By Nisqually Valley News —
The trail connects the cities of Yelm, Rainier and Tenino, passing through Wilkowski Park in Rainier and ending at Tenino City Park.
The trail traverses forest and agricultural lands, wetlands, creeks and other habitat parallel to state Route 507. It’s filled with scenic views, including the Deschutes River west of Rainier and McIntosh Lake near Tenino.
The trail, which runs east to west, was acquired by Thurston County in 1993. It operated as a Burlington Northern railroad from about 1869 through the late 1980s.
Pedestrians, bicycles and other non-motorized vehicles are permitted on the trail.
The Yelm-Tenino Trail intersects with the Chehalis-Western Trail, linking the cities of Yelm, Rainier, Tenino, Tumwater, Lacey, Olympia and Woodard Bay on the Puget Sound.
Thurston County Public works is close to completing a pedestrian bridge on Pacific Avenue that will link the Chehalis Western Trail with the Woodland Trail and I-5 Bike Trail.
The Yelm trailhead is located behind City Hall and features parking, picnic tables, restrooms and an information kiosk. The Rainier trailhead is located between Centre and Minnesota Streets behind Rainier Market with restrooms available. The Tenino trailhead is at the Tenino City Park on Washington Avenue with access to restrooms. The trail can be accessed from just about every road crossing.
Seattle to Portland Bicycle Classic
Each summer the Seattle to Portland Bicycle Classic cruises through the Nisqually Valley, taking advantage of the smooth ride found on the Yelm – Tenino Trail.
STP this year is Saturday and Sunday, July 12-13. Most riders will flow through the Nisqually Valley Saturday afternoon, heading for an overnight stay at the midpoint of the ride in Centralia.
The 200-mile bicycle ride is the largest multi-day bicycle event in the Northwest, with up to 10,000 riders participating.