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. 


The Spiketon Ditch Bridge is closed to all traffic (including pedestrians and cyclists) due to damage until further notice. The bridge inspection report is currently in review by Pierce County.  We will provide more information when we have a firm plan of action.

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. 

The City of Buckley is constructing a parking lot for the Foothills Trail on Jefferson Avenue between SR 410 and Foothills Trail. Beginning Feb. 19th, Jefferson Avenue will be closed between SR-410 and River Avenue for the duration of the project. The Foothills Trail will be closed at the veteran’s memorial on the south end to the Youth Center on the north end. Click here to learn more a to view a map of the detour. For questions related to this project, please contact the City of Buckley Public Works Office, 360-761-7886.

Trail crossing at 136th now open

Map updated on February 28, 2024

Upcoming ADA Improvement Projects:

  • McMillin Trailhead: Signage installation and restroom ADA accessibility improvements will be completed by spring 2024. There will be no impacts made to trail usage.
  • South Prairie Trailhead: ADA accessibility improvements are substantially complete. ADA parking signs will be installed later in 2024. There will be no impacts made to trail usage.

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. This project will impact Foothills Trail with temporary closures in 2024 and 2025. Coordination between WSDOT and Pierce County will continue as the project progresses to design in coming months. 

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