Twenty-five years ago, Doug Flansburg stumbled upon a deer trail leading to the west end of Kamiak Butte County Park.
Flansburg added bluebird houses built by the Boy Scouts and hiked the trail regularly to maintain them. After nearly two and a half decades of work, Flansburg’s trail became official.
On June 22, the trail, now named the West End Primitive Trail, will open with a guided tour. It’s the only trail in its area.
"The park’s board decided they would like to help make an official trail out of it," he said.
The changes include the park will being within park boundaries, instead of running through neighboring private land as it was previously.
Tim Myers, director of Whitman County parks, said the board walked the trail and felt it was possible to incorporate it into the park.
"The Pine Ridge Trail, which is noted as a national trail, is something that local people that hike Kamiak on a daily or weekly basis have hiked hundreds and hundreds of times," he said. "The board felt it’d be nice to have something a little bit different. The new trail is about two miles long."
Both Myers and Flansburg said this trail is meant to provide a different, wilderness-like, experience. For this reason, dogs aren’t allowed on the West End Primitive Trail.
"That’s in order to protect wildlife," Myers said. "Also to keep the dogs from disturbing people’s hikes to give them a different experience, as opposed to dogs that are allowed on a leash on the rest of the trail."
Throughout the process of transitioning the trail from a deer path to an official one, Myers said he had to ensure it was going through the right places, and receive the appropriate amount of maintenance after completion.
Flansburg said the trail was well established, but they cleaned it up and widened and leveled the path out, along with other tasks.
"It just kind of follows the contours up and down of Kamiak," he said. "We tried to keep the general grade fairly shallow so it wasn’t too hard of a hike for people."
The free guided tour will be at 5 p.m. June 22 at the park.