Glide along this burbling stream in your canoe, keeping an eye out for moose browsing in the lush vegetation, great blue herons and other wildlife.
Hike a gentle trail past ancient pictographs, along the river shore, or turn and head up to find views across the valley and of the river far below. Birders find this is one of the most important areas in our state for species that breed near rivers, including hooded merganser, osprey, pygmy owls, many woodpeckers and more.
The Little Spokane River Natural Area offers a quiet getaway just minutes from Spokane’s busy downtown. Now part of Spokane’s enormous Riverside State Park, this beloved local treasure is open for public use today because of visionary local residents and many public-private partnerships.
Spokane Spokesman-Review writer Rich Landers highlights some of this history in a recent story about hiking trail improvements at the park, praising the foresight of former Spokane County Parks Director Sam Angove and river area residents Morey and Margaret Haggin, among others, who ended 15 years of buying, swapping and negotiating in 1985 to secure a 1,500-acre preserve along the river that otherwise would have been largely privatized and closed to the public.
The park has also received support from the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program, which The Nature Conservancy helped establish and has supported for more than 40 years, as well as county funding, federal grants, private donations and lots of volunteer and in-kind support over the years.
Banner photo by Beyond Boundaries via Flickr Creative Commons