Top 10 Fall Walks in Spokane

Written by Stephanie on November 5th, 2014
Copyright © Charles Gurche Photography. Check out more of Charles Gurche’s beautiful Spokane pictures at

Copyright © Charles Gurche Photography. Check out more of Charles Gurche’s beautiful Spokane pictures at

Spokane’s fall season is in its full glory. The city is decorated with vibrant reds, oranges, and yellows thanks to our abundant leafy trees. Grab a raincoat and enjoy the autumn views before all the leaves fall! Below are 10 of the absolute best fall walks in the Spokane area, in no particular order, based on suggestions from Spokane residents.

  1. Finch Arboretum: Stroll through this 65-acre park amongst a botanical collection of trees and woody plants from hawthorns and oaks to rhododendrons. Visit the website to download a walking guide that lists which trees are showing their colors in the fall and where to find them. Finch Arboretum is located at 3404 West Woodland Boulevard.
  2. Corbin Park Historic District: Corbin Park, at the center of the district, is an 11-acre park located at 2914 N West Oval Street. You can download a map of the park here. There are many brilliantly colored trees in the fall within the park. If you extend your walk to wander through the neighborhood, you can walk under more beautiful trees lining the sidewalks. This area also boasts many historic homes.
  3. Ben Burr Trail: This trail was constructed on an old railroad line and connects Liberty Park to Underhill Park, a distance of one mile. It is located north of E 57th Ave. between Ben Burr Rd. and S Myrtle St. Cul-de-sac on the South Hill.
  4. Whitworth Campus: Whitworth University in north Spokane at 300 West Hawthorne Road has a beautiful treed campus that is very impressive in the fall. Click here for a campus map to aid your roaming.
  5. Browne’s Addition: This neighborhood, just west of downtown, contains some of the oldest trees and oldest homes in Spokane. A great place to start is at Spokane’s first park, Coeur d’Alene Park, at 2195 S Chestnut St. Here you will find towering pines as well as leafy trees. From the park, you can wander the neighborhood. The MAC Museum of Art and Culture, located in Browne’s Addition at 2316 W 1st Ave., sells a walking tour booklet for $5.95. You can also download a walking tour for handheld devices.
  6. Overlook Park: Located in Browne’s Addition on Coeur d’Alene Street, here you can enjoy a view of the Hangman Valley and walk down to Hangman Creek, where there is another trail that parallels the creek.
  7. Manito Park: This 90-acre park has the most beautiful gardens in the city, but during the fall, it’s the large trees take the spotlight. Located at 1702 S Grand Blvd. Download a map here.

    Corbin Park. Photo by Ginny Abdallah.

    Corbin Park. Photo by Ginny Abdallah.

  8. Downtown Coeur d’Alene: The downtown waterfront in Coeur d’Alene is another great place to take in the spectacular colors of fall in the Inland Northwest while also enjoying the scenery of the Coeur d’Alene Lake. Click here to download a map. Follow the Centennial Trail from City Park as long as you like. Be sure to take a walk along the boardwalk on your way.
  9. Riverfront Park to Gonzaga Campus Centennial Trail Loop: This walk is one of my personal favorites. Located on a calm section of the Spokane River, you’ll see colorful foliage reflected in the glassy water. A good place to start is in Riverfront Park behind the INB Performing Arts Center at 334 West Spokane Falls Boulevard. Walk east along the trail, along the river. The loop follows the river, then crosses a bridge over to the Gonzaga campus, where you can walk back along the river, crossing back into Riverfront Park at one of the bridges.
  10. Cliff Park: From the top of this volcanic outcrop, at 426 W 12th Ave., you can enjoy great views of the surrounding city and the many tall trees in the area. The park is only five acres, but a short climb within an old rock wall provides a great payoff in scenery.

Spokane Chiefs Hockey Presents Leinenkugel’s Hocktoberfest, Team Poster Giveaway and Autograph Session, Spokane Police Vs. the Sheriffs, and More

Written by Stephanie on October 15th, 2014

GoChiefsGo_Primary_Color4050Fall is here, and the Spokane Chiefs hockey season is in full swing. The Chiefs just broke a three-game losing streak with a 3-2 shootout win over the Seattle Thunderbirds Tuesday night in Kent, WA. With big changes in the roster this season, a bit of a rocky start was no surprise. As head coach Don Nachbaur said in a September 19 Spokesman Review article, “We have a young ‘D’ and there’s been a lot of turnover on our back end, so that’s going to take some time to sort that out. As they get experience, they’re going to get better.” With the first month under their belts, there is plenty of time for the Spokane Chiefs to have a great season. Hockey games are a fun way to cut loose and get noisy with family, friends, or a date.

