The Chinook Trail Association 

chinook trail

The concept of the Chinook Trail originated in 1986 with two lifelong hiking companions, Don Cannard and Ed Robertson, who were retired educators and elementary school principals in the Vancouver School District. Standing on the summit of Silver Star, a 4,400 foot peak noted for its glorious wildflower displays, they dreamed of a trail going through the Columbia River Gorge. Originally, the trail was only going to go through Washington, but then the Forest Service suggested a bi-state loop going through Oregon and Washington. Others agreed enthusiastically, and in 1988, the Chinook Trail Association was born.

The original concept developed into that of a 300 mile rim top loop trail which would encircle the Columbia River Gorge. An additional 200 miles would be designated connector trails which would junction with existing trails such as the Pacific Crest Trail and communities in the Columbia River Gorge area. The first section of new trail, the Squaw Butte connector which connects Silver Star to Washington’s Larch Mountain, began on National Trails Day in 1993 and completed a year later.

Honoring the name of the Native Americans living for thousands of years along the Columbia River, the Chinook Trail will begin at Vancouver lake near Vancouver, Washington. The trail will climb northeast to its highest point, Silver Star Mountain, before meandering onto the rims of the Columbia River Gorge and continuing upstream to Maryhill State Park, some 100 miles from Vancouver. 

Completion of the Chinook Trail will come only with an enormous amount of cooperation between local, state, and federal agencies, and private ownership.The non-profit Chinook Trail Association invites you to join us in this vision for the future.

  • Advocates development of a Columbia River bi-state loop trail
  • Cooperates with appropriate local, state and federal agencies to develop this recreational resource
  • Monitors and participates in route selection, design standards, trail development and maintenance in an ongoing spirit of conservation to preserve the natural beauty of the Gorge
  • Provides information and education to develop public support

The proposed trail will extend along both sides of the Columbia River from the Portland- Vancouver metro area to Maryhill State Park in Washington, and Biggs, Oregon.

Chinook Trails Map

Chinook Trail Association Annual Meeting

The Chinook Trail Association held its annual board meeting on February 28, 2016.

Where: The Water Resource Education Center: 4600 SE Columbia Way, Vancouver, WA 98661

Speakers: Anne McEnerny-Ogle and others.


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