Closing a major gap in the PTCT
The Palouse to Cascades State Park Trail is being developed on the former Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific Railroad right of way. When this railroad filed for bankruptcy the State of Washington purchased the right of way in 1981. However, one of the major trestles over Cow Creek had already been removed. The trestle spanned 1,100 feet over the broad Cow Creek canyon and there was no easy detour around it. Travelers on the PTCT had to detour on county roads to the north adding 19 miles to their journey.
Fortunately, TDH Properties, an adjacent property owner, came forward and built a trail bypass across their property. This bypass, the Cow Creek Crossing, traverses five miles across the canyon through an active cattle ranch. TDH Properties, owned by brothers Michael and David Harder, open Cow Creek Crossing to the public March 1st through October 31st of each year
As part of this project the John Wayne Pioneer Wagons and Riders and the Palouse to Cascades Trail Coalition partnered to install gates and kiosks. The specially designed gates allow trail visitors to enter and exit but keep the cattle contained. The kiosks contain information about the use of the Cow Creek Crossing as well as history of the area.
The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission has an easement through this private property which allows the public to access it. Please respect that this is private property with specific requests: stay on the trail, no camping, no fires, closed during November through February, and please do not disturb the cattle or the wildlife!
We are very grateful to TDH Properties for the generous contribution to the success of the Palouse to Cascades State Park Trail. We will continue to work with other adjacent property owners to ensure the PTCT is viewed as an asset to the communities through which it passes.