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Centennial Trail surely must have more than 350 “friends”

 TRAILS — Numbers stood out to me in several cases as I researched today's Outdoors column on the Spokane River Centennial Trail, a 37-mile ribbon of park that's the envy of cities across the country.

Four years ago, Riverside State Park had two full-time Centennial Trail rangers and a seasonal maintenance crew.  State budgets cuts have slashed the staffing to one seasonal ranger.  Period.

The trail is used about 2 million times a year, yet only 350 people are signed up as members of the Friends of the Centennial Trail, a group that's critical to the sustainability and development of the trail.

Even if you never set foot, bike or skate on the trail, it's worth supporting just to have it there for our citizens and our visitors and to keep the river shores open to the public going into a future that will see even more pressure for riverside development.

Check out the Friends of the Spokane River Centennial Trail website and consider becoming a member or making an additional contribution to the Trail Builders Fund.

Repairs temporarily close Centennial Trail segment near Barker Road

TRAILS — The Spokane River Centennial Trail is closed between miles 7 and 9 through Nov. 24 as workers  repair the erosion damage to the trail west of Barker, reports Kaye Turner of the Friends of the Centennial Trail.

The detour flows from the Walt Worthy building bollards (near the basalt water fountain; east of Sullivan and Krispy Kreme) out onto Indiana Parkway.

Progress east through the new round-about onto Flora going north until it curves right, east, onto Montgomery. 

At the “T” intersection of Montgomery and Riverway, turn right heading slightly south then east to the “T” intersection with Barker. 

Turn left, north, onto Barker. The Barker Trail Head is on the right before the bridge.

Centennial Trail among Sunset Magazine’s Top Trails in The West

TRAILS — The Spokane River Centennial Trail — celebrating its 20th anniversary — is listed on Sunset Magazine's list of 20 Best Bike Paths in the West.

That's no suprise to people who live here, and ongoing improvements are steadily making the riverside trail even better.

But wait:  There's no mention of the Trail of the Coeur d'Alenes.

Most of the trails on the list have an urban link. That makes marketing sense, but it clearly diverts attention to what some people might consider the BEST trails.

For info on more trails, check in with the Rails to Trails Conservancy.

Help stop vehicle vandalism along Centennial Trail, Spokane River

TRAILHEADS — Vandalism to cars parked at Centennial Trail parking lots and boating access sites continues to be a problem. 

Paddlers report a smash (a window) and grab incident at Mirabeau Park over the weekend, although they said nothing of value was taken.

Dealing with these opportunistic low-life theives is much like preventing damage by raccoons and other vermin: Don't leave and “food” out. 

In otherwords, it's not enough to make sure nothing “valuable” is left in your vehicle at a trailhead.

Make sure that nothing at all tempting is visible through the windows to entice a creep into a smash and grab incident.

Construction forces Centennial Trail detour

TRAIL REROUTED: Upriver Drive from Freya to Frederick:

A sewer construction project will create an Upriver Drive detour for Centennial Trail users for almost a year, the Friends of the Centennial Trail report.

The trail will be closed from Freya to Frederick Avenue on Upriver Drive. There will be a detour in place and signage to guide users.

The Friends group has maps and details on its website.

Directions: Coming from downtown going east take Ralph to Carlisle to Havana to Fredrick and back out on Upriver Drive. It may be possible at times to let Trail users back onto the east section of Upriver Dr. at times during this project. If you have a street bike avoid signed detour onto gravel road sections. 

Centennial Trail affected by Trent Bridge construction

TRAILS — Several construction projects are affecting recreationists traveling the Spokane River Centennial Trail this season.

The newest project involves construction under the Trent Bridge, set to start July 25.

Contractors will be laying ATT cable. Work will be through the week and perhaps into the week of Aug. 1. Trail closures of 2-3 hours are likely at the end of the week of July 25th or the beginning of the week of August 1.

For updates on other construction projects and the Thursday announcement of the membership drive bicycle drawing winner, check out the Friends of the Centennial Trail website.

Last chance: Centennial Trail group offers chance to win bike

TRAILS — Forget the freaking Washington State Lottery. If you want a GOOD chance to win something valuable, join the Friends of the Centennial Trail.

People who become members by Friday (July 15) get their name entered in a drawing to win a Trek 7.2 FX 20-inch bicycle, sponsored by Two Wheel Transit.

It's a nifty bike, and the odds are outrageous.  Only about 60 people have signed up in this campaign.

Check out the details on the Friends' website or call (509) 624-7188.

  • Incidentally, the Friends are worth donations beyond membership. They do great things to help push forward major projects, including proposed overpasses as streets such as Mission Ave.

Centennial Trail has new Maringo Drive trailhead

TRAILS — A new 12-vehicle parking lot and trailhead for the Spokane River Centennial Trail officially opens today east of Argonne Road at the end of Maringo Drive.

See map.

The new facilities were built by the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission, with the support of the Friends of the Centennial Trail, Washington State Park Foundation and Inland Empire Paper Co.

This much-needed parking lot will enable trail users to avoid parking in a residential area. The Maringo Trailhead already included restroom facilities and a drinking fountain.