Spokane’s motto is “Near nature. Near perfect,” and it is a fitting description. With seventy-five parks in the city limits and seventy-six lakes in a 50-mile radius, the Spokane area offers abundant outdoor recreation opportunities. The sunny, warm spring and summer months invite hikers, campers, fishers, boaters, kayakers, canoeists, cyclists, and bird-watchers out to play. There are trails for walkers, hikers, and bicyclists of all abilities. Whether you are just visiting for business and want to take an evening stroll through a beautiful rose garden or have time for a challenging day hike adventure, you will discover many options. Below are a just a few excellent, scenic trails.
Spokane River Centennial Trail, mile 29
Spokane River Centennial Trail: This completely paved trail, which is part of the 37-mile Centennial Trail that extends into North Idaho, generally follows the contours of the Spokane River, beginning at the Idaho state line and ending at Nine Mile Falls, WA. There are numerous parking areas along the trail, and it is ADA accessible and open to walkers, joggers, skaters, and bicyclists. Among its many highlights, the trail winds through 100-acre Riverfront Park in downtown Spokane and through Riverside State Park (see description below).
Riverside State Park: This 7,655-acre natural area offers visitors an in-the-woods experience without driving to a national forest. It is a wildlife watchers haven, with a diverse population of birds as well as moose, deer, bobcats, and cougars. In addition to the Centennial Trail, there are dozens of hiking, bicycling, equestrian, and off-road vehicle trails to explore, from easy to strenuous. Be sure to check out ancient Indian rock pictographs in the Little Spokane Natural Area, which is located about 6 miles northwest of downtown Spokane at the head of a pretty, easy trail along the lazy, meandering Little Spokane River. A moderate difficulty hike can be accessed across the road from the Indian Painted Rocks parking area. Another popular attraction is the Bowl and Pitcher, which features a 1930s-era swinging suspension footbridge over the Spokane River and spectacular views of the surrounding geologic wonders, located about 5 miles northeast of downtown Spokane. There is an easy seven-mile hike from here.
View from Mt .Spokane State Park
Mt. Spokane State Park (13,919 acres) is a favorite amongst local hikers, mountain bikers, and huckleberry pickers. The view from the top of the 5,883-foot elevation includes surrounding states and Canada. The forested park features stands of old-growth timber and granite rock outcroppings. Twenty-five miles northeast of Spokane, the park is beautiful and primitive and boasts 100 miles of hiking trails, 90 miles of bike trails, and 100 miles of horse trails. Trails tend to be challenging, with big pay-offs in gorgeous views of the surrounding areas.
Duncan Gardens at Manito Park
Manito Park is a 90-acre botanical paradise located in Spokane’s South Hill neighborhood. Here you can enjoy five 1800s style gardens, a greenhouse conservatory, and a large duck pond. Arguably Spokane’s most beautiful manicured park, Manito Park offers walkers, joggers, and bicyclists fragrant roses and lilacs, topiary shrubs, a picturesque stone bridge, lush lawns, and the peaceful Japanese Garden.
The Spokane, WA area offers a wide variety of urban, forested, and rural trails. For more information, go to these websites:
Inland Northwest Trails Coalition
2009 Spokane Regional Bicycle Map
Washington State Parks
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