There are some great events coming up at Chiefs home games. This Saturday, October 18, get to the game early for Leinenkugel’s Hocktoberfest, an Octoberfest style festival outside the Spokane arena that starts at 4:00 p.m. with German-themed food, drink, and entertainment. Leinenkugel will also be giving away a weekend in Leavenworth. This event is, of course, for fans 21 and over only. Saturday, November 1, is another don’t-miss game night, as the first 5,000 fans will receive a team poster and all fans are invited to a full-team post-game autograph session. On Sunday, November 3, you can come watch the Spokane Police take on the Sheriffs on the ice before the Chiefs game, with proceeds benefiting Behind the Badge. These are just a few of the many special promotion nights. For the full 2014–2015 promotional schedule, click here.


Celebrate Apples and Local Farms at the Green Bluff Apple Festival, Weekends through October 26, 2014

Written by Stephanie on September 24th, 2014
Kids playing at Walter's Fruit Ranch

Kids playing at Walter’s Fruit Ranch

Washington produces about 58% of the apples grown in the United States, according to a US Ag. Stat., 2010 report cited by Washington University Extension’s website. Apples are an important part of Washington’s economy and identity, and Green Bluff’s orchards celebrate harvest season in a big way. You can ride in a horse-drawn wagon, pick your own delicious apples, wander in a corn maze, pick up amazing fresh apple cider and other apple goodies, hear live music, and much more. Below are a few highlights of the Apple Festival at Green Bluff, which runs weekends through October 26. Please keep in mind that every attraction might not be available every weekend. Check with individual farms for hours and event schedules.

Farm Tours
If you want to learn more about small farms, take a farm tour. Hidden Acres, Mrs. Kalin’s Barn, Siemers Fruit, and Walter’s Fruit Ranch all offer tours. Give them a call first to see if you need to schedule a time for your tour.

Family Fun
Green Bluff is a great place to bring kids of all ages who want to play. Check out the Friendly Family Farm Funland at Beck’s Harvest House, with a giant corn maze, giant jump pillow, hay pit, inflatable jump castle, and inflatable haunted house. Mrs. Kalin’s Barn has a straw obstacle course and a giant slide. High Country Orchard offers hay rides, as well as a café with breakfast and lunch. Kids can meet and pet farm animals at Hidden Acres and Walter’s Fruit Ranch. Knapp’s offers “punkin’ chunkin’,” goat mountain, miniature horses, miniature donkeys, and a straw and corn maze. At Siemers Fruit, check out the giant blowup slide, adult-size pedal cars, trains, a corn-shrub maze with a four-story castle, and a pirate ship.

Wine, Beer, and Cider Tasting
Sample delicious beverages at Green Bluff amongst the beautiful scenery of the foothills of Mt. Spokane. At Bodacious Berries, Fruits, and Brews, you can hang out in the red barn or sit outside while enjoying cold, farm fresh beer, often with live music for your entertainment. Townshend Cellars offers distinctive wines in their beautiful tasting room. For something a little different, head to Hierophant Meadery or Twilight Cider Works.

These are just a few highlights of the festival. The best way to enjoy Green Bluff is to drive up and stop at the farms that look interesting to you (most have signs outside their driveways indicating what produce is available). You can print a grower map here or just pick one up at Green Bluff—they are available at several locations, including High Country Orchard’s store and Walter’s Fruit Ranch. Festival events are on weekends only. Call ahead for hours and events at individual farms. Parking is free, but keep in mind that the area is very busy during the Apple Festival, so traffic will move slowly. Green Bluff is located in the foothills of Mt. Spokane just a short drive from Spokane or Spokane Valley. Click here for directions.


