Spokane, WA

This Summer Is The Summer To Walk The Centennial Trail

J.R. Heimbigner

Photo by Wim van 't Einde on Unsplash

Growing up I remember a year in Boy Scouts when we did a 100-mile bicycle ride. It took us all day to complete it because we started out in mountain paths and ended it in Idaho on the Centennial Trail. It was a long day and I had never done anything like it, but it was one of the most memorable trips I've ever completed.

This year, as I look for ways to get my family outdoors and exploring the beautiful area that we have moved back to, I realized this is one of those places that I would love to take them out to and enjoy.

As I started to look into making this something that I could do with my family, I jumped over to their website and started mapping it out. While I was there, I realized this would be a great place for so many people to explore and enjoy this summer as we all start to get out and about again after Covid-19.

Below are a few things I have learned about the trail and how I might attack walking the entire trail with my family.

The Centennial Trail

The Centennial Trail is a 63-mile, two-state, State Park that runs from Spokane, Washington to Coeur D'Alene, Idaho. This project started in 1989 and was completed in 1991 with 100% paved paths. Most of the trail runs along the Spokane River as well.

The Centennial Trail stretches 39 miles in eastern Washington and 24 miles into Idaho. Of the 39 miles in eastern Washington it is broken into three main sections: Riverside State Park, Urban, and Valley. The Riverside State Park protion is 12 miles long. The Urban stretch is 13.5 miles long. And the Valley section is 13.5 miles long as well.

The Idaho stretch of the trail goes from the state line past Coeur D'Alene to Higgins Point. You can learn more about it at the City of Coeur d'Alene website.

How To Hike/Walk/Bike The Entire Trail

Now, you aren't going to hike this trail in one day. You probably could bike it all at once, but not hike it. And if you are doing it with your family, you will probably want to break it up into smaller chunks too.

For my family, we will most likely break it into the four main sections and try to do a few miles here and there throughout the summer. Most of the trail is an easy hike, thought the portion in Riverside State Park is said to be the most challenging. So, this part my be more difficult to complete with smaller children.

I would suggest breaking this 63 mile trail down into 3 to 5 mile chunks. Take it at a leasurely pace. And in enjoy every part of the trail. This will take most of the summer and it might just be one of the best memories you make with you kids as you travel across Spokane and into Idaho as a family.

The key will be to enjoy the walk, make sure you have snacks and know where bathroom breaks might need to take place, and have plenty of water. This will give you the best chance to hike the enitre trail with your family.

Final Thoughts

The Centennial Trail is a great way to see the natural area around us, get exercise, and spend time with our families. It can also provide more fun and adventure after a long year with Covid-19 and a cold winter. The best part will be spending time with your family and getting to see the beauty of the place we live.

So, get out and hike this trail and enjoy.

Lastly, what are some other family friendly hikes around the Spokane Area that you could take your family on? Share in the comments below!

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