If you’ve been thinking about heading up to Ferry County to ride or walk the Ferry County Rail Trail, recent improvements have made the trail even more user friendly. In mid-May, an eight-foot-wide smooth, firm surface made of crusher fines was spread and compacted on 2.3 miles of the trail along the west side of Curlew Lake. The new surfacing from Pete’s Retreat south to Herron Creek Road connects to the improvements made just last summer for a total of 5.5 miles of compact trail surface.

The new surfacing was made possible by a $198,000 Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office non-motorized trail grant. Also included in the plan are surface improvements to approximately 2 miles of trail from Lundimo Meadow Road to the Curlew School then North along the Kettle River, ending at the tunnel. These other improvements, including a new vault toilet at the Black’s Beach Trailhead, are scheduled for later this summer. The RCO grant required a 50% match that was met through materials donated by Kinross Gold Corp., transportation of materials by ACI Northwest Inc., equipment use from Stott’s Construction and donated labor from Curlew Job Corps students and many other volunteers.

“Now that the full 6-mile length of trail next to Curlew Lake is improved, you can see the greater potential to connect the lake to the town of Republic,” noted trail advocate Bob Whittaker. The 28-mile trail corridor, which runs from near Republic north to the Canadian border, is open to non-motorized use, although many sections are still rough. To learn more about the trail and the local effort to continue to improve it as a non-motorized recreation trail, visit Ferrycountyrailtrail.com. //