Antoine Peak’s Etter Ranch
It’s not often I have an opportunity to promote a trail so new that it doesn’t have a name yet, but, due to the efforts of many volunteers working with crew leaders from Washington Trails Association, the new, westside connection trail out of Etter Ranch is now ready to receive visitors!
It is possible to visit this trail from any of the three trailheads for Antoine Peak Conservation Area, but the shortest access for the new trail is located at the Trentwood Trailhead for Etter Ranch. Begin by hiking up the first portion of the Arrowleaf Trail. As Arrowleaf exits the first section of forest and enters the grasslands, watch for the junction with Lost Apple Trail. Descend Lost Apple to its namesake apple orchard and hike west, crossing an old farm road. Pick up the new trail on the hillside just opposite the orchard and begin to climb.
Unlike Arrowleaf, which stays mainly tucked in the trees, the upper reaches of this new trail spend a lot of time on the large, open grassy hillside overlooking the Spokane Valley. The trail connects to the Emerald Necklace Trail that encircles Antoine Peak, creating the opportunity to extend the hike in several ways, including adding on the summit or traveling east on the Emerald Necklace to the intersection with the top of the Arrowleaf Trail to create an excellent loop route. The trail is also lovely as a shorter out-and-back hike. This Spokane County Park is open dawn to dusk and is open to hiking, mountain biking, and equestrian use. Dogs are permitted on leash.
Map: The trail is so new it is not yet reflected in the Conservation Area map, but the rest of the trail system at Antoine Peak is available at Spokanecounty.org.
Getting There: The Trentwood Trailhead for Antoine Peak Conservation Area is located just east of the intersection of Wellesley and Flora in Spokane Valley.
Holly Weiler is a long-time contributor to Out There Outdoors. In between leading trailwork projects this summer, look for her lounging in a hammock with a good book somewhere along the Liberty Lake Trail.