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Dishman Hills trailhead opening planned

Fri., May 31, 2013, midnight

The south side of the Dishman Hills Conservation Area has become more welcoming to trail users.

An improved road and trailhead constructed at the north end of Stevens Creek Road will have its grand opening Saturday.

Spokane County officials, donors and volunteers will gather at 2 p.m. at the trailhead parking area, which was completed in August.

Those who attend will be invited to make the short hike to the nearby Rocks of Sharon, where climbers are expected to demonstrate their skills. The area offers panoramic views to the south.

The trailhead is part of a 1,227-acre conservation property that was assembled through donations and the county’s Conservation Futures tax program.

The area includes Iller Creek, Stone Estate, McCollum Property and Big Rock.

The long-established Dishman Hills Natural Area is north of the conservation area and is accessed from Camp Caro near Appleway Boulevard.

The Dishman Hills Conservancy nominated the Big Rock area in the first round of Conservation Futures acquisitions in 1994. Members of the conservancy are expected at the event.

The Nature Conservancy of Washington bought the first 80 acres in the natural area in 1966, according to news files. Property for the trailhead was acquired in 2011 through Conservation Futures.

The trailhead received support from national and local organizations and businesses, including Avista Utilities and Mountain Gear outdoor sporting goods company. The Dishman Hills Conservancy donated $108,000 to the project.

The Conservation Futures program has so far acquired 6,000 acres in 27 transactions.

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