Columbia Plateau Trail, near Cheney, WA


Before we left Calgary, I had hunted on Google Books for anything on Spokane Hiking. I was able to find this book, which has a lot of detailed information on hikes, including lat/long coordinates of trailheads. This makes it much easier to figure out where to go to start a hike!

Anyway, I got the book downloaded onto my iPhone, which made it really handy. I love technology!

So, this morning, off we went to the Cheney Trailhead of the Columbia Plateau Trail. The book describes this as a hiking trail, but mentions that there will be a lot of bikers on it as well. The reason for the bikers is that it is a rail trail on an abandoned rail line, so it's relatively flat.

We brought both our bikes along, and this seemed like a fairly easy trail to bike to begin our vacation.

And it was. The part described in the book was paved. But at the halfway point of this out-and-back trip, we saw a trail sign that indicated that we were at the northern terminus, but also that the trail extended quite a bit south of where we had parked. But it also indicated that equestrians were allowed on the southern bit - that suggested that it was not paved in that section. Which turned out to be true!

The Geography

Here is a Google Map showing the location of Spokane and the thriving metropolis of Cheney. Our hotel is where the skinny red H is, somewhat west of Spokane.

This is the Google Earth shot of our ride. We parked where the skinny blue arrow is pointing. We rode north, turned around and came back, and then rode south. This shows my track - Stephen carried on for about another kilometer south of where I turned around. I was getting tired! My track is 16 kms long.

And here's a trail sign:

The Trail

As mentioned above, most of what we rode today was paved. It was quite a pretty ride, as shown by these shots of the trail.

The I-was-here photo:

The south portion of our ride, on cinders.

Fish Lake

Near the north end of the trip, we rode beside a small lake. It was pretty and peaceful and serene, with some active fisher-folk. Perhaps that's reflective of the name of the lake.

Flora and Fauna

One of the differences between biking and hiking is that if I am walking, I tend to stop to take photos of the flowers, but when I'm biking, I prefer to just keep on pedalling!

But here are a few pretty flowers - bachelor buttons, I think.

We saw a lot of pretty birds along the trail, but every time we stopped to try to get a photo, they would fly away. But Stephen managed to get this absolutely excellent shot of a yellow-headed blackbird.


No plans yet. But it looks like we better be outdoors tomorrow, because the rest of the week is showing rain in the forecast!

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