The Big Idea

When people are asked about trails in Tri-Cities, usually they can only come up with one: Badger Mountain. Don't get me wrong, Badger Mountain is a wonderful, well-preserved hiking area that displays all the beauty of the Tri-Cities--but there are so many other trails in the area and a lot of people have no idea. So, with this blog, I plan to help people see that our area has so much to offer in the way of places to go for a run or go for a walk, and I hope to encourage people to get out and get moving and explore new frontiers in the area we all call home. Look to the right under my Trail List to see the entire list!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Chamna Natural Preserve

Map of Chamna Trails
Red: Trails
Yellow: Gravel utility roads

The Chamna Natural Preserve is another one of my favorite trails because I absolutely love running on dirt--and that's all there is! It's a wilderness in the middle of a city, and if you're not careful, you can definitely get lost. Trust me, I've done it. But there are signs and maps all over all of the paths so you can always find your way again, and you're closed in by the Yakima River, the water treatment facility and Carrier Rd, so if you keep walking, you'll eventually end up back at the trail head! It's a beautiful place to go for a hike, run or bike ride, and you will see plenty of wildlife along the way.
Trail through Chamna

Bench along the Yakima River

Location: The main trailhead is the green marker on the map above and you can get there by taking highway 240 towards Richland, which turns into George Washington Way. At the first stoplight, you turn left onto Aaron Drive. Or, if you're coming south on George Washington Way from downtown Richland, you will take a right onto Aaron Drive. Once you're on Aaron, you continue and take a left onto Jadwin Ave, and from there you'll hit a T and you take a right onto Carrier Rd. Stay on that road and you'll hit the Chamna Natural Preserve. You can also click the location link at the bottom of this post to pull it up on Google Maps.
The road you take to the Main Trailhead
Source: Google Maps
There is also a midpoint trailhead and you get there the same way except instead of continuing on Carrier Rd, you take the gravel road just to the left of it:
Gravel road to the Midpoint Trailhead
Source: Google Maps
Parking: There is parking at both trailheads.
Pet friendly: Dogs are allowed, but they must be on a leash or at heel at all times. 
Maintenance: Tapteal Greenway, City of Richland
Level of Difficulty: Easy-medium. There are some areas with some hills, but you can always choose to hike the flat areas. 
Distance: Here's where it gets tricky. According to Tapteal Greenway, the Chamna Preserve is over 276 acres and has over 11 miles of trails. I can't tell you exactly how long each path is, but I will give you distances for these color-coded trails:
Light Blue: 1.2 miles
Purple: 1.2 miles
Bright Green/Yellow: 1.2 miles
And yes, they all magically came out to be 1.2 miles :) 

For more information on the preserve and for a more detailed map, you can visit the Tapteal Greenway Website. Go walk, run, or bike around Chamna, it's a beautiful place--especially in the warmer months!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Duportail Trail

Duportail Trail
Duportail Trail runs along the Yakima River in Richland, and goes from Duportail Street to the Chamna Natural Preserve. It's a beautiful area to walk or run, with a view of the river the entire way. Here is a view I captured from this trail:
Sunset on the Yakima River

Location: I always start at the Chamna Natural Preserve, because in order to park at the parking lot at the end of Duportail St, you need a Discover Pass. If you're interested in getting one, visit Anyway, to get to Chamna, you get on Washington 240 towards Richland, and that turns into George Washington Way. At the first stoplight, you turn left onto Aaron Drive. Or, if you're coming south on G-Way from downtown Richland, you will take a right onto Aaron Drive. Once you're on Aaron, you continue and take a left onto Jadwin Ave, and from there you take a right onto Carrier Rd. Stay on that road and you'll hit the Chamna Natural Preserve! You can also click the location link at the bottom of this post to pull it up on Google Maps. 
If you do have a Discover Pass, however, you can get to the Duportail parking lot by hopping onto the By Pass highway toward Vantage, taking a right onto Duportail St and the gravel parking lot will be at the very end. 
Duportail Parking Lot

Parking: Duportail St Parking Lot, or Chamna Natural Preserve.
Pet Friendly?: Yep!
Maintenance: Tapteal Greenway, City of Richland
Distance: 1.2 miles
Level of Difficulty: Easy

 The Trail

So if you start at Chamna, and are facing the river, all of the Chamna trails will be to your left. (I am doing a separate post for these). In order to get onto Duportail Trail, you want to get on the trail going right. It will go under the I-182 overpass. 
You will see this sign and you're going to want to go on the trail behind it, going right.

