Stretching almost 65 miles from Nine Mile Falls in Washington to Coeur d’Alene, the paved section of the Centennial Trail through Spokane is one of the city’s top running spots. While it can be accessed from nearly any point along the Spokane River, some favorite spots include Riverfront Park and Riverside State Park.
Riverfront Park: Located in the heart of Spokane, Riverfront Park was created as the centerpiece of the 1974 World’s Fair. Today, it is a hub for all forms of outdoor recreation. In the summer, kayakers can be found floating downstream from Spokane Falls, while in winter, ice skaters, nordic skiers, and fat bikers keep the trails busy. Runners take to the miles
of trails here year-round. One favorite route is a 2.7 mile loop around the park, crossing the Centennial Trail onto the grounds of Gonzaga University, then heading back west on the north bank of the river to reach the park’s pedestrian bridges. For added distance, continue on the Centennial Trail or loop in the paths around Gonzaga. Runners should also note that lots of cool events and groups frequent the park, including “Plogging,” a wonderful Swedish-born activity which combines jogging with picking up litter! MAP.
Riverside State Park: This 1,400 acre park just 9 miles northwest of downtown covers a long, scenic stretch of the Spokane and Little Spokane rivers. In addition to the 10 miles of the Centennial Trail which cut through the park, there are some 45 miles of additional hiking trails. Runners can find parking at Sontag Park, Carlson Road, the McLellan Trailhead, the Wilbur Trailhead, the Bowl and Pitcher Trailhead, or the Military Cemetery Trailhead. A Discover Pass (available daily or annually) is required to park.
For those who want to break away from the Centennial Trail and do a little trail running, the Bowl and Pitcher Trailhead is a great place to start. One of the highlights in this area is the namesake 2 mile Bowl and Pitcher trail, which includes stunning views from a fun to run suspension bridge. MAP.