Fish Lake Trail In Oregon

Here is everything you need to know about the Fish Lake Trail:

  • Trail System: National Recreation Trail
  • State: Oregon
  • Length: 8 miles.
  • Type: Multi-use.
  • Surface: gravel
  • Managed By: Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission
  • Permit Required?: Yes
  • Website: Info not available.

The Fish Lake Trail, located in Spokane County, Washington, has a rich history that dates back to the early 1900s. Originally, the trail was part of the Spokane and Inland Empire Railroad, which was established in 1908. The railroad played a crucial role in connecting various communities in the region, facilitating the transportation of goods and people.

During its heyday, the Spokane and Inland Empire Railroad operated a passenger service that allowed residents to travel between Spokane and Cheney, passing through the scenic Fish Lake area. The railroad also served as a vital link for the timber industry, enabling the transportation of logs and lumber from the surrounding forests.

However, with the rise of automobiles and the decline of rail travel, the Spokane and Inland Empire Railroad ceased operations in the 1970s. The rail line was eventually abandoned, leaving behind a corridor that would later become the Fish Lake Trail. In the early 1990s, efforts were made to convert the former rail line into a recreational trail, providing a safe and scenic route for walkers, joggers, cyclists, and equestrians.

Today, the Fish Lake Trail spans approximately 9 miles, offering a glimpse into the region’s transportation history. As visitors traverse the trail, they can appreciate the remnants of the railroad, including old trestles and bridges, which serve as reminders of the area’s past. The Fish Lake Trail stands as a testament to the importance of preserving historical transportation corridors and repurposing them for the enjoyment of present and future generations.

While On The Trail

Access Points

1. Fish Lake Trailhead: Located at the southern end of the trail in Cheney, Washington, this is the main access point for the Fish Lake Trail. It offers parking facilities and restrooms.

2. Amber Lake Trailhead: Situated approximately 5 miles north of Cheney, this trailhead provides access to the Fish Lake Trail. It has parking facilities and a small picnic area.

3. Scribner Road Trailhead: Located about 3 miles north of Amber Lake Trailhead, this access point offers parking facilities and a small picnic area.

4. Fishtrap Lake Trailhead: Situated around 6 miles north of Scribner Road Trailhead, this access point provides parking facilities and a picnic area. It is close to Fishtrap Lake, offering scenic views.

5. Harvard Road Trailhead: Located approximately 4 miles north of Fishtrap Lake Trailhead, this access point offers parking facilities and a small picnic area.

6. Sprague Lake Trailhead: Situated around 5 miles north of Harvard Road Trailhead, this access point provides parking facilities and a picnic area. It is close to Sprague Lake, offering beautiful views.

7. Spokane Valley Trailhead: Located at the northern end of the Fish Lake Trail in Spokane Valley, Washington, this access point offers parking facilities and restrooms. It is close to the Spokane River and offers scenic views.

These are some of the major access points or trailheads along the Fish Lake Trail. There may be additional smaller access points or trailheads along the trail as well.

Transportation Available

1. Spokane Transit Authority (STA) – Public bus service in Spokane County.
2. Uber – On-demand ride-hailing service.
3. Lyft – On-demand ride-hailing service.
4. Lime – Electric scooter and bike-sharing service.
5. LimePod – Car-sharing service with compact electric vehicles.
6. Spokane Airport Shuttle – Shuttle service to and from Spokane International Airport.
7. Spokane Valley Shuttle – Shuttle service within Spokane Valley.
8. Spokane Taxi – Local taxi service in Spokane.
9. Zipcar – Car-sharing service with various vehicle options.
10. LimeBike – Bike-sharing service with dockless bicycles.


The amenities available at the Fish Lake Trail may vary depending on the specific section or access point along the trail. However, here are some common amenities that can be found along the trail:

1. Restrooms: Some sections of the trail may have restroom facilities available, either at trailheads or along the route. These restrooms may be permanent structures or portable toilets.

2. Parking: There are designated parking areas at various trailheads along the Fish Lake Trail. These parking lots provide convenient access to the trail for visitors.

3. Camping Sites: While camping is not typically allowed directly on the Fish Lake Trail, there may be nearby campgrounds or camping areas in the vicinity of the trail. These campgrounds may offer facilities such as tent sites, RV hookups, fire pits, and picnic tables.

4. Picnic Areas: Along the trail, there may be designated picnic areas or rest stops where visitors can take a break, have a picnic, or enjoy the surrounding scenery. These areas may have picnic tables, benches, and trash receptacles.

5. Water Access: Depending on the section of the trail, there may be opportunities for fishing, boating, or swimming in Fish Lake or other bodies of water adjacent to the trail. However, it’s important to check local regulations and safety guidelines for water activities.

