Foothills Trail

About the Trail

The Foothills National Recreation Trail sits atop a historic railroad bed and snakes through the river valley southeast of Tacoma. This 21-mile-long trail is a popular commuter route and recreational destination for bicyclists, while hikers enjoy shorter, more manageable segments of the trail. One of the most scenic sections for the unobstructed views of nearby Mt. Rainier begins in Orting and follows the Carbon River upstream through farmland and forest.

The Foothills Trail is a 12-foot wide non-motorized asphalt trail / linear park suitable for bicycles, walking, in-line skates, and wheelchairs. It also has a soft shoulder path for equestrians. 

The trail begins in the City of Puyallup at 13810 80th Street and continues through the Puyallup Valley to the City of Orting before beginning a small climb to the Town of South Prairie and the City of Buckley. The trail terminates at the White River in Buckley.  The future plan is to continue the trail to Puyallup where it connects with the Riverwalk Trail then ultimately to Tacoma and Sumner where it will connect with the Interurban Trail that now extends through Kent and Auburn. The trail in Buckley will continue east into King County and Enumclaw. 


Update as of 12/1/23: The Spiketon Ditch Bridge is closed to all traffic (including pedestrians and cyclists) until further notice for ongoing inspections and review of damage. There are no detours available at this time. Please do not attempt to go around or climb fencing or barriers blocking the bridge. We appreciate your patience. 

East Puyallup Trailhead Construction Begins Sept. 5

Construction for the East Puyallup Trailhead expansion project begins September 5. The project is expected take 4-5 months to complete. During construction, the trail through the site will remain open, but the parking lot and restroom will be closed. Please consider parking at alternative trailheads along the Foothills Trail during while the project is underway. Visit the project website to learn more. 

Foothills Trail Closure Map_updated 12/1/23

Map updated on December 1, 2023

Foothills Trail Improvement Projects - Expect closures and impacts in 2023

In 2023, the Foothills Trail will be undergoing multiple improvement projects to help enhance the trail for users as well as comply with Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) standards.  These projects will temporarily close sections of the Foothills Trail or trailhead amenities periodically. Please check back for updates or sign up for email updates about Foothills Trail closures and impacts.

Upcoming ADA Improvement Projects:

  • McMillin Trailhead: Signage installation and restroom ADA accessibility improvements. 
  • South Prairie Trailhead: ADA accessibility improvements. 

Learn more about the ADA Improvement Projects. For questions or concerns regarding the Foothills Trail Improvement Projects, please contact:

Jud Youell, Design and Construction Project Manager
[email protected] | (253) 798-4164

WSDOT Fish Passage Improvements: As a part of their statewide efforts to improve fish passage, WSDOT is planning to reconstruct culverts on Rauch Creek under SR-162 which is likely to include reconstruction of a culvert under the Foothills Trail between Orting and Crocker Parking Area. Coordination between WSDOT and Pierce County will continue as the project progresses to design in coming months. 

Temporary, daytime closures of the trail are expected for up to a couple of days in winter 2023 as the team performs geotechnical drilling. Construction is planned for 2025. 

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