Barton Haynes here in Spokane, Washington. Now that I’m in Spokane and have been able to do some riding and research, I wanted to talk a bit about what I’ve found are the best rides so far.
The Centennial Trail
Before I get into the details of several ride I have thoroughly enjoyed, you need to know about the Centennial trail. This trail is a 63 mile, two-state trail that bridges between Spokane and Coeur d’Alene, ID.
- 39 of these miles run along the Spokane river
- 24 miles continue along the river through Idaho to Coeur d’Alene
- You can also veer off and go to Liberty Lake
Most of the trail is a paved trail, with some sections requiring you to ride on roads – fortunately these are few and far between. Simply put, the trail is beautiful pretty much no matter where you are riding.
Also, it’s hardly populated anywhere – you only run into a few people here or there when the trail passes through parks or near apartment complexes. Outside of that, I only occasionally see other riders or joggers/walkers.
Ride #1: E Maringo Drive to Lincoln Street, ID (38 miles)
One of my favorite rides starts just East of downtown, at the end of Maringo drive. The end of Maringo drive is the point at which the Centennial trail moves from road to paved trail. As I dislike riding on rodes, I’m happy to drive to the end of Maringo drive and park in the parking lot here. Note that, as of this writing, you need a Discovery pass to park here.
This ride is 19.1 miles, traversing into Idaho and ending at Lincoln street, another point at which the trail deviates from a paved trail and goes onto the road. These 38 miles of paved trail are spectacular. My favourite highlights:
- Not crowded at all – only 1 point where it goes near an apartment complex where you see a few people, but otherwise it’s nearly empty
- Some nice hills, though overall it’s fairly flat
- Several nice vistas
- Stays along the rive the entire time and good visibility for oncoming trail-goers
- Many forested areas, providing nice shade and beauty
Simply put, it’s not crowded, the trail’s in good shape, and it’s beautiful. I usually back track at some point in order to make it an even 40 miles.
Ride #2: W Fort George Wright Dr Bridge to Riverside Park (~20 miles)
Perhaps my favorite ride, especially for everyday hard riding or sprinting, is this one. It starts near the bridge (there is parking near the bridge). It ends in Riverside Park, which is an incredibly beautiful park. It also passes near Bowl and Pitcher, one of my favorite spots in Spokane.
The highlights of this are:
- Long stretches of NO people
- Nice wide trail, that is well paved
- Extremely beautiful, well wooded ride with great vistas
- Several very nice hills
- Two great parks to pull over and enjoy a snack
The only apparent downside is that this ride is only 20 miles roundtrip – it’s only an apparent downside because you can easily and (for me) happily do this circuit as many times as you’d like!
Ride #3: general riding near Green Bluff
Green Bluff is extraordinarily beautiful to ride near. You can’t ride on the windy, small, blind road that goes up into many of the Green Bluff sites, however you can ride on the wide and well paved road that goes through the rolling hills and farms near Green Bluff.
Riding up on Green Bluff is also beautiful and not populated, though you need to drive up on Green Bluff in order to start riding. I have no particular ride or route I do – simply whatever I feel like. But the kind of riding I do there is casual – I’m not pushing myself when I ride near Green Bluff, I’m there to enjoy it at 60%.
If you haven’t gone cycling on Green Bluff, I highly recommend.
Thanks for following along,