The last of several key pieces of private property in the Beacon Hill Trail system, located at Camp Sekani Park in northeast Spokane, have been protected in this round of the Spokane County Conservation Futures Program. These critical parcels connected Camp Sekani on the south end to the Esmeralda Trailhead on the west.
This area, popular with trail users of all kinds, but known for its downhill mountain biking, has been under threat of development for decades, with local advocates like Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance – Eastern Washington Chapter working tirelessly to keep trails open.
The final property, officially purchased by the County in October 2021, secures dozens of popular mountain biking trails. A total of 160 acres in the Beacon Hill/Camp Sekani area have been purchased by the County in seven transactions over two years.
In addition to Evergreen East’s financial support, Washington Recreation and Conservation Office funding, and advocacy from organizations like Spokane Parks & Recreation, Inland Northwest Land Conservancy, and Avista, these trails will remain open to the public in perpetuity.
The success of this project is thanks in no small part to Spokane County Parks Special Projects Manager Paul Knowles, who stuck with the land deals to the end, creating a better future for the local outdoor community.
While this is cause for celebration, there is still much work to do to protect the trails in the Beacon Hill area. Several popular trails still exist on private land, and are therefore in danger of development.
To learn more, or get involved, contact Chris Conley, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mountain biking trails at Beacon Hill: (top two photos) Spokane’s Biking Betties group. // Photo by Jane Patten, courtesy Biking Betties; (bottom row) Spokane mountain biker and OTO contributor Skye Schillhammer. // Photos courtesy Skye Schillhammer.