6. Trailhead Facilities: At various trailheads, you may find additional amenities such as information kiosks, trail maps, interpretive signs, bike racks, and drinking fountains.

It’s recommended to check with local authorities or trail management organizations for specific information about amenities available at different access points along the Fish Lake Trail.

Nearby Services

1. Fish Lake Resort – Lakeside lodging and dining options near the trail.
2. The Lodge at Fish Lake – Rustic lodge offering accommodations and a restaurant overlooking the lake.
3. Fish Lake Campground – Campsites with basic amenities near the trail.
4. Fish Lake National Forest – Scenic camping area within the national forest.
5. Fish Lake State Park – State park with camping facilities and lake access.
6. Fish Lake Grocery – Convenient grocery store for food supplies near the trail.
7. Fish Lake Lodge Restaurant – Casual dining spot serving American cuisine.
8. Fish Lake Inn – Cozy inn with a restaurant and bar.
9. Fish Lake Valley Health Center – Local healthcare facility providing emergency medical services.
10. Fish Lake Fire Department – Emergency services for fire-related incidents in the area.

Fish Lake Trail Difficulty Notes

The Fish Lake Trail offers a moderate difficulty level, making it suitable for a wide range of hikers and bikers. The trail spans approximately 9 miles and features a mix of flat sections, gentle inclines, and occasional steeper climbs. While some parts may require a bit of endurance and strength, the overall terrain is well-maintained and easily navigable. The trail also offers beautiful views of Fish Lake, lush forests, and scenic landscapes, making it a rewarding and enjoyable experience for outdoor enthusiasts of varying skill levels.

Features And Attractions

The Fish Lake Trail is a scenic trail located in Washington state. Along the trail, you can find various scenic views, historical sites, natural landmarks, and more. Here are some notable points of interest along the Fish Lake Trail:

1. Fish Lake: The trail is named after this beautiful lake, which offers stunning views and opportunities for fishing and boating.

2. Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge: Located near the trail, this refuge is home to a diverse range of wildlife, including waterfowl, deer, elk, and more. It offers excellent birdwatching opportunities.

3. Cheney Historical Museum: Situated in the town of Cheney, this museum showcases the history and heritage of the area, including exhibits on local pioneers, Native American culture, and the railroad.

4. Salnave Park: This park is a popular spot for picnicking and enjoying the outdoors. It features a playground, picnic tables, and a gazebo.

5. Cheney Wetlands: As you walk along the trail, you’ll pass through the Cheney Wetlands, which are home to a variety of plant and animal species. It’s a great place for nature enthusiasts and birdwatchers.

6. Marshall Creek: This creek runs parallel to the trail for a portion of its length, offering a peaceful and scenic backdrop.

7. Cheney-Spokane Road Bridge: This historic bridge spans the creek and is a notable landmark along the trail. It provides a picturesque view of the surrounding area.

8. Fish Lake Trailhead: The trailhead itself is a starting point for many outdoor enthusiasts. It offers parking, restrooms, and information about the trail.

9. Latah Creek: The trail follows the path of Latah Creek for a portion of its length, providing beautiful views of the creek and its surrounding vegetation.

10. Riverside State Park: Although not directly on the Fish Lake Trail, Riverside State Park is nearby and offers additional opportunities for outdoor recreation, including hiking, biking, and horseback riding.

These are just a few examples of the scenic views, historical sites, and natural landmarks you can encounter along the Fish Lake Trail. Exploring the trail will allow you to immerse yourself in the beauty and history of the area.

Usage Guidelines

1. Dogs must be kept on a leash at all times.
2. Clean up after your pets and dispose of waste properly.
3. Bicycles and pedestrians should yield to equestrians.
4. Motorized vehicles are not allowed on the trail.
5. Camping or overnight stays are not permitted.
6. Fires and open flames are prohibited.
7. Hunting or fishing along the trail is not allowed.
8. Respect private property boundaries and do not trespass.
9. Stay on designated trails and do not create new paths.
10. Do not litter and carry out any trash or waste.
11. Observe seasonal restrictions, such as closures during winter months or specific hours of operation.
12. Follow any additional rules or guidelines posted at trailheads or along the trail.

Seasonal Information

The Fish Lake Trail, located in Washington state, offers a picturesque and serene experience for outdoor enthusiasts. The best times of the year to visit the trail largely depend on personal preferences and the activities one wishes to engage in. However, the spring and fall seasons are generally considered the most favorable for exploring the trail.

In spring, the trail comes alive with vibrant colors as wildflowers bloom along its path. The weather is mild, making it ideal for hiking, biking, or horseback riding. The trail offers stunning views of the surrounding landscapes, including the sparkling waters of Fish Lake. Springtime also brings an abundance of wildlife, making it a great time for birdwatching and nature photography.

Fall is another fantastic time to visit the Fish Lake Trail. As the leaves change colors, the trail transforms into a breathtaking display of autumn hues. The cooler temperatures make it comfortable for outdoor activities, and the trail is less crowded compared to the summer months. Fall is an excellent time for hiking or biking, as the trail offers a peaceful and tranquil atmosphere amidst the changing seasons.

It is important to note that the Fish Lake Trail has seasonal closures during the winter months. Due to snowfall and potentially hazardous conditions, the trail is typically closed from November to April. However, during this time, the trail can be enjoyed by cross-country skiers and snowshoers, as it offers a beautiful winter wonderland experience. It is advisable to check with local authorities or trail management for the most up-to-date information on closures and conditions before planning a visit during the winter season.


1. Wheelchair Accessible Trailhead: The trail offers a designated parking area and accessible pathway leading to the trailhead, ensuring easy access for wheelchair users.
2. Paved Surface: The trail is paved, providing a smooth and even surface for wheelchair users to navigate comfortably.
3. Wide Pathway: The trail offers a wide pathway, allowing ample space for wheelchair users to pass by or travel alongside others.
4. Gentle Slopes: The trail features gentle slopes, making it easier for wheelchair users to navigate without encountering steep inclines or declines.
5. Rest Areas with Benches: Along the trail, there are designated rest areas equipped with benches, providing wheelchair users a place to take a break or enjoy the surroundings.
6. Accessible Restrooms: The trail provides accessible restrooms equipped with features such as grab bars and wider doorways to accommodate wheelchair users.
7. Signage and Wayfinding: The trail features clear signage and wayfinding markers, ensuring wheelchair users can easily navigate and find their way along the trail.
8. Accessible Picnic Areas: The trail offers accessible picnic areas equipped with tables and seating that can accommodate wheelchair users.
9. Handrails and Guardrails: Where necessary, the trail is equipped with handrails and guardrails to provide additional support and safety for wheelchair users.
10. Accessible Water Fountains: The trail provides accessible water fountains at regular intervals, allowing wheelchair users to stay hydrated during their journey.

Safety Information

1. Trail Conditions: Check for any trail closures or maintenance updates before heading out to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience.
2. Weather Awareness: Be prepared for changing weather conditions and dress accordingly, as the trail is exposed to the elements.
3. Trail Etiquette: Respect other trail users by yielding to pedestrians, keeping pets on a leash, and staying on designated paths.
4. Wildlife Encounter: Be aware of your surroundings and give wildlife their space, avoiding any potential conflicts.
5. Water Safety: If fishing or boating on Fish Lake, follow all water safety guidelines and wear appropriate flotation devices.
6. Sun Protection: Apply sunscreen, wear a hat, and bring sunglasses to protect yourself from harmful UV rays.
7. Hydration: Carry an adequate supply of water to stay hydrated, especially during hot weather or longer hikes.
8. Insect Protection: Use insect repellent to prevent bites from mosquitoes or ticks, particularly during warmer months.
9. Emergency Preparedness: Carry a first aid kit, a map of the trail, and a fully charged cell phone in case of emergencies.
10. Trail Buddy: Consider hiking with a friend or informing someone about your plans to ensure safety and have assistance if needed.

Conservation Notes

The Fish Lake Trail, located in Washington State, is considered to have a favorable conservation status. The trail is managed by the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission, which actively works towards preserving and protecting the natural resources along the trail. The conservation efforts primarily focus on maintaining the ecological integrity of the surrounding environment, ensuring the sustainability of the trail, and protecting the wildlife habitats.

One of the key conservation initiatives for the Fish Lake Trail is the preservation of the diverse plant and animal species found in the area. The trail passes through a variety of ecosystems, including wetlands, forests, and meadows, which provide important habitats for numerous species. Efforts are made to minimize human impact on these habitats, such as by implementing regulations to prevent the introduction of invasive species and by promoting responsible trail use to avoid disturbance to wildlife.

Additionally, the Fish Lake Trail benefits from ongoing conservation efforts aimed at preserving water quality and quantity. The trail runs alongside Fish Lake, a vital water source for the surrounding ecosystem. Measures are taken to prevent pollution and maintain the health of the lake, including regular monitoring of water quality and the implementation of best management practices to prevent erosion and sedimentation.

Overall, the conservation status of the Fish Lake Trail is considered positive due to the active management and preservation efforts undertaken by the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission. These efforts ensure the protection of the trail’s natural resources, including the diverse plant and animal species, as well as the preservation of the water quality and quantity of Fish Lake.

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