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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Tuesday, May 26, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
Clear Night 67° Clear

Routes: Classic Trips In The Inland Northwest Lewiston Levee-Clarkston Greenbelt Bike Tour

By -Rich Landers

Check it out

Distance: 18 miles

Difficulty: Easy

Riding time: 2-4 hours

Season: Year around

Maps: Clearwater and Snake National Recreation Trail map produced by U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Info: Lewiston Chamber of Commerce (208) 743-3531

Biking trip notes

Access: Trails accessible at numerous points in Lewiston, Idaho, and Clarkston, Wash., as shown on map. Overnighters can camp at Hells Gate State Park and ride trail system without going on roads.

Attractions: Lewiston-Clarkston valley generally is 5 to 10 degrees warmer than Moscow-Pullman area, making it especially desirable for spring and fall camping. Great spring break outing for families.

Waterfowl abound along river and ponds. Swallows Rock, a prominent basalt outcropping near Swallows Park, is home to swarms of nest-building cliff swallows each spring.

Parks have water, restrooms and picnic areas. Most are open year-round. Displays discuss Lewis-Clark expedition history and river navigation. Easy paved trails safely separated from traffic. Camping available at Hells Gate State Park, (208) 799-5015.

Comments: Trail system created to make recreational use of levees and greenbelts built during Lower Granite Dam project in 1970s. Pavement on Clarkston’s Greenbelt Trail is 6 to 8 feet wide. Lewiston’s Levee Trail is 10 to 12 feet wide.

Lewiston side has lighted portions for night riding. Clarkston Greenbelt has most shade for hot summer days. However, virtually no shade found from Swallows Park south to Asotin. Chief Looking Glass City Park in Asotin has grassy picnic area with food services across street, plus historic church built in 1889. Locomotive Park has last steam engine used in area.

Southway Bridge, complete with ridable ramps, is best route for trading trails across Snake River. On Interstate Bridge, riders must dismount to climb steps. Memorial Bridge currently has poor biking access to reach 4 miles of trails on north side of Clearwater River (not included in mileage for this “Route.”)

Be warned that off-trail riding in Hells Gate park area increases risk of flat tires caused by “rams head,” also known as “puncture thorns.” Take extra inner tubes just in case. One encounter with these undetectable curses can wipe out a wellstocked patch kit in a heartbeat.

Rules prohibit motorized vehicles on trails. Pets must be on leash.

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