Trail News

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Mountain Medicine: Aging well: Healthy life-style habits for seniors - WALLOWA cOUNTY cHIEFTAIN

April 3, 2019: In this weeks Wallowa County Chieftain, Miles McFall describes the negative effects that a lack of activity can have on aging individuals and the benefits exercise and socialization can have. He goes on to describe the lack of adequate areas within Wallowa County for those individuals to seek shared activity.

This is another example of how building a trail along the railroad corridor could help build our communities health and safety.


Joseph Branch Trail Consortium continues efforts to develop trail from Enterprise to Joseph

Feb 6, 2019: The JBTC is moving forward with plans to build a trail alongside the railroad tracks within the six miles of publicly owned railroad right-of-way between Enterprise and Joseph. Recently, JBTC submitted an application to the county for a conditional use permit that, upon approval, would allow JBTC to proceed with the development of a pilot trail segment. The conditional use permit application will go before the Wallowa County Planning Commission for approval in a meeting scheduled for Tuesday, February 26 at 7PM at the Cloverleaf Hall. Anyone interested in supporting trail development is encouraged to attend or express support in writing.


Participation in outdoor recreation activities cuts healthcare costs by billions, new report shows

Jan 7, 2019: A recent Oregon Parks and Recreation study finds that outdoor recreation saves the state $1.4 Billion in health costs annually. The study also indicates easy access to areas to recreate, like community trails, is key.

volunteers spruce ‘rail and trail’

June 28, 2017: JOSEPH — Oregon Outdoor Recreation Day was recognized by about 30 local trail enthusiasts who picked up debris along the railroad tracks between Joseph and Enterprise where the Joseph Branch Trail is proposed. The event was sponsored by the Joseph Branch Trail Consortium that is working with the Wallowa Union Railroad on a proposal to construct a six-mile trail along the railroad. 

“The cleanup day exemplified what rail and trail is all about,” said Kim Metlen, owner of the Rail Rider pedal cars. “About 32 neighbors from Wallowa and Union counties found a surprisingly small amount of litter.”

Businesses back trail project

Oct 11, 2016: The Joseph Branch Rail with Trail project recently received a resounding vote of confidence in an informal poll of business owners.

The results of the Wallowa County Chamber of Commerce’s first online poll of members indicates that the overwhelming majority of the 125 members who responded support the Joseph Branch Rail with Trail project. A majority of members also support the chamber in actively promoting the project.


Trail gets look from project stakeholders

May 30, 2016: JOSEPH — Constructing a trail along a portion of the Joseph Branch Railroad got another look by organizers and adjacent landowners recently — bringing up both concerns and support.


WURA’s Onboard

Feb 11, 2016: The Wallowa Union Rail Authority has given an initial green light to the first stage of an effort to create a 63-mile trail along the WURA line from Joseph to Elgin.

During its monthly meeting Feb. 9 in Wallowa, the WURA board unanimously adopted a resolution advancing the construction of a six-mile pilot segment from Joseph to Enterprise, the southernmost part of the six-segment proposal.

The resolution reads:

“WURA approves in concept the construction of a trail, with the railroad in control of the project, that a pilot segment be from Enterprise to Joseph, and that WURA initiate negotiations with the Joseph Branch Trail Consortium (JBTC) for a Memorandum of Understanding.”

WURA opens door to potential rail/trail pairing

Nov 6, 2013: Although slowly, the immovable object is beginning to move and what was an impossibility 11 years ago has been shown new light.

On Monday, Oct. 28, the Wallowa Union Railroad Authority (WURA) passed a resolution to study the possibility of having a trail constructed within the 63 miles of railroad right-of-way it owns between Joseph and Elgin. The idea has been bandied around frequently since WURA was born in 2002, sometimes sparking heated reactions, but not until that Monday night in the Wallowa Senior Center did the WURA board of directors make a definitive decision in support of the rails and trails concept.