Friday, September 11, 2009

Little Spokane River

Little Spokane River
Location: Spokane, Washington
Duration: 1 Day
Season: Spring - Fall
Distance: ~3.5 miles, one way
Difficulty: Easy

The Little Spokane River Natural Area is about 6 miles northwest of downtown Spokane. The natural area roughly parallels Rutter Parkway, and encompasses 7.3 river miles within its 1,993 acres.
Washington State Parks and Spokane County Parks have both acquired lands in the area to guarantee its protection. The area is managed as part of Riverside State Park under a joint interagency agreement with Spokane County Parks. To learn more about the area and Natural history look under our Resources link or visit the Spokane House Interpretive Center, off Highway 291, North of Nine Falls.
This trip is an easy 3.5-mile paddle through a rare freshwater marsh environment, that is home to a wide variety of songbirds, woodpeckers, raptors, and waterfowl. Not to mention, that a Great Blue Heron rookery can be found in the tall cottenwoods by the riverbanks, along with beaver, muskrat, porcupines, raccoons, coyotes, marmots, white-tailed deer and moose.

At the parking lot near the put-in spot there is an informative sign telling you a little bit about the area. There is also a small outhouse for your convenience.
To begin, haul your canoe or kayak down the narrow portage trail to the river edge where you can launch into the slow moving current. As you let the river carry you downstream, the first thing you'll notice is the endless numbers of waterfowl. We were also fortunate to see 2 moose grazing near the riverbank as we came around a corner.
The trip can take anywhere from 1 hour if your paddling, to 3 hours if you just let the current take you. A little after you pass under the bridge and when you see your first small rapids, you're at the end of the trip, the parking lot and take-out point are just before the rapids on your left. If you go over the rapids, you have gone too far.
NOTE: The are area restrictions such as NO: alcohol, air mattresses, inner tubes, pets, swimming, motor boats, bicycles, camping, fires, horses, hunting, or off-road vehicles
Directions: From I-90 at Spokane, WA take the Division Street exit and drive north, across the bridge and up the hill to Francis Ave. Turn left at Francis Ave. and follow it West until it ends and turns into Highway 291. Follow State Route 291 North past Nine Mile Falls. A mile past Rutter Parkway road is the turn off for the boat pick up area. You should leave a car here and then backtrack to Rutter Parkway road. Follow Rutter Parkway Rd. East until it intersects Indian Trail road, then head North across the Little Spokane River. The parking lot is your first left just after you cross the river and the portage trail is just out the back of the parking lot. (If you cross the river and start to go up the hill, you've gone too far).

For a map, pictures and more info click on Little Spokane River

See you on the trail,

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  1. Well at least I could bring my camera and take some pictures. I know I'm going to enjoy it there. Actually a friend of mine Tim Jones in Spokane told me about this park. I just didn't have the time to check it out.