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Changing Leaves, Changing Trail This Fall in Lyle

Changing Leaves, Changing Trail This Fall in Lyle
Autumn hike on the Lyle Cherry Orchard trail. (photographer: Debbie Asakawa)
By Renée Tkach
Gorge Towns to Trails Manager

September 27, 2018
The Lyle Cherry Orchard, our 550-acre land trust property above Lyle, WA, will undergo a transformation this fall. More than three miles of trail will be re-routed and added to the existing five-mile trail system.
Two new loops are planned – one to highlight the site of the long-abandoned namesake cherry orchard and another that wraps around the iconic “Lyle” sign. Our long-term goal is to connect the trail into Lyle as a key component of Gorge Towns to Trails, an effort to create a loop trail around the entire Gorge, connecting Gorge communities.
Our project partner Washington Trails Association (WTA) will hold four weekend-long work parties this fall (Oct. 20-21, Nov. 3-4, Nov. 17-18, Dec. 1-2) where you can join for a weekend of camping and trail building, or for a single day. Learn more and sign up.
Additions add to a rich history

The history of the Lyle Cherry Orchard is rich. In the early 1900s, the visionary roadbuilder Sam Hill built a demonstration road on the property that was a precursor to the Historic Columbia River Highway. In the 1990s, Friends founder Nancy Russell began purchasing pieces of the property and gradually built the current trail. Nancy’s estate donated the land to our land trust in 2009, and last year, Friends purchased 25 acres adjacent to the Cherry Orchard in our Preserve the Wonder campaign.
The trail additions are the product of seven years of careful planning, public engagement and trail plotting. To bring this trail project to life, it’s been critical to work with businesses, government agencies, and other nonprofit organizations.
“This is a true collaborative effort,” said WTA Program Manager Ryan Ojerio. “Partnerships like this will drive sustainable recreation development for years to come.”
Spend a weekend in Lyle with us this fall

To celebrate this important next step for Gorge Towns to Trails, we’re hosting a Play & Stay weekend in Lyle, Oct. 12–14 at the Lyle Hotel. The full range of activities for Foliage & Fall Wines Weekend will include hikes at the Cherry Orchard and the Klickitat Trail, an electric bicycle wine tour, a wine-themed dinner, and a Gorge Towns to Trails presentation. UPDATE Oct. 3, 2018: The Play and Stay weekend has been canceled. Stay tuned for future Play and Stay events in the Gorge.

Map designed by Lisa D. Holmes/Yulan Studio