There Really Is No Place Like the Fair: Spokane County Interstate Fair Is September 5–14

Written by Stephanie on September 3rd, 2014

Spokane County Fair 2014It’s time to see the pigs and cows, scare yourself on carnival rides, and eat way too much junk food. The Spokane County Interstate Fair starts Friday, September 5. There are so many things to do that it’s a good idea to plan your visit ahead of time to avoid missing a gem like a lego-building contest, kids’ mutton bustin’, racing pigs, or a blacksmith demonstration. Then there are the big shows in the Grandstand, including the PRCA Rodeo, demolition derbies, and national music acts. This year’s Grandstand bands are the Doo Wah Riders (country), Big & Rich (country), Credence Clearwater Revisited (rock, with two original members of Credence Clearwater Revival), Jars of Clay (Christian rock), REO Speedwagon (rock), and Seether (hard rock). Click here to see full schedules for each day.

The Spokane County Interstate Fair is held at the Spokane County Fair and Expo Center at 404 N. Havana Street, Spokane Valley. General admission at the gate is $10.00 for adults, $7.00 for seniors ages 65 and over, $7.00 for youth ages 7–13, and free for children ages 6 and under. Carnival rides and shows in the Grandstand have additional ticket fees. Parking is available on site for $5.00 in the Main and West lots (paved) and free in the South and STA lots.


Toby Keith Plays at Northern Quest Casino September 22, 2014

Written by Stephanie on August 21st, 2014

Toby KeithCountry superstar Toby Keith is coming to Spokane on September 22, 2014 for an outdoor concert as part of his “Shut up & Hold on” tour. With 32 #1 hit singles under his belt, including “How Do You Like Me Now?,” “Beer for My Horses,” “Should’ve Been a Cowboy,” and “As Good as I Once Was,” Keith is one of the most successful songwriter/artists in history. He has a line of restaurants, Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar and Grill, with a location in Boise, ID opening soon. He even has his own tequila brand, Wild Shot Mezcal.

Joe Nichols, four-time Grammy nominee, with newly released singles “Sunny and 75″ and “Yeah,” will also play. Since the release of his latest album, Crickets, last year, Nichols has added two consecutive #1 gold certified singles to his repertoire of six #1 records, eight top 10 singles, and multiple platinum and gold certified albums.

Click here to buy tickets to this unforgettable night of country ($75–$115).

The outdoor amphitheater at Northern Quest Resort and Casino has excellent acoustics and room for dancing under the stars. You can have dinner and drinks first at one of the resort’s fourteen restaurants and lounges. Gamers will love the 55,000 square-foot casino, part of which houses an isolated non-smoking game room. After the show, you can skip the drive home and stay in the resort’s Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star Hotel rated rooms. There is plenty to keep you busy for another day, including the La Rive Spa and shopping.

Stratford Suites is also a great option for lodging if you are attending the Toby Keith concert. It is located just a couple of minutes from Northern Quest and offers fully equipped kitchens and large flat screen TVs. Call 509-321-1600 or click here for reservations.


Over 1,500 of the Best Hot Rods, Customs, and Classics in the Northwest and Canada at the Goodguys 13th Great Northwest Nationals, August 15–17

Written by Stephanie on August 13th, 2014

Car with flamesOne of the biggest classic auto shows in the Pacific Northwest opens this Friday at the Spokane County Fair and Expo Center. The Goodguys 13th Great Northwest Nationals is an indoor/outdoor event showcasing hot rods, customs, classics, muscle cars, and trucks born through 1972. On All-American Sunday, American-made and/or powered vehicles of all years are welcome. Awards will be presented on Sunday, including the Goodguys Builder’s Choice awards, which will be selected by 2014 Ridler-winning builder JF Launier (his Ridler-award 1964 Buick Riviera will be on display at the show).

The Great Northwest Nationals also hosts a swap meet, where you’ll find everything under the automotive sun from gauges to tires and wheels, vehicle frames to fenders, shop signs to vintage automotive toys, and more. At the AutoTrader Classics Cars 4 Sale Corral, you can even purchase a car or truck that is ready to cruise or restore. Black car

This is a family friendly event, so bring the kids. There is free entertainment just for them: Revell model car make-and-take, PPG kids coloring contest, and clowns. Live music by Nostalgia Entertainment will play throughout the weekend. You can also shop for arts and crafts at the “Goodgals” arts and craft gallery.

To kick off the weekend, there is a Thursday night hot rod cruise that leaves from the Fair and Expo Center, and Friday night you can come to the TGIF party at 6 p.m. in the Mirabeau Park Hotel parking lot. Show hours are Friday and Saturday 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Sunday 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. General admission is $15.00, kids’ admission (ages 7–12) is $6.00, and kids ages 6 and under are free. Active or retired military personnel with ID receive $5 off general admission. Parking is free.


