Trails grants help communities and recreation areas fund the creation and improvement of trails for walking, hiking, cycling, horseback riding, and cross-country skiing. These grants help make communities more livable, create regional trails systems, and open up beautiful outdoor spaces for people to enjoy. WWRP is the largest source of trail support in the state of Washington.
The Town of Cle Elum will use this grant to replace a pedestrian bridge connecting to the Hanson Ponds Trail and improve the trailhead including the parking area, restroom, seating and picnic areas, and signs. The work will reconnect the Hanson Ponds Trail and restore the area’s recreational opportunities and scenery. In 2009, flooding destabilized the pedestrian bridge leading to the trail and it was later removed due to safety concerns. Without the trail, much of the waterfront along the Yakima River is inaccessible and there is no access to the third pond. This trail was in high demand before the flooding, and the area served as a key river and waterfront access point for numerous outdoor recreational activities including fishing, hiking, bird watching, and horseback riding. Hanson Ponds Trail also is part of the greater trail network, which includes connecting to the River Trail, and ultimately to Progress Path, the Coal Mines Trail, and the Palouse to Cascades State Park Trail. Cle Elum will contribute $130,500 in cash and donations of cash.