Hike Wolf Trails in Newport, Wash.

By Gayne Sears

The name Wolf Trails conjures up a wild, enticing, and maybe even a tad forbidding place, but this trail system on the edge of town in Newport, Wash., is actually a sweet wooded area of gently rolling terrain adjacent to the Pend Oreille River.

With about 4-5 miles of interconnected loops, divided by State Route 20 into the “Upper” and “Lower” trail systems, hikers and mountain bikers can choose any length of outing they desire. Lower Wolf has a charming bench at an overlook of Ashenfelter Bay on the Pend Oreille River, where ducks, geese, and sometimes Tundra swans lounge in the calm water.

Spring is a favorite time of year, with the soft, damp trail; wildflowers blooming; and birds flitting about.  I saw a pileated woodpecker big as life on Upper Wolf in early April.

These trails were developed on land donated to the Colville National Forest decades ago by newspaper owner Fred Wolf for the express purpose of recreation. The Forest Service and the Pacific Northwest Trail Association have done a great job designing and maintaining this jewel of a trail system so close to town that within minutes of completing your hike, ride, or trail run you can be in Newport to enjoy a coffee at Union Street Perk or a burger and beer next door Kelly’s Bar & Grill, the second oldest continuously operating bar in Washington State.

Find directions and trail map at Newashingtontrails.com/wolf-trails/. Dogs are okay on leash. For trail conditions, call the Colville National Forest Newport Ranger District Office, 509.447.7300.

[Photos courtesy of Gayne Sears.]

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