The 212-mile Iron Horse State Park Trail reflects State Parks’ long-term commitment to developing cross-state trails. It is part of an emerging multi-state trail system. The Milwaukee Road Railroad right-of-way, which includes the Iron Horse Trail, travels east into Idaho, where it connects with the 72-mile Trail of the Coeur d’Alenes and the 15-mile Route of the Hiawatha, which continues into Montana.
Improvements have been made to the portion west of the Columbia River, and plans are in place to improve the 9-mile segment from Malden to Rosalia on the eastern portion. The center section, between Royal City Junction and Warden has intact rail; it is not used as part of the recreational trail at this time.
From Renslow to the Columbia River, the trail runs through the Yakima Training Center, managed by the U.S Army. Trail users are required to self-register at one of the two trailheads at Renslow (west) or Doris (east). Other rules for using the trail through the Yakima Training Center can be found here.
Between Lind and the Idaho border, a special permit is required to use the trail. The permit can be requested for up to a year in duration. Individual trail users and groups of 19 and less may complete and submit the permit online. Groups of 20 or more must complete and mail in a hard copy permit with payment. For more information or request a permit to be mailed, call (509) 337-6457.
Between Beverly and Royal City Junction, and between Warden and Lind, the trail is managed by the State Department of Natural Resources (DNR). A special DNR permit is required to use these sections. The permit may be completed and emailed or printed and mailed to: Department of Natural Resources, Southeast Region Office, 713 Bowers Road, Ellensburg, WA 98926. For more information, contact the Southeast Region DNR office at (509) 925-8510.