Discover History, Local Food, and Scenic Back Roads in Colville, Wash.
The northeast Washington community of Colville makes a great weekend or mid-week fall road trip. Colville has several restaurants, bars, breweries, lodging options and a walkable, historic downtown surrounded by beautiful mountains. Plus it’s just minutes away from Lake Roosevelt. For a unique getaway, explore the region’s history at the Keller Heritage Center & McDowell Museum and then take a scenic driving loop with some stops for local produce, wine, and brews.
Explore Local History at the Keller Heritage Center & McDowell Museum
The town of Colville was founded in 1882 and the first school was built from hand-hewn logs not long after that. The area has a rich military, trapping, mining, logging, and agricultural history that you can still explore today thanks to local efforts to preserve the town’s historic buildings and other artifacts.
Built in 1910, the Keller House is a modified bungalow-style house that exemplifies the English Craftsman movement. The 7-acre center includes the museum, Keller House and Carriage House, lookout tower, Colville’s first log school, a homestead cabin, mining exhibit, miner’s cabin, dynamite shack, trapper’s cabin, blacksmith exhibit, sawmill and machinery exhibit, and more. The museum and center are located at 700 North Wynne St. in Colville, with daily hours from 1-4 p.m. through September 30.
Take a Scenic Mountain & Lake Drive
This approximately 70-mile driving loop includes stops for local produce and food, a scenic drive over the Huckleberry Range mountains, and a drive along Lake Roosevelt. We highly recommend that you plan your fall road trip on a Saturday to start your day at the Colville Farmers’ Market, where you can pick up fresh produce and other craft food items for the drive as well as artisan goods. The market, which has been around since 1974, is located at E Astor and Oak Street between the library and court house in Colville and is open 9 a.m. -1 p.m. on Wednesdays and Saturdays through October. More info at Newfarmersmarket.org
Scenic Driving Loop Directions: From the Colville Farmers’ Market, drive south on Highway 395 to your next stop at Front Porch Farm, 9 miles from Colville near the town of Addy. Shop for local food, fresh seasonal produce, and antiques (fall hours are 12-6 p.m. on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays), then continue south on Hwy 395 to Addy and then west and up over the Huckleberry Range mountains on Addy-Gifford Rd. until you reach Hwy 25 and Gifford, Wash.
At Gifford, stop and spot the Inchelium-Gifford Ferry, which is operated by the Colville Confederated Tribes and makes trips across Lake Roosevelt between the town of Inchelium and Highway 25. The free vehicle ferry has been in operation since 1898. Driving north along beautiful Lake Roosevelt, your next stop is the Bradbury Day use area on Lake Roosevelt. Stretch your legs and have a picnic with any local produce and other farm-fresh goodies you picked up along the way. There are picnic tables, barbeque grills, restrooms, and public access to the lake. Bring a kayak, paddleboard, or canoe and work an afternoon paddle into your road trip.
Continue north on Hwy 25 to Hwy 395 and head back south through Kettle Falls and on to Colville. For a great end to an afternoon drive, park downtown and walk the historic streets and sample local craft beer and food at the Colville Pour House and Fired Up Brewing. Stay the night in one of Colville’s many hotels and rental homes and find a nearby hike for the following day at the local online trail resource Newashingtontrails.com.