First section of downtown Tacoma’s Prairie Line Trail to open next week

Next week, the University of Washington Tacoma will celebrate the opening of the middle segment of downtown’s 1-mile linear park known as the Prairie Line Trail.

The bicycle and pedestrian trail is being built on the former Northern Pacific right of way that brought the nation’s second transcontinental railroad to the Puget Sound area in 1873. When the trail is completed, it will run from South 25th Street down to Dock Street and the Thea Foss Waterway.

The Prairie Line Trail is being constructed in three segments, and the UWT’s is the first to open.

The school’s segment is from South 17th to South 21st streets. UWT is planning a grand opening on Sept. 25, from 5-6:30 p.m., at the Grand Staircase on campus. The event is free, but registration is required by going to

The city of Tacoma is in the final design stages for the northern segment, from South 17th Street to Dock Street.