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Saturday, August 24, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Outdoors blog

Riverside State Park: 14,000 acres of ‘happy’

PUBLIC LANDS -- Having a gorgeous state park to honor the Spokane River as it flows out of Spokane is a good reason to smile.

This video -- produced by the Riverside State Park Foundation with performances by groovy park rangers, lots of local park users and Karen Jurasin's dancing dog, Scout -- just hints at the multi-use assets we have minutes from downtown.

Facts about Riverside State Park:

  • It's Washington's largest state park, managing sites in four counties.
  • It's managed by just seven full-time rangers who cover about 14,000 acres, including sites along 65 miles of the Spokane River from the Idaho stateline downstream to Long Lake Dam.
  • The park oversees the 37-mile Spokane River Centennial Trail.
  • The largest contiguous portion of the park covers 10,000 acres in or bordering the city of Spokane, attracting more than 3 million visits a year.
  • This core area stretches downstream from the T.J. Meenach Bridge to the Nine Mile area. The area includes the Bowl and Pitcher campground, a new equestrian campground, river-running access sites, including Plese Flat, an off-road vehicle riding area with a new section for novice riders and roughly 100 miles of trails used by hikers, cyclists and mountain bikers.
  • Park sites popular with boaters, anglers and campers on Lake Spokane (Long Lake) include  the Nine Mile Recreation Area and Long Lake Campground. The park is managing water access sites in Spokane, Stevens and Lincoln counties, including 2,000 acres of Avista land.
  • Park staff oversees the Little Spokane River Natural Area on the north side of Spokane, which attracts paddlers and hikers.
  • The Columbia Plateau Trail near Cheney also is under the jurisdiction of the park.
  • Most recently, Riverside was assigned to manage Steptoe Butte and Steptoe Battlefield sites in Whitman County.

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Rich Landers
Rich Landers joined The Spokesman-Review in 1977. He is the Outdoors editor for the Sports Department writing and photographing stories about hiking, hunting, fishing, boating, conservation, nature and wildlife and related topics.

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