What a wonderful addition to the trails in the Spokane area! This area lies along the Little Spokane River and is accessed from Mill Road on North Fairwood Road where the trailhead and parking are. It is managed by Washington State so a Discovery Pass is required for parking. You start the walk off on a switchback that takes you down to the valley floor. It is very slippery ow but wide and has a wooden fence on each side. You are greeted by the sound of cascading water as you descend and see a waterfall. There is so much water coming down off the hill above and makes the going wet if you choose to go on the offshoot trail to the north as I did. I was glad I did though as there was a beautiful stream gushing. Worth the wet feet. I turned around and headed back to the main trail that takes you for a short distance on a road in front of houses and then back out toward the river. I followed the main path to a "T" at what said "New Astor Trail" and went south. This rail takes you up a hill and then continues on. I chose to tur around and head back down as I wasn't sure of the distance for a loop. The maps show a number of loops which I will explore when not pressed for time.
Wednesday, January 26, 2022
As funny as it sounds the Fish Lake Trail never reaches Fish Lake. It ends about 1/2-3/4 of a mile before it reaches the lake. The Railroad can't come up with a way to make the last bit safe for people to use as it passes over and around their tracks. What you do get the privilege of seeing is Queen Lucas Lake. This largely unknown body of water is actually quite large. It has more water in it than earlier this year when it was almost empty from the draught but is still down quite a bit. A large area at the one end is full f reeds and lily pads during the warmer months. I watched this summer as a Blue Heron caught turtles to snack on. Ducks, Cormorants and other waterfowl make it a stopover. Most of the lake was still frozen, except for the stream at the end that feeds the lake so not much was moving. The lake looked more like a crazy quilt with all the colors today. If you want just a short jaunt you can park at the turnout on Scribner Road, the lake starts about 1 mile in with the end of the trail at about 1 1/2 miles from Scribner Rd.
Tuesday, January 25, 2022
Went east to Coeur d'Alene to walk the wonderful Tubbs Hill loop trail that sits adjacent to the Coeur d'Alene Resort Hotel. The loop runs along the edge of the Tubbs Hill Natural area and you have a view of Lake Coeur d'Alene for the entirety of the hike. There is a lot of up and down and some climbng over rocks on this hike. The trail can get icy and muddy at this time of year, but was actually pretty dry for most of the way today. You can either access the trail from the city park or go and park in the Sanders Beach lot, which is what I usually do. This is a pretty short hike, only about 2 miles but the view is magnificent!
Monday, January 17, 2022
This gem of a natural area is located just south of Cheney, You park in the parking lot for the Cheney/Spangle Columbia Plateau trailhead. You do need a discover Pass to park here. Go east on the Columbia Plateau trail for 1/4 mile and then turn right at the crossroads. It is around a 4 mile loop. Ponds, pine tree's and wetlands are along the trail all the way around. The center pond had open water and was full of Canadian Geese, swans and ducks. You could hear them calling even when you couldn't see them. The path is dirt and gravel and there is a lot of up and down. It is very icy in spots.
Tuesday, January 11, 2022
The Mystic Waterfall is one of those "must sees" for any hiker in the Spokane area. The hike isn't a very long one but is intense if you are wanting to get down under the falls and hike along the stream bed. It is very steep going down and the up is steeper, depending on which way you go. Right now it is very slick and you'll want to have shoes with good traction and be ready to hold on to the brush along the edge. It is worth the effort. These falls are seasonal and do dry up in the summer but late fall, winter and spring it is really impressive. Right now there is water running behind but what you will see is a big ice flow. You can either park at the Palisades parking lot and walk down or park on the Indian Canyon/ Assembly pull out.
Wednesday, January 5, 2022
The Garland District is such a special place. From the Garland Theatre to the Milk Bottle, Ferguson's to all the little antique, book and specialty stores that line the street. The Garland Theatre holds a special place in the hearts of people that grew up in the Spokane area. Offering cheap movies and a bottomless tub of popcorn so even those on a limited budget can have a night out. The sky was gray when I was taking photos so I couldn't resist adding a powerful sky with photoshop to the photo of the theatre. It made me think of how the theatre seems to glow in our memories. I also included the original. Take a trip north of town and enjoy all the area has to offer.
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