CWU News

CWU Trustees Grant Access Easement for John Wayne Trail

Central Washington University's Board of Trustees has unanimously approved an easement on a nearly two-acre site on the east side of the university to extend a portion of the John Wayne National Recreation Trail.

The board agreed to provide a 40-foot-wide by 2,800 linear feet long trail and utility easement near Brooklane Village to the City of Ellensburg to continue progress on completion of the John Wayne Trail through the community.

"By taking this action, the Board of Trustees has once again shown its support for this project and for those who will be able to enjoy the recreational opportunities being made available," CWU President James L. Gaudino said. "The university is very happy to partner with the city on the extension of the trail, which benefits not only our students but the entire community."

CWU previously granted an easement for the trail on 1.14-acres of university property from 18th Avenue to the corner of 14th Avenue and Alder Street. The trail is open to non-motorized traffic including hikers and bicyclists as well as cross-country skiers and equestrians.

Under the terms approved by trustees, the City of Ellensburg is responsible for maintenance of the trail surface and the utility (water and power) easement, while CWU maintains landscaping areas within the easement.

The John Wayne Trail follows the former Milwaukee Railroad bed for about 300 miles across two-thirds of the state of Washingon, from the western slopes of the Cascade Mountains to the Idaho border. The trail is named in honor of the John Wayne Pioneer Wagons and Riders Association, which assisted in creating the trail. It was designated a National Recreation Trail in 2002.

The 100-mile portion of the trail from Cedar Falls (near North Bend) to the Columbia River south of Vantage has been developed and is managed as the Iron Horse State Park.

Media contact: Richard Moreno, Department of Public Affairs, 509-963-2714,