On Wednesday, October 11, the Inland Northwest Trails Coalition (INTC), Spokane’s own non-motorized trail advocacy group, is hosting a reception to highlight their trails vision for the Inland Northwest and hopefully inspire other outdoor enthusiasts to help the all-volunteer group achieve their mission to protect, promote, and connect the Inland Northwest’s trails, waterways and recreational destinations.

The group of local outdoor leaders has a bold recreation vision for the Spokane area. “We envision an Inland Northwest with an extensive network of trails and bike and pedestrian transportation routes integrated with and connected to a well-distributed system of parks, recreational opportunities, and natural areas designed to enhance the region’s economy and quality of life,” says Lunell Haught, the Coalition’s Board President.

While the vision may be ambitious, the group has already made some serious headway. “Since several local recreation, conservation, and business stakeholders formed the coalition only two years ago, we’ve been working with Spokane County, the City Parks Department, and others to create and submit a county trails plan as part of the Spokane County Comprehensive Plan, which is an important step in preserving, connecting, and expanding our region’s trail network as the Spokane area grows,” says Haught.

The coalition’s current projects include working with the Bicycle Alliance of Washington and a grant from REI to organize public support for completion of the Fish Lake Trail, which will provide an important link between the Columbia Plateau Trail near Cheney and the Centennial Trail in Spokane. The group is also looking at taking on other local trail projects and is working to coordinate and support the efforts of well over a dozen member groups.

INTC is encouraging the public to attend this free reception, which will be held downtown Spokane at the Community Building (35 West Main) from 6:30-8:00 PM on Wednesday, October 11. “The event will include several speakers talking about INTC’s vision, maps and displays of the Spokane County Trails Plan and the Fish Lake Trail, complimentary hors d’ oeuvres and drinks, an opportunity to network with other outdoor enthusiasts, a silent outdoor gear auction, and information about ways to get involved,” says Haught.

For more information, check out INTC online at: http://www.inlandnorthwesttrails.org