Celebrate Creativity with Regional Art and Musicians at Art on the Green August 1–3 at North Idaho College in Coeur d’Alene

Written by Stephanie on July 30th, 2014


Copyright 2013 Citizens' Council for the Arts

Copyright 2013 Citizens’ Council for the Arts

Art on the Green is a highlight of summer in the Inland Northwest. Over 50,000 people come out to see and buy unique, high quality works of glass, leather, clay, wood, metal, and fiber directly from the artists. Most artists are from the Northwest, with a few from farther away, and most of the performers are local. If you want to see if your favorite local artist is at Art on the Green, click here for a list.

Kids can create their own art in a special hands-on art area that provides instruction and materials. Two stages provide a variety of entertainment. Throughout the weekend, you can catch the Coeur d’Alene opera, a youth poetry slam, teen jugglers, and over 20 different music acts, including pop, blues, and jazz. Click here for a full schedule. Naturally, there are plenty of fun festival food choices for when you work up an appetite.

Art on the Green is held on the campus of North Idaho College in Coeur d’Alene, ID. Festival hours are Friday 12:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., Saturday 10:00 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., and Sunday 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Friday and Saturday live entertainment runs until 9:30 p.m. A free shuttle runs from downtown to the campus throughout the festival.

The Taste of the Coeur d’Alenes and the Coeur d’Alene Street Fair will also be running this weekend in downtown Coeur d’Alene as well as at the City Park on the lake. All three events are within walking distance to each other, or you can take the free shuttle that runs all weekend from downtown to NIC. All are free admission. The Taste of the Coeur d’Alenes and the Street Fair (on Sherman Avenue) feature arts and crafts, food booths, and live music.


Swing Upside Down 104 Feet off the Ground, or Just Float on a Lazy River: Silverwood Offers Thrills of Several Kinds

Written by Stephanie on July 4th, 2014
Silverwood Theme Park

Silverwood Theme Park

The Northwest’s largest theme park is situated just a few minutes north of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. Between the two parts, Silverwood Theme Park and Boulder Beach Water Park, you would be hard pressed to see and do even half of the attractions in a day. Silverwood offers wild rides to mild rides, fun areas just for little ones, shopping, and relaxing options such as a slow train ride.

One of the scariest rides and the first of its kind in the world, the Spincycle takes bold riders 104 feet up, legs dangling and wearing only a harness, then rotates 360 degrees at 13 revolutions per minute while swinging like a giant pendulum. Aftershock, also designed for the extreme rider, was voted the top hanging roller coaster by the Travel Channel in 2012 and boasts 177-foot drops. There are nine thrill rides in all, four of them roller coasters.

For those who prefer things a bit less jolting, Silverwood offers 12 fun-for-all rides, including the gentle steam engine train ride around the park (featuring the occasional not-scary robbery), as well as fun favorites like the Ferris wheel, bumper boats, and tilt-a-whirl.

Young kids can have a blast on 10 rides made just for them, including the brand new Krazy Koaster and Puppy-Go-Round. Several of the kid’s rides can accommodate adults riding with children.

When you need a break from the amusement rides, you can see a magic show at the Theater of Illusion, watch an old-timey flick at the Main Street Theater, or catch some live music at the High Moon Saloon.

Boulder Beach Water Park

Boulder Beach Water Park

On the other side of the park, cool off at Boulder Beach Water Park. Slide at up to 55 mph on Velocity Peak or board a raft and splash down a 650-foot slide that ends in a below-ground canyon on Avalanche Mountain. Or you can just kick back on an inner tube and float around Elkhorn Creek. Young kids can play all day at Polliwog Park, and there is even a special play area just for toddlers, Toddler Springs. Everyone can enjoy the two wave pools.

There is so much to do at Silverwood, you may want to stay close by and spend a couple of days there. Click here for nearby hotels that offer discounted ticket packages. You can also stay at the Silverwood RV Park. Silverwood tickets, which include admission to both the theme park and Boulder Beach Water Park, are $45.99 for ages 8–64 and $22.99 for ages 3–7 and seniors age 65+. Purchase your tickets online before you go for a discount of up to $4.00 per ticket. Two- or three-day passes are also available at a discount. Outside food and drink are not allowed; there are numerous restaurants and food/beverage stands in the park. Parking is $5 per day.