Looking for a new trail to hike, ride, or run? Try one of these new or newish Inland Northwest trails.
- Evergreen East’s Short Draw at Saltese Uplands near Liberty Lake, Wash., creates options for either shorter loops or longer figure eights as it bisects the center of the conservation area.
- WTA completed work on the Split Creek Trail at Liberty Lake in 2017 and is currently in the process of upgrading the failing bridge at the Cedar Grove.
- McKenzie Conservation Area near Newman Lake, Wash., is home to the new Vision Quest Trail, constructed by the Spokane Mountaineers in partnership with the Newman Lake Property Owners Association. This trail adds a new 1.5-mile loop to the existing trail system.
- Completed by WTA volunteers in spring of 2018, Antoine Peak’s west side meadow trail and summit connector provide single-track options for visitors from the busier west trailhead in Spokane Valley. These followed a 2017 project from the east trailhead to improve the overly-steep and heavily-eroded trail up Canfield Gulch and connecting trail to the summit.
- Now several years in the making, the Fishtrap Loop west of Cheney, Wash., is expected to be complete in 2019. This area has received spring and fall attention by WTA since 2014 and has also hosted several National Public Lands Day group projects.
- The Northeast Washington Trailblazers (NEWTs) have been hard at work expanding the trails at Sherman Creek Wildlife Area near Kettle Falls with an expansion of the existing trails to both the north and the south of Mellenberger Bridge.
- When a major bridge collapsed along the North Fork Trail near the Salmo Priest Wilderness in the Colville National Forest, the trail was marked as closed for several years. Eventually the Forest Service approved a reroute around the wetland in order to avoid a more difficult bridge replacement. WTA crews partnered with the Pacific Northwest Trails Association and received pack support from the Northeast Washington Chapter of Backcountry Horsemen on a two-year project that wrapped up in 2018.
Updates & Upgrades to Existing Trails
Add these recently renovated trails to your spring and summer adventure list or revisit them to admire the handiwork on your favorite trails.
- Taylor Ridge, a connector trail on the north end of the Kettle Crest that had been unmaintained since the late 1990s, had fallen into such disrepair that it was nearly impossible to follow. Concerned volunteers joined together to form the NEWTs in order to lobby for reopening the trail. They received permission to perform necessary maintenance last summer, which is now nearly complete. Once open for use, this trail will once again become a popular hiking and mountain biking route.
- Glenrose trails in the Dishman Hills have seen improvements thanks to the Spokane Mountaineers. Minor trail reroutes have eliminated several overly steep problem spots. What’s more, the conservation area on the east side of Spokane’s South Hill has a new paved parking lot.
- WTA tackled the perennially eroded problem spot of Mount Spokane’s Trail 104 by rebuilding several switchbacks and adding crib steps to the steepest section at the top of this short connector trail in a cedar grove.
- Mount Spokane’s Trail 130 has received improvements from Bald Knob Campground to Day Mountain, and the connecting trail 160 to Mt. Kit Carson has also been rerouted to improve the trail grade. Still in the permitting process is a proposed reroute of trail 131 from the parking lot to Bald Knob, improving trail grade to prevent erosion and improve line-of-sight, as well as moving the trail outside the ski area for improved winter access.
- Both WTA and the Spokane Mountaineers have helped repair fire-damaged trails on the Knothead Loop in the Little Spokane River Natural Area. The Mountaineers have also worked to repair fire-damaged trails in the Wenaha-Tucannon Wilderness in southeast Washington.
- Evergreen East was busy repairing fire-damaged sections of trails at Beacon in the fall of 2018, along with annual maintenance projects.
- Evergreen also assisted the Friends of the Bluff to realign trails on High Drive Bluff that strayed onto private property.
- Washington State Parks has been making surface improvements to the Palouse to Cascades Trail (formerly the John Wayne Trail) by working to remove large ballast rock near Malden and Rosalia.
- Lake City Trail Alliance completed additions and improvements to Blue Creek Bay’s trail system east of Coeur d’Alene. Rehabilitation work on the steepest sections resulted in six new switchbacks and a new half-mile of trail to create an improved user experience as well as a more sustainable trail. The group also rerouted trails on Farragut State Park’s Bernard Peak south of Sandpoint. //