is to connect it to the Yakima Greenway. KIMA learned what the challenges are to make that happen.

Ross Rogers works at Kershaw Fruit in Naches. He runs the Naches Trail twice a week.

"There's a waterfall down here and that's where I normally turn around. And, I just enjoy it on my lunch break."

But, Ross can only run so far. The trail ends near where he works at Low Road. Yakima County and the Yakima Greenway Foundation are working to change that.

Right now, the Naches Trail runs from the train depot in Naches to Low Road -- a roughly four mile stretch. Crews will extend the trail east to Old Naches Highway, along an unused rail line. That work will begin later this month.

After that's done, there will be another phase to connect the trail with the Greenway near 40th Avenue. There is no date for adding that two-mile stretch.

This first extension will cost more than a million dollars. State funds and donations will pay for it.

"The community has really stepped up and said we want this," said Yakima Greenway Foundation Executive Director, Al Brown. "And, they've done it by writing us checks and giving us their credit cards."

The new trail will include two parking lots, restrooms and a small park near Low Road. The final phase to connect with the Greenway could cost almost $2 million. It will need pedestrians crossings at Old Naches Highway as well as 40th Avenue and Fruitvale.

Still, the idea of a 20-mile long Greenway has Ross excited.

"My lads will like it. They'll like to ride on their bikes because they don't have a concrete path at home."

A new path for the boys and more reason for everyone to go outside.

Work on the new section of the trail is expected to wrap up before the end of the year.