Pierce County to accept national award for Foothills Trail

Pierce County Executive Pat McCarthy will officially accept national recognition for the Foothills Trail at the Pierce County Trail Conference on Tues., Sept. 18.

Randy King, superintendent of Mount Rainier National Park, will present a plaque to Executive McCarthy commemorating the May 2012 announcement by Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar and National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis that designated the Foothills Trail as a National Recreation Trail.

The popular Foothills Trail, which winds through East Pierce County from Puyallup to Buckley, is among 54 trails around the country that are joining the National Recreational Trail system. The Foothills Trail has been constructed in sections as finances, environmental permits and county ownership have allowed. When complete, the trail will be more than 28 miles in length.

The national recreation trail program is jointly administered by the National Park Service and the USDA Forest Service in conjunction with federal and nonprofit partners, notably American Trails, which hosts the national recreation trails Web site.

Organized by the ForeverGreen Council, the Pierce County Trails Conference brings trail users, providers and supporters together to network and hear the latest information on existing and planned trails in Pierce County. The conference will be held at the Pierce County Environmental Services Building in University Place on Sept. 18 from 3 to 7:30 p.m. The featured speaker is Laura Cohen, western regional director for the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy. More information is available online here.

Pierce County's Foothills Trail. (PHOTO COURTESY PIERCE COUNTY)