This is a fun one, grab a friend and go check it out! 

Badger Mountain Trails

Badger Mountain Trails
White: Badger Flats Trail
Yellow: Canyon Trail
Blue: Sagebrush Trail
Red: Skyline Trail

You're probably thinking, "Oh, I know all about Badger Mountain," but there's always more to learn! That's what I thought to myself before I hiked them all, and it turns out, I only knew about the Canyon Trail! Badger Mountain is so fun to hike. I usually walk up it, but there are plenty of people who run, and some who even bike. At the top, you are guaranteed to have the best view of the Tri-Cities; you will see the Columbia River, the city, the surrounding hills, and best of all...the amazing sunsets we are known to have! And sunrises too, if you can get up that early. Props to you if you can!
View from Badger Mountain
Location: There are two places you can start depending on where you want to hike:

  • You can start at the Trailhead Park, 525 Queensgate Dr, Richland, WA, which is on the corner of Queensgate Drive and White Bluffs street in Richland. This is the green marker on the map and gives you immediate access to the Canyon Trail, Sagebrush Trail and Badger Flats Trail. You can click the location link at the bottom of this post to pull it up on Google Maps for a visual and for directions. But here are some general directions:
    • From Pasco or Richland, coming across the Yakima River, you get on Interstate 182 and take exit 3A Queensgate South. From there, you merge right onto Queensgate Drive, take a left on Keene Rd, then take a right on Shockley Rd, by Bethel Church. You continue on Shockley until the road takes a left and becomes Queensgate Drive. Continue on Queensgate until you come to White Bluffs St, where you will take a right and then a quick left into the parking lot!
    • From Kennewick: take Gage Blvd west and take a right onto Keene Rd. Continue on Keene and take a left onto Shockley Rd. At that point, the directions are the same as above.
  •  You can also start at the Badger Mountain Centennial Preseve Westgate entrance off of Dallas Rd, also in Richland. This gives you immediate access to the Skyline Trail, which is my personal favorite Badger Mountain trail. The address is 5305 East 210 PR NE, Richland, WA
    • To get there, take Keene Rd west, turn left onto Kennedy Rd, and then take another left onto Dallas Rd. Continue on this road until you go under the overpass. The gravel road to the trailhead will be on the left. From Kennewick, you can also go all the way west on Clearwater Avenue and hop onto I-82 toward Yakima. From there, you take the Dallas Rd exit, turn right onto Dallas Rd, and continue until you see the trailhead sign. The gravel road to the trailhead will be on your right.
Parking: Either the Trailhead Park, or the Badger Mountain Centennial Preserve Westgate entrance.
Pet Friendly?: Yes, but please keep them leashed! They even have leashes there for you to borrow in case you forget one.
Maintenance: City of Richland, Friends of Badger Mountain, Benton County

The Different Trails
Badger Flats Trail:
The Badger Flats Trail starts at Trailhead park, and there's an entrance right off of the parking lot, and it loops around and comes out right next to the steps where you get on the Canyon Trail.
Distance: 0.4 miles
Level of Difficulty: Easy--it's completely flat! Hence the name.

Canyon Trail and Sagebrush Trail
Beginning of Canyon Trail
The Canyon Trail is probably the most well-known Badger Mountain Trail. It runs along the front side of the mountain, and what a lot of people do is, once they get to the top, they go back down along the backside on Skyline Trial and onto Sagebrush Trail. That's a way to switch things up!
Difficulty: Hard. You're climbing up a mountain for goodness sake!
Distance: Canyon Trail: 1.3 miles  Sagebrush Trail: 0.6 miles. 
The Canyon-Skyline-Sagebrush Loop: 3.25 miles

The Canyon-Skyline-Sagebrush Loop

They have these nifty markers every quarter-mile! And if you ever get lost, the markers also tell you what trail you're on.

Skyline Trail:
Skyline Trail
Skyline Trail starts on the west end of Badger Mountain and goes along the backside. I love this one because your view is that of an agricultural landscape rather than a view of buildings and houses. But both are beautiful in their own way!
Distance: 3 miles
Difficulty: Hard. The ascent is difficult, but it levels out after about a mile. And then on the way back down, it's easy!

