FATHERS DAY-- Give dad what he really wants for Father's Day -- some good, healthy outdoor time with the family.
Here are four suggestions:
FISHING -- Most of the region's lakes and streams are in great fishing condition for the weekend, and some Spokane-area are getting a Fathers Day bonus with additional plants of triploid rainbows. Montana is sweetening the holiday attraction by offering Free Fishing Days on June 15-16. Nobody needs a license to fish in Montana over the weekend, but you must follow all of Montana's other fishing regulations.
BIKING -- The Spokane River Centennial Trail and the Fish Lake Trail offer excellent and safe family biking opportunities in Spokane. The Trail of the Coeur d'Alenes is a prized rail trail between Mullan and Plummer, Idaho. Or go for big adventure near Lookout Pass on the Route of the Hiawatha rail trail, featuring tunnels and towering trestles. Shuttles, bike rentals and even lunches are available.
BOATING -- It's hard to beat a family tradition of being on the water with Dad. I prefer paddling the Spokane River or, say, Horseshoe Lake in a canoe or kayak. Maybe a whitewater rafting trip on the Spokane or Clark Fork rivers with Wiley E. Waters or ROW Adventures. Sailing or motorboating is has been bringing families together for generations, as you can vividly see in this heartwarming short video, Good Run, by Academy Award-winning cinematographer Wally Pfister. The film tells the story of one man’s experience on the water and shows why life is better with a boat.
HIKING -- Taking a walk to a nifty spot is a simple and rewarding family outing, whether it's close to home in Riverside State Park or off in the mountains of a nearby national forest. Need some tips? Check out my new guidebook, Day Hiking Eastern Washington, which details 125 trips, including a bunch of hikes within a short drive of Spokane. (The book is available at REI, Mountain Gear and local book stores.)
My suggestion: If you're up for stretching your legs, give Dad the book with a note that says, "We want to make this your best Father's Day ever by taking you on one of the hikes described in this book. We'll pack the picnic lunch!"
I heard from several families who reported that offer was a big hit on Mothers Day.