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Ferry County rail trail?

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On March 26th, the Board of Ferry County Commissioners removed Bobbi Weller and Jennine Groth from the County’s Rail Corridor Committee (RCC.) During the 11 a.m. “consent & vouchers” segment of the session, Commissioner Blankenship passed a note to Commissioners Davis and Exner. The Commissioners whispered to each other during this exchange. Blankenship made a motion that was immediately approved unanimously, without any open discussion, that seated two new citizens on the RCC who are aligned with Commissioners. Weller and Groth have been longtime volunteers who have worked tirelessly to see this community project succeed. They were present at the meeting but were not thanked by the commissioners for their community service.

This is just the latest in a relentless 15-month series of actions intended to undermine the effectiveness of the two volunteer support groups, the RCC and Ferry County Rail Trail Partners, and impede development of the trail. These two groups, at no cost to the county, have successfully preserved the 28-mile rail corridor, written grants, and developed the trail that is near completion.

It’s worth noting that this trail and the two volunteer citizen’s groups who developed it are held in high regard by federal state agencies who funded it as well as state and national trail groups. In particular, RCO director Kaleen Cottingham and our grant manager Kyle Guzlas routinely use the Ferry County Rail Trail as an example of exceptional cost efficiency with taxpayer’s funds and an unprecedented level of volunteer effort. The fact that we have accomplished so much with so little funding should be applauded, not routinely criticized and obstructed.

Our community voted for a non-motorized rail corridor and the all-volunteer groups have delivered but that work has been continually obstructed by the county commissioners. Now more than ever we need community support and we implore people to speak up and be engaged on this issue or the trail will not be completed as planned. 

Bob Whittaker – President, Ferry County Rail Trail Partners

Rail trail group works to connect the dots

REPUBLIC, WA–Ferry County Rail Trail Partners recently announced two key advancements that will allow for continued development of the rail trail in Ferry County.

On Monday, January 29, 2018, the Rail Corridor Committee submitted the Ferry County Rail-Trail Development Plan Draft to the Board of County Commissioners for review. This plan updates and augments the original Concept Plan that was adopted by the County Commissioners in April, 2012. It also sets the stage for future development on the trail, and allows the county to continue to apply for a variety of grants that will insure completion of this project. A grant application for Phase 5 development will include surfacing from Curlew to the Kiwanis Trailhead, which will complete the surfacing of the entire 25-mile rail trail.

“This will be a tremendous benefit to Ferry County’s effort to complete development of the rail trail, connect our communities and bring recreational tourism to our area,” says Bob Whittaker, President of the Ferry County Rail Trail Partners

Click to read rest of the story

Capital budget passage loosens trail funds
By Brenda Starkey

–The capital construction budget which the state legislature passed Jan. 18 and Governor Jay Inslee signed Friday, Jan. 19 includes $82,000 for the next phase of development of the Ferry County Rail Trail.

The Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program grant will cover about half of the cost of the trail’s phase 4.

Click for full story

action crowd


The Ferry County Rail Corridor Committee (RCC) is updating the Rail Trail Development Plan. The Plan must be updated so we can continue to apply for (and win!) more grants to improve our community trail. As part of that process the RCC has a combined survey with the Ferry County Planning Department. The Planning Department portion has a broader perspective relating to all forms of recreation in the county. The Rail Trail section has rail trail specific questions. Your input is critical to the plan update and helps to complete the project. Please complete the entire survey on line by visiting

Ski day draws 250 to Rail Trail

By Brenda Starkey

REPUBLIC – The 2018 Ski Day on the Ferry County Rail Trail shattered last year’s attendance record Saturday when some 250 people gathered to ski, snowshoe, bike and hike the trail from the north end of Curlew Lake.
CLICK HERE for full story

A detailed map of the Curlew Lake section of the Rail Trail. Click here.

Updated map of entire Rail Trail. Cick here.

For up-to-date info and trail conditions please check our Face Book site:

Today we launched our first ever promo video! The 53 second film short was made possible by a donation and will be a usful tool to promote your trial and bring recreational tourism to Ferry County.

Watch the video here:

Please help spread the word by posting in social media and or forwarding this email to friends and use the hashtags:  #ferrycountyrailtrail #ferrycount
FCRTP Vice President Keith Bell has managed our phase 3 development grant so well we can afford to install an extra vault toilet! Originally we had only planned for one at Blacks Beach. The additional facility will be put in at the Kiwanis road trailhead located the north end of Curlew Lake just east of the trestle. This is very good news since our biggest non-development expense is paying for the sani-cans we have been renting. Maintenance of these vault toilets will reduce our overhead and allow more funds to be dedicated to the trail surface. 