Badger Mountain may be a challenge, but hiking it is excellent exercise and plus--you get a breathtaking view to go with it! It's a wonderful place to hike with your family and friends, or even just your dog. Those trails are out there waiting for you to hike them! Adventure is out there!

For more information about Badger Mountain, visit the Friends of Badger Mountain Website,

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Keene Road Trail

This is another paved trail, so for those of you who love the dirt, I'm sorry! I, myself, usually try to avoid running on pavement, but I love this trail! Whether you want to go for a walk or bike ride with your kids, run with a stroller, or just enjoy a nice walk/run with a view of Badger Mountain, I think you will love it too.

Location: Keene Rd Trail runs along Keene Rd (betcha didn't see that coming!) from S Highlands Blvd in West Richland all the way to N Steptoe St in Kennewick. Along the trail you will cross roads such as Bombing Range Rd, Queensgate Dr, and Leslie Rd. If you're coming from Richland or Pasco across the Yakima River, hop onto I-182 and take exit 3A to Queensgate South, merge right onto Queensgate Drive, and if you continue on that, you'll hit Keene Rd.

Parking: You can park pretty much anywhere along the trail, but the places I would recommend parking are at Badger Mountain Community Park at 350 Keene Rd Richland, WA 99352 or, there is also a designated Keene Rd Trail Parking lot! It's in the Queensgate Village by Reflections Salon and Tanning (1950 Keene Rd, Richland, WA 99352) and it looks like this:
 You could even park at the Albertson's on the corner of Leslie and Gage and hop on the trail right here:
Leslie Rd (Picture is from Google Maps)
Pet Friendly?: Yes!
Maintenance: City of Richland
Distance: 6.4 miles 
Just for your information: It's 4.5 miles from the end of the trail at Highlands Blvd to the Badger Mountain Community Park, just under 1 mile from the park to the crossing at Leslie Rd, and 1 mile from the cross at Leslie Rd to Steptoe Rd. 
Level of Difficulty: Easy
Keene Road Trail 
If you have any questions about where the trail goes, just check it out on Google Maps! Google Maps is such an awesome tool and it can give you street views, so you know what to look for, and directions so you know how to get there! Go check this trail out, it's a good one.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Amon Creek Preserve

I'm always surprised about how many people don't know about the Amon Creek Preserve in Richland. If you didn't know about it, now you do! It's an awesome desert wilderness smack-dab in the middle of civilization. It's covered in sagebrush and sand--what's new--but it's still incredibly beautiful! There are so many trails that wind throughout the preserve and there's no established loop, so it's impossible to give you a set mileage, but I can tell you I ran for 8 straight miles and didn't even run along all the paths. The entire thing is either gravel, dirt, or sand--no pavement! It's definitely an adventure and getting lost in the preserve gives you a break from the surrounding city.

Location: I always start at Claybell Park, which is located at 599 Broadmoor St. Richland, WA 99352. Heading north on Leslie, you take a right (a left if you're coming down south) on Broadmoor St. and keep going until you see the park on your right. There's a newly created road, and if you turn right onto that road, the parking lot is in the back of the park, and that's where the trail starts! You can click on the location at the bottom of this post for a link to Google Maps.
The trail entrance at Claybell Park
Another place you can park is a gravel parking lot off of Leslie Rd., right where it intersects with Rachel Rd. This is what the parking lot looks like:
This parking lot is by the Amon Creek Preserve Kiosk, and there is an entrance about 600 ft south of the parking lot, right at the Richland/Kennewick border.  
This sign marks the Leslie Rd entrance
Pet Friendly?: Yes, but as always, they ask you keep them leashed and kindly clean up after them.
Parking: At Claybell Park, and at a gravel parking lot at the southern end of Leslie Rd. 
Level of Difficulty: Easy-Medium-Hard. You get to pick and choose the paths you walk or run: there are some super steep hills in there, but you can also choose to stay on the flat the whole time. Your call!
Maintenance: Tapteal Greenway and the City of Richland
For more information on this area and on conservation efforts, visit the Tapteal Greenway site
It takes so much to keep this area out of the hands of developers and us walkers and runners appreciate all that's being done to keep it the way it is. 

