Located in southern Washington State, in the heart of the Columbia
River Gorge, the Klickitat Trail follows the first 31 miles of an
old railroad corridor linking the towns of Lyle and
Goldendale. It is unique among rail trails. Nowhere else is
a rail trail that starts in a remote, beautiful tributary canyon,
winds along a nationally designated Wild & Scenic River, and
finishes in one of the nationís only National Scenic Areas.
The 31-mile gently-graded Trail starts in the breathtaking, remote Swale
Canyon and passes through the small town of Klickitat before following
all 10.5 miles of the beautiful Wild and Scenic Klickitat River, ending
at the trailhead near Lyle, Washington, at the confluence of the
Klickitat and Columbia Rivers. The Trailís spectacular scenery
includes carved gorges, interesting geologic formations, abundant
wildflowers, rolling oak and ponderosa pine forests, and great birding
opportunities, including winter habitat for bald eagles
near the Lyle trailhead.
The first 17 miles of the Trail follow the Klickitat River, a
nationally designated Wild & Scenic River. The
Trail then heads east, through Swale Creek Canyon, a pristine area
that is extraordinarily scenic, ecologically significant, and
largely isolated from human activity. The rugged, remoteness
of Swale Canyon draws mountain bikers and adventurers.
Beautiful carved n arrow gorges of the Klickitat and Swale
Canyons, with their rolling oak and pine forested hillsides,
host spectacular wildflower displays and provide topnotch birding
opportunities. The Klickitat Trail is truly a gem of the
Columbia River Gorge and the Pacific Northwest.