Trails

Hiking in Washington State Parks
Hiking Trails

You'll find nearly 700 miles of trails in Washington state parks, from short interpretive nature walks to challenging long-distance treks. Deception Pass alone has 38 miles of trails that wander through forests and sand dunes, along rocky saltwater headlands, and beside clear freshwater lakes. Climb up Scarborough Hill behind historic Fort Columbia for views across the Columbia River to Oregon and beyond. Spend an afternoon hiking in the timbered Cascade foothills to thundering, plummeting, 265-foot Wallace Falls. And don't miss the gorgeous wildflowers that bloom throughout spring and summer on the Puffer Butte trails at Fields Spring.

For information on wheelchair-accessible trails, see our ADA Recreation page. For still more hiking opportunities, you can check out our long-distance trails below.

Mountain Bike Trails
Mountain Biking Trails
Mountain bikes are permitted on trails in nearly three dozen state parks. Beacon Rock on the Lower Columbia River has 20 miles of biking trails. Dosewallips on Hood Canal offers five miles of rideable beach. Bikers who breeze past waiting cars and onto the San Juan Island ferries are rewarded with lots of good mountain biking at scenic Moran State Park.

For still more biking opportunities, see our long-distance trails below.

Marine Trails
Water Trails

The Cascadia Marine Trail (stretching along the inland waters from Olympia to Point Roberts) and the Willapa Bay Water Trail (embracing unspoiled Willapa Bay) are the first two trails in Washington designed for kayaks, canoes, and other non-motorized, beachable boats.

Water trails offer unsurpassed views of Northwest scenery and wildlife while providing access to pullouts, campsites, and other public amenities along the way.

An overnight primitive site fee is charged for state park campsites along both trails.

Equestrian Trails
Horses and riders are welcome on most ocean beaches and on established trails in 10 parks. At Bridle Trails, located at the
Equestrian Trails
edge of metropolitan Seattle, horses have the right of way on 28 miles of trails. Battle Ground Lake has a primitive horse camping area and five miles of riding trails, while Steamboat Rock offers 10 miles of trails in a classic Central Washington landscape of sagebrush and bare basalt cliffs. Horses can be rented at Lake Wenatchee for both day and overnight pack trips. For still more riding opportunities, look at the long-distance trails below.

Long-Distance Trails
Take a look at various long-distance trails below.

Centennial Trail
This paved trail wanders for 37 miles alongside the Spokane River from Nine Mile Falls, just outside Spokane, all the way to the state line. (If you would like, you can keep on going right into Idaho.) Several significant historic sites are marked along the way, with many more signs still to come. Centennial Trail is open to hikers, joggers, bikers, and in-line skaters. Certain portions of the trail are open to horses as well.

John Wayne Pioneer Trail

The John Wayne Pioneer Trail follows the former roadbed of the Chicago-Milwaukee-St. Paul-Pacific Railroad two-thirds of the way across Washington, from the western slopes of the Cascade Mountains to the border with Idaho. The 100-mile portion from Cedar Falls (near North Bend) to the Columbia River near Vantage is managed as Iron Horse State Park. It is open to hikers, bikers, equestrians, and horse-drawn wagons in summer, and to snowmobiles, dog sleds, and cross-country skiers in winter.

More Rails-to-Trails Corridors
Two other former railroad routes are gradually being transformed into recreational trails by Washington State Parks. The Willapa Hills Trail stretches 56 miles from Chehalis to South Bend, rambling through pastoral valleys to tidewater Willapa Bay. The Columbia Plateau Trail travels 130 miles from East Pasco to Fish Lake (near Spokane), through the channeled scablands and pine forests of eastern Washington. Only certain sections of these trails are currently paved or graveled. Future phased-development plans call for additional surface improvements and the addition of primitive campsites.