Simplify Tiny Homes Finds a Promising Spot

Simplify Tiny Homes finds a promising place to park their tiny house hotels, because of abandoned railroad track beds. Dean Scott, the owner, talked with Tumbleweed about his tiny houses, the trail conservation project, and the future of the tiny house movement.


About South Prairie

The discovery of coal in 1875, in South Prairie, brought railroads to the area. The tracks moved people and goods back and forth in the area until there was a decline in logging and coal mining, leaving many railroad beds to become abandoned. The tracks cut through the existing pleasurable amenities in the area. Among the natural beauty are treed meadows and the South Prairie Creek. For the residents and visitors, it’s a place to get away from the noise of the world and hectic big city life.

The Foothills Trail Coalition

Rails To Trails

Over 10,000 miles of abandoned railroad beds in the United States have the potential to be purchased by or donated to local governments for revitalization. A rail bed’s most common use is for non-motorized public recreation, like hiking, biking or equestrians. One such trails project is the Foothills Trail in South Prairie. Segments of the rail bed have been purchased to continue the construction of a paved trail that will lead all the way to unobstructed views of Mt Rainer. Federal and state grant funds are helping to transform the rail bed into an additional amenity in South Prairie because it contributes to the health, conservation, and recreation goals of the United States. In 2012, The Foothills Regional Trail became a National Recreation Trail.

Dean Scott’s Tiny Houses

Dean Scott started his growing fleet of tiny houses when he purchased a half finished build project from someone. It happened to be a Tumbleweed Cypress. When he completed his build, he set it up as an Airbnb accommodation and began building a second Cypress unit. He now rents both at a 30 acre RV park that sits on both sides of the Foothills Trail. The park is a quiet setting in nature, but it’s 5 minutes away from groceries and shopping centers in Buckley, Bonney Lake, and Orting.

The South Prairie Creek RV park provides guests with a quiet natural setting surrounded by trees as well as other amenities. Everything you could need is right at the park, or a short distance to Bonney Lake. Dean’s Tiny Houses also have creature comforts like an indoor fireplace, laptop-friendly work-space, wireless internet and cable TV. When you book a stay in Dean’s tiny houses, you can expect a pleasant experience. All you have to do is read the reviews of his previous guests. They all enjoyed their stay!

Tiny House Airbnb
Learn More About Dean’s Tiny Houses
Tiny House Airbnb
Learn More About Dean’s Tiny Houses

Founding Tiny House Communities

Dean, a professional firefighter/paramedic, has a vision for South Prairie Creek RV park. He sees the beginnings of a new tiny house community. As he begins his next (and third) tiny house build, his endeavors aren’t without struggle, however. Within the tiny house movement, it’s common to face obstacles when it comes to placement of tiny houses. Usually, the difficulty has to do with zoning, but South Prairie Creek RV is already tiny friendly. Dean is confident that the tiny house community will move forward despite the county slowing down the process due to the location of the RV park.

The Foothill Trail cuts directly through the RV park, with the tiny houses on one side of the trail. The reason for the slow progress is that the county is concerned for the safety of people enjoying the path. Access to the tiny houses requires crossing the trail’s path. Dean describes it as an “intersection.” Interest is growing as Dean talks with other tiny house owners that are looking for places to park, so working with the county to decide how to handle the intersection is a very important step. Working together achieves more.  The movement will move forward, and hopefully, soon there will be more tiny houses there.

The Tiny House Movement Moves Forward

Fortune favors the bold. Dean’s work in extending the tiny house movement to this area in South Prairie is promising, and we look forward to catching up with him again soon, so we can report back on his progress. We can learn a lot from those that are moving forward in developing tiny house communities.

For further reading, here are some useful links about the Rails To Trails program: