Spokane River Centennial Trail In Washington

Here is everything you need to know about the Spokane River Centennial Trail:

  • Trail System: National Recreation Trail
  • State: Washington
  • Length: 37 miles.
  • Type: Multi-use.
  • Surface: paved
  • Managed By: Spokane County Parks, Recreation, and Golf Department
  • Permit Required?: No
  • Website: https://www.kingcounty.gov/services/parks-recreation/parks/trails/regional-trails/popular-trails/snoqualmie-valley-trail.aspx

The Spokane River Centennial Trail holds a significant place in the history of Spokane, Washington. The trail, spanning over 37 miles, follows the course of the Spokane River, offering breathtaking views of the surrounding natural beauty. Its origins can be traced back to the early 1900s when the Great Northern Railway operated a rail line along the river, connecting Spokane to the nearby towns.

In the 1970s, the idea of transforming the abandoned rail line into a recreational trail began to take shape. The Spokane River Centennial Trail Association was formed in 1989, with the goal of creating a multi-use trail that would showcase the region’s natural and cultural heritage. The association worked tirelessly to secure funding and support from various sources, including government agencies, private organizations, and individual donors.

Construction of the trail began in 1988, and it was officially opened to the public in 1991, coinciding with the centennial celebration of Washington statehood. The trail quickly became a popular destination for walkers, joggers, cyclists, and nature enthusiasts. Over the years, the Spokane River Centennial Trail has undergone several expansions and improvements, including the addition of interpretive signs, picnic areas, and access points.

Today, the trail serves as a living testament to the rich history of Spokane and its connection to the Spokane River. It not only provides a scenic recreational route but also offers glimpses into the region’s past through historical markers and landmarks along the way. The Spokane River Centennial Trail stands as a testament to the community’s dedication to preserving its heritage and providing a space for residents and visitors to enjoy the natural beauty of the area.

While On The Trail

Access Points

1. Nine Mile Recreation Area: Located at the westernmost point of the Spokane River Centennial Trail, this access point offers parking, restrooms, picnic areas, and a boat launch.

2. Riverside State Park: This large state park has multiple access points along the trail, including Bowl and Pitcher, Plese Flats, and T.J. Meenach Bridge. Each access point provides parking, restrooms, and various recreational opportunities.

3. Mission Park: Situated near downtown Spokane, Mission Park offers parking, restrooms, and a playground. It is a popular access point for those looking to explore the trail within the city limits.

4. Gonzaga University: Located near the Gonzaga University campus, this access point provides parking and is a convenient starting point for those in the area.

5. Kendall Yards: Situated in the heart of Spokane, Kendall Yards offers parking, restrooms, and access to various shops and restaurants. It is a bustling access point for both locals and visitors.

6. People’s Park: Located near the Spokane Convention Center, People’s Park offers parking, restrooms, and a beautiful riverside setting. It is a popular access point for those attending events in the downtown area.

7. Spokane Valley: The Spokane River Centennial Trail extends into Spokane Valley, offering multiple access points along the way. Some notable access points include Mirabeau Point Park, Sullivan Park, and Barker Road.

8. Plantes Ferry Park: Situated in Spokane Valley, Plantes Ferry Park offers parking, restrooms, picnic areas, and sports fields. It is a popular access point for those looking to enjoy outdoor activities along the trail.

9. Post Falls: The trail continues into Idaho, with access points in Post Falls. Q’emiln Park and Falls Park are two notable access points in this area, offering parking, restrooms, and scenic views of the Spokane River.

10. Stateline: The easternmost point of the Spokane River Centennial Trail is located at the Idaho/Washington state line. This access point provides parking and is a convenient starting or ending point for those exploring the trail.

Transportation Available

1. Spokane Transit Authority (STA) – Public bus service covering the Spokane area.
2. Lime – Electric scooter and bike-sharing service.
3. Uber – On-demand ridesharing service.
4. Lyft – On-demand ridesharing service.
5. Spokane Airport Shuttle – Shuttle service to and from Spokane International Airport.
6. Spokane Taxi – Local taxi service.
7. Spokane Party Bus – Party bus rental service for group transportation.
8. Spokane Pedicabs – Pedicab service offering eco-friendly transportation in downtown Spokane.
9. Spokane Limousine – Limousine service for special occasions or luxury transportation.
10. Spokane Valley Shuttle – Shuttle service connecting Spokane Valley to downtown Spokane.


The amenities available at the Spokane River Centennial Trail include:

1. Restrooms: There are several restroom facilities along the trail, including at popular access points and parks.

2. Parking: There are designated parking areas at various points along the trail, making it convenient for visitors to park their vehicles.

3. Camping Sites: While camping is not allowed directly on the trail, there are nearby campgrounds and RV parks where visitors can stay overnight.

4. Picnic Areas: There are numerous picnic areas along the trail, equipped with picnic tables, benches, and sometimes even barbecue grills. These areas provide a great spot for visitors to relax and enjoy a meal.

5. Water Fountains: There are water fountains available at certain points along the trail, allowing visitors to stay hydrated during their journey.

6. Bike Repair Stations: The trail features bike repair stations equipped with tools and air pumps, making it convenient for cyclists to fix any minor issues with their bikes.

7. Trailhead Facilities: At various trailheads, you may find additional amenities such as information kiosks, maps, and sometimes even visitor centers.

8. Scenic Overlooks: The trail offers several scenic overlooks where visitors can enjoy beautiful views of the Spokane River and surrounding landscapes.

9. Wildlife Viewing Areas: There are designated areas along the trail where visitors can observe and appreciate the local wildlife.

10. Interpretive Signs: Throughout the trail, you will find interpretive signs providing information about the history, ecology, and points of interest along the Spokane River.

Please note that amenities may vary at different sections of the trail, so it is advisable to check specific locations for more detailed information.

Nearby Services

1. Hotel Ruby – A cozy hotel located near the Spokane River Centennial Trail.
2. The Davenport Grand – A luxurious hotel offering stunning views of the Spokane River.
3. Centennial Hotel Spokane – A modern hotel conveniently situated near the trail.
4. Ruby River Hotel – A budget-friendly option with comfortable rooms and easy access to the trail.
5. Anthony’s at Spokane Falls – A waterfront restaurant serving seafood and offering beautiful river views.
6. Clinkerdagger – A classic American steakhouse located near the Spokane River.
7. Riverfront Park Ice Palace – An ice skating rink and recreational facility in close proximity to the trail.
8. Spokane Fire Department Station 1 – An emergency service station providing assistance in case of emergencies along the trail.
9. Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center – A nearby hospital offering emergency medical services.
10. Spokane Police Department – A law enforcement agency ensuring safety and security along the Spokane River Centennial Trail.

Spokane River Centennial Trail Difficulty Notes

The Spokane River Centennial Trail offers a moderate difficulty level for outdoor enthusiasts. Spanning over 37 miles, the trail provides a diverse terrain that includes paved sections, gravel paths, and some challenging inclines. While the majority of the trail is relatively flat and accessible for all skill levels, there are certain sections that require more endurance and physical effort. Additionally, the trail offers stunning views of the Spokane River, lush forests, and picturesque landscapes, making it a rewarding experience for hikers, bikers, and runners of varying abilities.

Features And Attractions

1. Spokane Falls: The trail offers stunning views of the Spokane Falls, where the Spokane River cascades through downtown Spokane.

2. Riverfront Park: Located along the trail, Riverfront Park is a historic site that hosted the 1974 World’s Fair. It features beautiful gardens, sculptures, and the iconic Spokane Clocktower.

3. Monroe Street Bridge: This historic bridge spans the Spokane River and offers panoramic views of the river and downtown Spokane.

4. Kendall Yards: A vibrant neighborhood along the trail, Kendall Yards offers scenic views of the river, as well as parks, restaurants, and shops.

5. Bowl and Pitcher: Located in Riverside State Park, this natural landmark features unique rock formations and a suspension bridge over the Spokane River.

6. TJ Meenach Bridge: This bridge offers picturesque views of the river and connects the trail to the Audubon Park area.

7. Nine Mile Recreation Area: Situated about 9 miles from downtown Spokane, this recreation area along the trail offers opportunities for hiking, picnicking, and fishing.

8. Spokane Valley: The trail extends into Spokane Valley, where you can enjoy scenic views of the river and explore parks like Mirabeau Point Park.

9. Plantes Ferry Park: Located in Spokane Valley, this park along the trail offers river access, picnic areas, and sports fields.

10. Post Falls: Just outside of Spokane, the trail continues into Post Falls, Idaho, where you can enjoy scenic views of the Spokane River and visit Q’emiln Park.

These are just a few examples of the scenic views, historical sites, and natural landmarks along the Spokane River Centennial Trail. There are many more attractions and points of interest to discover along the trail.

Usage Guidelines

– Dogs must be kept on a leash at all times.
– Clean up after your pets and dispose of waste properly.
– Bicycles and pedestrians should yield to horses.
– Motorized vehicles are not allowed on the trail, except for authorized maintenance vehicles.
– Camping or overnight stays are not permitted on the trail.
– Fires and open flames are prohibited.
– Hunting or trapping is not allowed on the trail.
– Fishing is allowed in designated areas only, following state fishing regulations.
– Swimming or wading in the river is at your own risk.
– Alcohol consumption is prohibited on the trail.
– Littering is strictly prohibited; please use designated trash receptacles.
– Respect private property adjacent to the trail and do not trespass.
– Use caution and be aware of your surroundings, especially during hunting seasons.
– Follow all posted signs and regulations.
– The trail may have seasonal closures or restrictions due to weather conditions or maintenance activities.

Seasonal Information

The Spokane River Centennial Trail is a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers alike. Located in Spokane, Washington, this scenic trail stretches for 37 miles along the Spokane River, offering breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape. While the trail is accessible year-round, there are certain times of the year that are considered the best for visiting.

One of the best times to visit the Spokane River Centennial Trail is during the spring and summer months, from April to September. During this time, the weather is generally mild and pleasant, making it ideal for hiking, biking, or simply enjoying a leisurely stroll along the trail. The trail is lined with beautiful wildflowers and lush greenery, creating a picturesque backdrop for outdoor activities. Additionally, the river is often at its fullest during these months, providing a soothing soundtrack of rushing water as you explore the trail.

It’s important to note that the Spokane River Centennial Trail does have seasonal closures in certain areas. The trail passes through Riverside State Park, which has designated areas that are closed during the winter months. These closures are typically in effect from November to March, as the park experiences heavy snowfall and icy conditions during this time. However, the majority of the trail remains open year-round, allowing visitors to enjoy its beauty and tranquility even during the colder months.

In conclusion, the best times of the year to visit the Spokane River Centennial Trail are during the spring and summer months when the weather is pleasant and the trail is in full bloom. However, the trail is accessible year-round, with only certain areas experiencing seasonal closures during the winter months. Whether you’re seeking a peaceful nature walk or an adventurous bike ride, the Spokane River Centennial Trail offers a memorable outdoor experience for visitors of all ages.


1. Paved Surface: The Spokane River Centennial Trail features a smooth, paved surface, ensuring easy wheelchair access and navigation for individuals with mobility challenges.
2. Wide Pathways: The trail offers wide pathways, allowing ample space for wheelchair users to comfortably pass by other trail users.
3. Accessible Entrances: The trail provides accessible entrances at various points, ensuring easy entry and exit for individuals using wheelchairs.
4. Rest Areas: There are designated rest areas along the trail, providing wheelchair users with opportunities to take breaks and enjoy the surroundings.
5. Benches and Seating: The trail features benches and seating areas at regular intervals, offering wheelchair users a place to rest and enjoy the scenery.
6. Accessible Parking: Accessible parking spaces are available near the trail entrances, ensuring convenient access for individuals with disabilities.
7. Accessible Restrooms: The trail provides accessible restrooms at certain locations, equipped with features such as grab bars and wider doorways for wheelchair users.
8. Signage: The trail features clear and visible signage, including accessible trail maps and directional signs, to assist wheelchair users in navigating the trail.
9. Accessible Water Fountains: Wheelchair-accessible water fountains are available along the trail, allowing individuals to stay hydrated during their journey.
10. Trail Loops: The trail offers various loop options, allowing wheelchair users to choose routes of different lengths and difficulty levels based on their preferences and abilities.

