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 City of Soap Lake will use this grant to develop .8 mile of hard-surfaced trail along the southern shoreline of Soap Lake, to be named the Smokiam Trail, in Grant County. The trail will begin in Smokiam Park, which is at the intersection of State Highway 17 and 2nd Avenue Northeast, and will end at West Beach Park at the intersection of 1st Avenue East and Ash Street. With the Smokiam Trail, the City of Soap Lake will create a link between two heavily-used lakefront city parks for walkers and bicyclists. By developing the Smokiam Trail, the City will address Soap Lake’s primary recreational need from a 2016 assessment where residents and visitors cited lack of walking and cycling trails and lack of linkages between the two parks as their most pressing concerns. The 2016 comprehensive parks plan identified this project as Soap Lake’s top priority. The trail will benefit this rural economy by attracting some of the 4,400 travelers who drive through Soap Lake on the Coulee Corridor Scenic Byway every day. Community groups such as the Friends of the Lower Grand Coulee and Columbia Basin Trails Association support development of the trail. Soap Lake will contribute $666,350 in local and private grants and donations of cash, equipment, labor, and materials.