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Spokatopia offers intro to variety of muscle-powered sports

The best opportunity of the year to sample land- and water-based muscle-powered sports in one location is set for Saturday at Camp Sekani along the upper Spokane River.

The second annual Spokatopia Outdoor Adventure Festival will be a giant playground for learning about recreational activities, gear and skills.

While the event has a ‘try-it you’ll like-it’ objective, some high-flying mountain bike jumping demonstrations will be hot for spectators.

Evergreen East Mountain Bike Alliance has a heavy role in the attractions – and beer garden – with Spokane Parks and Recreation Department and local sport shops organizing other activities.

Festival-goers can try stand-up paddleboarding and SUP yoga, rock climbing, kayaking, slacklining, canoeing, geo-caching, disc golf, mountain biking, yoga and other outdoor activities.

Spokatopia takes advantage of Spokane’s standout recreational assets – Beacon Hill trail network, Spokane River Centennial Trail, Minnehaha Rocks climbing area at Shields Park and the Spokane River.

About 40 exhibitors are signed up for a festive atmosphere that will include live music, the beer garden and food trucks and a mountain bike jump jam with riders performing high-flying bike stunts.

Free truck shuttles to the top of the trail system courtesy of Evergreen East will allow mountain bikers to cruise the custom-designed downhill trails without having to pedal uphill.

Festival activities kick off at 9 a.m. with a 1-plus K or 5K Up Chuck Challenge trail run or walk. Find your inner-self in a free yoga lesson at 10 a.m.

The Bike Jam jumping event runs 1-2 p.m., although warm-ups and practicing will go on before the start. Talented local riders will be flying through the air on bikes, pulling off tricks and launching off huge jumps.

Bike demos, paddleboard demos, slacklining and many other activities will be available all day long and are free.

Fees to sign up for the outdoor adventure clinics, offered through the City of Spokane Parks and Recreation, range from $8-20. Sign up at the festival or register online via spokatopia.com. These clinics all sold out last year.

Biking demos and clinics are on the Camp Sekani-Beacon Hill trails or on the Centennial Trail. Water-based excursions happen on the river at Boulder Beach, a short walk from Camp Sekani Park. The geo-caching, rock climbing and disc golf activities are at at Camp Sekani.

Seven local bike shops will have models on display for sale and for free demos.

Paddleboarding and paddling demos and activities will be based out of Boulder Beach on the flatwater of the Spokane River behind Upriver Dam.

Users will need IDs to check out bikes, boats, boards and other demo gear.

More than 40 recreation companies and outdoor organizations have signed up for booths at the event, including small businesses that cater to active adults and families.

The two parking lots at Camp Sekani Park will fill early, so festival-goers are encouraged bicycle to the event on the Centennial trail or use other options:

  • Park on the shoulder/bike lane of E. Upriver Dr. in signed locations between Shields Park and Boulder Beach, which will be allowed through a permit from Spokane County during the festival on Saturday.
  • Park at nearby Pasadena Elementary or Shields Park/Minnehaha and catch a van shuttle (running every 15 minutes) or walk/bike to Camp Sekani from parked vehicle on the Centennial Trail.
  • Park at Avista and ride a bike to the festival. Participants can park at the Avista Utilities parking lot, 1411 E. Mission Ave., and bicycle 4.6 miles on the Centennial Trail to the festival. A secure, free bike corral will be available at Camp Sekani.

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