Safety Information

1. Stay on designated trails: Stick to the marked paths to avoid getting lost or straying into potentially dangerous areas.
2. Be aware of your surroundings: Stay alert and watch out for other trail users, wildlife, and potential hazards.
3. Share the trail: Be courteous to other users, including cyclists, pedestrians, and runners, by yielding appropriately and following trail etiquette.
4. Use proper lighting: If using the trail during low-light conditions, ensure you have adequate lighting to see and be seen by others.
5. Wear appropriate footwear: Choose sturdy and comfortable shoes to navigate the trail’s varied terrain safely.
6. Stay hydrated: Carry enough water to stay hydrated, especially during hot weather or longer excursions.
7. Dress for the weather: Wear appropriate clothing layers and protection against sun exposure, rain, or cold temperatures.
8. Carry identification: Have identification on you in case of emergencies.
9. Use sunscreen: Apply sunscreen to protect your skin from harmful UV rays, even on cloudy days.
10. Stay on designated bike lanes: If cycling, use the designated bike lanes and follow traffic rules to ensure your safety and that of others.
11. Keep pets on a leash: If bringing pets, keep them on a leash and clean up after them to maintain a safe and clean environment.
12. Be cautious near water: Exercise caution near the river, especially if swimming or engaging in water activities, as currents can be strong.
13. Carry a first aid kit: Have a basic first aid kit with you to address minor injuries or emergencies.
14. Avoid trail during extreme weather: Stay off the trail during severe weather conditions, such as thunderstorms or heavy snowfall.
15. Report any suspicious activity: If you notice any suspicious or illegal activities, report them to the appropriate authorities.
16. Stay informed: Check for any trail updates, closures, or safety advisories before heading out.
17. Respect wildlife and vegetation: Do not disturb or harm wildlife, and avoid damaging plants or trees along the trail.
18. Travel in groups: If possible, travel with others for added safety and security.
19. Carry a cell phone: Have a fully charged cell phone with you for emergencies or to contact authorities if needed.
20. Follow COVID-19 guidelines: Adhere to any local or state COVID-19 guidelines, including social distancing and mask-wearing, to protect yourself and others.

Conservation Notes

The Spokane River Centennial Trail is a significant recreational and conservation corridor located in the Inland Northwest region of the United States. As a conservation area, the trail plays a crucial role in preserving and protecting the natural resources and habitats along the Spokane River. The conservation status of the Spokane River Centennial Trail is considered to be of high importance due to its ecological significance and the efforts made to maintain its environmental integrity.

The trail traverses through diverse ecosystems, including riparian areas, wetlands, and forests, providing habitat for a wide range of plant and animal species. These habitats support various wildlife, including migratory birds, fish species such as salmon and trout, and numerous mammals and reptiles. The conservation efforts for the Spokane River Centennial Trail focus on preserving these habitats and protecting the biodiversity they sustain.

To ensure the conservation of the trail, several measures have been implemented. These include the establishment of protected areas, such as nature reserves and wildlife refuges, along the trail’s route. These protected areas serve as havens for sensitive species and help maintain the ecological balance of the surrounding landscapes. Additionally, conservation organizations and local authorities collaborate to monitor and manage the trail’s ecosystems, implementing practices that minimize human impact and promote sustainable use of natural resources.

Overall, the conservation status of the Spokane River Centennial Trail is actively managed and monitored to safeguard the ecological health of the area. Through ongoing efforts, the trail continues to serve as a vital conservation corridor, preserving the natural beauty and biodiversity of the Spokane River ecosystem for future generations to enjoy and appreciate.

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