By Jill Wagner

  1. Little Spokane River Natural Area (North Spokane): A couple of different trailheads offer hilly and not-as-hilly options.  
  2. Kit Carson Loop (Mt. Spokane State Park): Different distances can be managed by traversing just sections of the loop or taking side trails that eventually come back into the loop (bring snowshoes for early spring hikes).  
  3. Centennial Trail: It’s not a dirt trail, but it’s great for practicing pace because most of the trail in Washington and North Idaho is invitingly flat. I especially like the stretch between the East Maringo Drive and Barker Road trailheads.  
  4. Mineral Ridge (North Idaho): At the far end of Lake Coeur d’Alene, this trail is brilliant on snowshoes or in hiking boots. A switchback at the beginning of the trail provides great hill training.  
  5. Neighborhood roads: Local walking is a great way to get new landscaping ideas and fit in a workout without adding the travel time to and from the trails.

Read Jill Wagner’s story “Walking a Half Marathon.”

View from Mineral Ridge