Children of the Sun Trail Expands Southward

By Olivia Dugenet

Cover photo courtesy of Bobby Whittaker

I walked the newly opened stretch of the Children of the Sun Trail on a sunny afternoon from Hillyard’s Columbia Avenue to Cleveland Avenue in the Minnehaha neighborhood. Traffic hummed along Market Street while the still-dormant section of the North-South Corridor slept like a concrete giant.

The impact of an urban trail is most apparent when experienced in person. I saw people jogging. There were people on bikes. My dog made friends with an adorable Doxen and neighbors smiled at us and waved. There’s no doubt that the trail adds a new dimension to the neighborhood.

Photo Courtesy Bobby Whittaker

The trail itself is the result of years of strategic placemaking efforts and community outreach. The new stretch, which opened last December, now includes a full 7 miles of protected paved pathway from the trail’s endpoint in North Spokane’s Wandermere neighborhood to its temporary stopping point. When completed, the Children of the Sun Trail will run the length of the North Spokane Corridor. The trail will ultimately connect to the Ben Burr Trail and the Centennial Trail, creating the first pedestrian and bike path with safe access from Spokane County’s northern reaches to downtown and, via the Centennial Trail, all the way to Coeur d’Alene, Idaho.

It also makes a safe passage from multiple residential neighborhoods to bustling Hillyard businesses. Families can walk to dinner or to the grocery store. Cyclists can use it as a direct route nearly all the way to Minnehaha Park and the Beacon Hill mountain bike trail system. The Washington State Department of Transportation has created something good.

It’s not a perfect world. While the path brings all the benefits of an urban trail, it also brings with it a whole freeway that now dominates these once quiet neighborhoods. As I walked the path, two people illegally raced by on a motorcycle and quad respectively, and litter has piled up along the edges of the trail. It will take some love and energy from the community to keep the trail safe and clean, and it will be worth it. 

Share this Post

Scroll to Top