Put on your trainers and explore this amazing wilderness today!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

The Spirit of America Trail! ~ Zintel Canyon

Zintel Canyon is another one of my absolute favorite places to run, but I will probably say that about a lot of trails! The Spirit of America Trail winds through Zintel Canyon in Kennewick, Washington, and connects with a footpath to make a lovely two and a half mile loop. The terrain is a mix of pavement, dirt, bark and gravel. All through the canyon, you are surrounded by trees and they are absolutely beautiful in the summer and fall. There is a little creek that runs through, with benches along it in some spots, and there are a lot of birds and small animals. If you don't see them, you will be able to hear them! 
Map of Zintel Canyon (Blue=Spirit of America Trail, Red=Footpath)

Location: There are two entrances: one is is on the corner of Vancouver and 7th (where the green marker is in the picture above) and the other is on Ely Street (at the bottom of the loop in the picture), and that is right next to Waste Management. If you look on Google Maps, which you can do by clicking the location at the bottom of this post, it will even have Zintel Canyon and the Spirit of America trail labeled. 
Spirit of America Trail entrance on Ely Street

Entrance to trail is across the bridge at this park! (Corner of Vancouver and 7th)

Pet Friendly?: Yes! Just remember to be courteous please!
Parking: There is a parking lot at a small playground pictured above at the corner of Vancouver and 7th and there is another parking lot off of Ely Street in Kennewick next to Waste Management.
Level of Difficulty: Easy-Medium
The footpath goes up and down a lot, but the Spirit of America trail is relatively flat.
Distance: 2.5 mile loop
The Spirit of America Trail is 1.25 miles (blue trail on the map), and the Foot Path is also 1.25 miles (red trail on the map). As you can see on the map, the footpath crosses over to Spirit of America for about 0.2 miles. 
Stools along the creek~SPIRIT OF AMERICA TRAIL



Doesn't it look beautiful? These pictures are even during the winter--it's even more incredible in the summer and fall. It's not smart to go through the canyon alone, so please grab a walking/running buddy and go try it out!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Bateman Island

Bateman Island Trail Map
The pathway to Bateman Island
The Tri-Cities may not be tropical, but we have islands! This one, called Bateman Island, is an awesome place to go for a walk or a run. All along the trail, you will have views of the beautiful Columbia River and you will hear the pit-pattering of wildlife all around you. If you're looking for a short loop that's not just the sidewalk around your house, give Bateman Island a try!

Location: The entrance to Bateman Island is located on Columbia Park Trail at Wye Park: Richland Wye, Richland, WA 99352. It's at the very end of Columbia Center Blvd, so whether you're coming up north past the Columbia Center Mall, coming west-bound on 240 from Pasco, or coming east-bound on 240 from Richland, all you need to do is hop on Columbia Center and head to the river! Wye Park is just a left and a quick right into the parking lot. You will see a statue of Sacagawea!
This is the parking lot!

Wye Park
Pet Friendly?: Yes, but they ask that you keep them leashed and pick up after them.
Parking: Wye Park
Level of Difficulty: Easy
Distance: 1.8 Mile loop
Maintenance: City of Richland

The entrance...
Please observe their rules!
***Also, I do not recommend walking around on Bateman alone, take a buddy with you. And if you bring your kids along, keep a close eye on them--there's a lot of water. Go give Bateman a try today!

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Riverfront Trail

Map of Riverfront Trail
One of my absolute favorite trails in the Tri-Cities is the Riverfront Trail along the Columbia River in Richland. The river is so beautiful, especially during the warmer months, and it provides a nice cool breeze! The trail is entirely paved, so if you are more of a dirt-runner, this may not be your favorite! I have spent many summer mornings running here, and let me tell you; it's a good one.

Location: The trail begins at Columbia Point Marina Park in Richland and ends at the USS Triton Submarine Memorial Park, also in Richland. Columbia Point is located right next to Anthony's, and to get there, you turn onto Columbia Point Drive off of George Washington Way, and you drive all the way down, and then you'll hit the park. The USS Triton Submarine Memorial Park is about 7 and a half miles north, and (heading North on G-Way) you turn right onto 11th street and wa-la, there it is! The address, however is on Port of Benton Blvd. BUT you can hop on the trail anywhere, because it goes through Leslie Groves Park, and Howard Amon Park as well. If you look on Google Maps, the trail is labeled and marked the entire way. 
Pet friendly? Yes! But make sure to keep your pets leashed!
Parking: All along the trail.
Level of Difficulty: Easy
Distance: 7.3 Miles
Maintenance: The City of Richland
Another awesome thing is that, starting from Columbia Point, the pavement is marked with your mileage! Here's an example:

Grab your running shoes and a running buddy and give this trail a try this week!