As of late 2011 the Columbia Plateau Trail State Park has developed 38 miles in two segments between Fish Lake near Cheney and Martin Road near Sprague, and between Ice Harbor Dam near the Tri-Cities and Snake River Junction. It passes through the scenic uplands of eastern Washington and along the Snake River. The middle 92 miles are undeveloped and difficult going.
The trail follows part of the former right-of-way of the Spokane, Portland and Seattle Railroad, and you'll see mile markers with numbers referencing the distance from Portland, Oregon. The 23-mile northern segment (Fish Lake to Martin Road) is paved for the first 3.75 miles, from Fish Lake to Cheney, with parking and bathrooms at both locations. The trail then turns to gravel and passes through Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge on its way to the Amber Lake and Martin Road trailheads.
The 15-mile southern segment runs between Ice Harbor Dam and Snake River Junction. You'll likely see much wildlife among the scenic landscape, and interpretive signs tell about key features along the trail. The trail connects to the unpaved Fish Lake Trail on the north, which will eventually reach Spokane. For more information, call Columbia Plateau Trail State Park at 509-646-9218. An access fee is required.
Parking and Trail Access
Fish Lake Trailhead (milepost 365) with parking, a picnic shelter and tables, restrooms and an informational kiosk.
Cheney Trailhead (milepost 361.25) with parking (including equestrian units), restroom, picnic shelters and tables, and an informational kiosk.
Amber Lake Trailhead (milepost 349.25) with parking (including equestrian units), equestrian highline, restrooms and an informational kiosk.
Martin Road Trailhead (milepost 342) with parking (including equestrian units), equestrian highline, restrooms and an informational kiosk.