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Chambers Creek Trail – A multi-agency trail network

Chambers Creek Regional Park is a 936 acre facility that is best known for its golf course that recently hosted the US Open. Pierce County owns 204 acres along Chambers Creek Canyon, while the City of University Place owns 16 acres contiguous to the County property, including Kobayashi Park. Total length of public ownership with the Chambers Creek Canyon is approximately two and one half miles.

Trail planning status:

In 2013 the Cities of University Place and Lakewood, and Pierce County (the Parties):

1.) Held a public open house to gauge interest in the Canyon Trail project and to gather community ideas and concern about the trail

2.) Surveyed a possible trail alignment in the Creek Canyon using GPS equipment, and

3.) Developed a draft trail implementation plan.

In 2015, an interlocal agreement was adopted by the Parties to guide the planning, design and permitting work on this project leading to construction of the Trail. The interlocal agreement also provides for the collaboratively seeking grants and other funding sources for the project.

In 2016 the Parties jointly provided funding to hire a design firm to provide preliminary engineering work and cost estimates to establish the Chambers Creek Canyon Trail route sufficient to apply for the next round of RCO grants.

The partnership/roles with three agencies involved:

The cities of University Place and Lakewood, and Pierce County are jointly working on the design and development of the proposed Chamber Creek Canyon Trail.

Importance of the trail construction:

The landscape along the proposed trail corridor located within the deeply incised Chambers Creek Canyon have remained primitive and will engulf trail users in a forested canopy providing a unique experience in the middle of a dense urban setting. Various sections of the trail are accessible from both Lakewood and University Place properties.

Maps/data of the trail expansion:

A portion of the trail has been built between the trailhead at the Chambers Creek Dam and the trailhead in the Tiffany Park Subdivision. This section is of the trail is approximately 0.6 miles long. The trail is planned to extend along the canyon to Philips Road near the Chambers Creek confluence with Leach Creek. The proposed trail includes one to two creek crossings between the north and south sides of the canyon. The existing and proposed trail would be approximately two and one half miles long.

The 2007 Chambers Creek Properties Master Site Plan identifies the trail in the canyon as a Nature Trail. The trail will be soft surface and approximately two to four feet wide. Due to the length of the canyon there is discussion of increasing the trail width to six feet to all for emergency vehicle access.

The proposed trail alignment includes roughly 1,300 linear feet of boardwalk across wetland at the base of steep slopes on the north side of the canyon approximately 1,000 feet west of Kobayashi Park.

Boardwalks provide access to wetlands and other sensitive areas where the public would not otherwise be able to access. In this case the proposed boardwalk will provide a connection between two trail segments and link trials in the Properties to Kobayashi Park and to the future Leach Creek Trail.

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