The Joseph Branch Trail Consortium (JBTC), a 501(c)(3) tax exempt public benefit corporation, was established in 2014 to promote the idea of constructing and maintaining a 63-mile multi-use recreational trail adjacent to the historic Joseph Branch rail line between Elgin and Joseph, Oregon. JBTC board members worked with the Wallowa Union Railroad Authority (WURA), the railroad owner, the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department, Eastern Oregon University, Northeast Oregon Economic Development District, and multiple other organizations over an 18 month period to determine if a Joseph Branch Rail-with-Trail was feasible. And the answer is yes.

The Joseph Branch Rail-with Trail Concept Plan, commissioned by the WURA Board, resulted from multiple public meetings and workshops, public opinion polling, and research efforts. The Concept Plan, submitted on December 15, 2015 to the WURA board of directors, concluded it is physically, politically, and financially feasible to build the trail. There is a high level of public support for the trail. In 2016, WURA approved the development of the first 6 miles of the project, from Joseph to Enterprise as a Pilot Project.

Have questions? Visit our Frequently Asked Questions page to learn more. You can also Contact Us to reach out and ask questions. We are happy to discuss this project with anyone. It is the JBTC’s goal to help this project work for everyone, with the thoughtful and researched planning that has gone into this project.

Project Documents:

  • Conditional Use Permit Application: Part 1 (Download PDF)

  • Conditional Use Permit Application: Part 2 (Download PDF)

  • JB Rail with Trail Concept Study (guiding document for Pilot Project) (Download PDF)

  • Management, Maintenance, & Signage Plan, 3rd Draft (Download PDF)

  • Pre-design Engineering and Preliminary Environmental Review Report (Download PDF) Note: Files may take a few seconds to open.

  • Wetland Delineation (Download PDF) Note: Files may take a few seconds to open.

  • Concerns/Mitigation Strategies (Download PDF)

  • Public Safety (Download PDF)