We have had a very busy year in terms of grant writing, construction (fixing washouts and rock slides) and general advocacy to protect and promote this wonderful community asset. Generally, most of the tax-deductible donations we receive are used as a match for grants to develop the trail that effectively doubles the value of money you donate. However, some of our costs are operational items such as office supplies, maintaining the trail, and our biggest expense servicing the temporary sani-cans installed at trailheads. As a result, we need your help paying some bills. 

Please consider making a tax-deductible donation today by Paypal: Click here
Or please send a check to:: PO Box 3 Malo, WA 99150 

Now get out there and enjoy your trail! 
Bobby Whittaker, President Ferry County Rail Trail Partners

Ferry County Rail Trail in the news

Beauty of Rail Trail Open to all
By Al Camp The Chronicle

CURLEW – People in the tiny town of Curlew near the Canadian border continue working on sections of the Ferry County Rail Trail while racking up national recognition for the project. Work most recently included Ferry County Rail Trail Partners Vice President Keith Bell and Stotts Construction trail manager Johnny Metcalf spreading and compacting surface materials on the trail north of the tunnel along the Kettle River.

“This freshly surfaced four-mile segment brings the Curlew/Kettle River total to seven miles,” Ferry County Rail Trail Partners President Bob Whittaker. “Earlier this year surfacing was completed for the entire 5.5-mile length of the Curlew Lake section, bringing the grand total of miles surfacing improvements to 12.5 miles.”

Read the rest of the story: CLICK HERE

Pearl Jam charity donates $25K to Ferry County Rail Trail
by Rich Landers

TRAILS -- Eddie Vedder, front man for the rock group Pearl Jam, says the band plans to contribute $25,000 to the Ferry County Rail Trail Partners' next surfacing project on the trail that runs from near Republic to the Canada border.

Read the rest of the story: CLICK HERE

Ferry County Rail Trail on governor’s recreation radarTrail Group
Another segment of the Ferry County Rail Trail was smooth-surfaced last month bringing the improved sections along Curlew Lake and the Kettle River north of Curlew to 12.5 miles. The latest project completes surfacing on more than half of the 25-mile non-motorized rail trail that runs from north of Republic to the U.S.-Canada border, said Bob Whittaker, president of Ferry Count Rail Trail Partners. Most of the work is being done by volunteers and area businesses with the aid of non-motorized trail grants from the the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program, he said.

Read the rest of the story by Rich Landers on the Spokesman-Review Outdoor Blog: Click HERE

Trout Creek Bridge Resurfaced

Community volunteers, members of the Ferry County Rail Trail Partners, County Rail Corridor Committee and Curlew Lake Association joined forces to resurface the Trout Creek Bridge located just north of the Blacks Beach Trailhead. The improvements included adding decking over the existing creosote railroad ties that also had dangerous open voids between them. Brush was cleared and the same crushed rock surface used on the trail was added to the approaches and compacted to make it ADA compliant. Funds for the improvement  came from a non-motorized trail grant from the Washington Wildlife Recreation Program (WWRP) that is part of the State Recreation and Conservation office. This is the same organization that has funded surfacing 5.5 miles of the trail next to Curlew Lake and 3.14 miles from the Curlew School (Lundimo Meadows Rd.) north through the town of Curlew and along the Kettle River to the tunnel. Midway Building Supply and Halls Sales and Service also provided some materials.
Ferry County Rail Trail improvements continuejob
by Rich Landers, Spokesman Review

The Ferry County Rail Trail north of Republic is being improved with smooth surface sections.

A 8-foot wide surface of crusher fines was spread and compacted on 2.3 miles of the abandoned railway along the west side of Curlew Lake in May.

The new surfacing from Pete’s Retreat South to Herron Creek Road connects to the improvements made last summer for a total of 5.5 miles.

Read the rest of the story: CLICK HERE

Donation Opportunity

Please Consider a TAX DEDUCTIBLE Donation to Ferry County Rail Trail Partners

We can double your dollars! - Donations will go directly to the trail surfacing and other improvement projects and will be matched $1 for $1 by trail grants from the Washington State Recreation & Conservation Office.

As an all volunteer federally recognized 501c3 non-profit, FCRTP prides itself on getting things done on-time, on-target and on-budget, Your donations help our volunteers build and maintain the Ferry County Rail Trail, design and print maps and apply for grants. Memberships are crucial to what FCRTP can accomplish and make a great holiday gift. Joining FCRTP helps confirm the large number of people who care about trails.

To make a year end donation of any amount please click here Donate
We will provide you with a receipt for your tax deductible donation. 

Thank you for your support!

Ferry County Rail Trail
from the

Watch the video and get a birds-eye view of the Rail Trail

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