Looking for the best trails around Walla Walla?

Explore the best rated trails in Walla Walla, WA. Whether you're looking for an easy walking trail or a bike trail like the Keene Road Trail and Pendleton River Parkway. With more than 8 trails covering 181 miles you're bound to find a perfect trail for you. Click on any trail below to find trail descriptions, trail maps, photos, and reviews.

Recent Trail Reviews

ByPass Shelterbelt

Bypass Shelterbelt Trail

November, 2022 by ratrat4563

I live in the area and regularly ride portions of this trail have ridden the entire trail at times. This trail is somewhat unique in that most of it is an urban greenbelt (not much green as average rainfall is less than 10”) beneath large established deciduous trees located between a freeway soundwall and residential backyards. The trail is asphalt fairly wide and in most cases in good condition with the occasional pavement upheaval caused by tree roots. The trail has no services other than the McDonalds on the south end, everything else would require a detour of the trail. As far as end points the north end of the trail is at the intersection of Spengler Street and Stevens Drive and depending upon your route the southern end has two distinct points; the intersection of Wellisian Way and Arron Drive (between the McDonalds and Arron Drive), or the north west end of Carrier Road in the Chama Natural Preserve. Off street dedicated parking for this trail is nonexistent for this trail except at Fred Meyer’s (next to the McDonalds) or at Chama Natural Preserve. I’ll start my review from the northern end heading south and split the various routes which will branch off our basic trail.

A couple of interesting thing about Richland, how were the street names determined? Answer Richland was a small community of less than 300 residents prior to WWII when the government bought a very large chunk of land for the Hanford Project (part of the Manhattan Project to build the first plutonium bomb) and built quite a large part of what is now Richland. To name streets the Army turned to prominent officers who had served the US Army Corp of Engineers. Why are many of the houses referred to as alphabet houses? When the government moved in there was a need for a large number of houses for the workers and scientists. In true government fashion the house you got depended on your position in the hierarchy and then the size of your family. The houses were built and refer to as the “A” plan/model, “B” plan/model, etc. and many of these homes still exist in the city. Most of these homes were built a duplex units and over the years some homeowners have acquired both unit and converted them into single family units.

At the intersection of Stevens Drive and Spengler you have your first chance for a detour as Spengler is a lightly traveled residential street which runs from Stevens Drive east to Harris Avenue. Although there is no designated bike lane the street is fairly wide and with the light traffic conditions should be no problem. There is a crosswalk with traffic signals at George Washington Way (Yes, that George Washington but in honor of his engineering services not as President) to make crossing the busy street easy. When you reach Harris Avenue if you turn left when you reach the first right turn (Ferry Road) you have intersected the Richland Riverfront Trail. If you continue Harris Avenue you are on the trail and headed towards the northern end of the trail. If you turn right on Ferry Road, you will find the trail at the end of the road and be heading towards the southern terminus at Columbia Point marina Park.

Heading south from Spengler Street on the trail it is rather barren with Stevens Drive on your right as you travel south. You will cross Snyder Street (crosswalk, no lights) and Saint Street (crosswalk and lights). Just south of Saint Street there is a split in the trail, keep right (the left only goes for another block and dumps you onto Jadwin Boulevard) and continue to Jadwin Boulevard (crosswalk and lights). After crossing Jadwin Boulevard keep to the right with the sound wall on your right side. You will be between the soundwall and residential backyards until you reach Duportail Street so it will be somewhat quiet, and I have never encounter more than a couple of other trail users in this area. You will cross Van Giesen Street (busy street with no crosswalk where the trail crosses however, half a block to the west there is a crosswalk and lights at the intersection of the Bypass Highway) and Swift Boulevard (crosswalk and lights) before reaching Duportail Street (crosswalks and lights).

At Duportail we can go in two directions, we will first head to the right to intersect the connecting roadway/trail located in Chama Natural Preserve. Use the crosswalks and lights to first cross Duportail and then the Bypass Highway. Once across the Bypass Highway stay on the sidewalk and just after crossing the railroad track the trail will be on your left. The trail parallels the railroad track on your left and a series of apartment buildings on your right, after the last apartment building the Yakima River will be on your left and you will descend almost to the river and with a couple of sharp turns cross under the Interstate and in a couple hundred yards be at the parking area in Chama Natural Preserve. Between the underpass and the parking area there is a trail which goes to the left, this trail will take you up to Queensgate Drive and intersect with the Keene Road Trail.

If we choose the other direction at Duportail Street, cross Duportail Street and then continue south on the trail. You will have a split int the trail but it doesn’t really matter which one you take as they both end up on Thayer Drive (about a block apart). If you choose the left path when you get to Thayer Drive turn right and proceed one block to the intersection of Lawless Drive and Thayer Drive. If you choose the right path you will end at this intersection. At Lawless Drive you have to cross the street, use care, there is traffic only coming from your right but it is a freeway off ramp so cars can be going faster than expected (posted at 30 just past this intersection) and you will find the trail on the southwest corner of the intersection. Once across Lawless Drive it is a short downhill to the end of the trail at Wellisian Way and Arron Drive. Although not part of the trail it is easy to cross Wellisian Way (Crosswalk and lights) and continue east on the sidewalk which turns into a trail after crossing Goethals Boulevard (crosswalk no lights) until you reach Jadwin Boulevard. Turn right and cross Jadwin Boulevard (crosswalk no lights) heading south, after about a block and a half you will cross the railroad tracks and be at the junction of Carrier Road, turn left to connect to the Richland Riverfront Trail and the Sacajawea Heritage Trail or turn left to connect with the Keene Road Trail.

Although not a scenic trail until you get close to the river it is a good trail to get through Richland with very little traffic other than on the streets you cross. I typically will head north on the Richland Riverfront Trail and using Spengler Street and the Bypass Shelter Trail as my southerly return via a different route, so it becomes more of a loop rather than out and back.

Keene Road Trail

Keene Road Trail

November, 2022 by ratrat4563

I live in the area and ride portions of this trail almost every day and have ridden the entire trail at times. When I ride the entire trail I usually leave my car for service near the Columbia Center Mall and ride out to West Richland to stop for coffee before returning as it gives the mechanics around three hours to get every thing sorted out. As Trailbear stated in his review that trail heads are hard to find but there are ample places close by to park. Trailbear even missed the eastern end of the trail as there is a section from Bellerive Drive and Steptoe Street. This additional block (0.35 miles) runs a fenced corridor between apartments and homes behind the fences. The end at Steptoe just ends at the western side of the street, no crosswalk or any indication that is anything special. I normally begin the trail at the sme location Trailbear references as the eastern terminus of the trail but since I’m local I’m usually heading north on Bellerive Drive and make a left turn onto the trail so we’ll start or narrative at that point.

As Trailbear points out there is not a lot of activity on this trail so it’s a nice one to ride. The trail is asphalt and is wide so a short blast on my horn to make others aware (avoids the you scared me response as you go by) that I’m passing them is usually all that is required and there is room for two pedestrians and a bicycle at the same time. There are sections of this trail which are straight (good sight line for others) and have little or no others as you pass so if you want to go fast you can.

The first section of the trail has houses behind a fence on the north and a large church on the south. After 0.17 miles we come to Venus Circle which has a marked cross walk but not lights. We next pass some apartments on the left with a large hedge on our right (watch for some uneven pavement due to tree roots in this area) until we reach an earthen berm across the Amon waterway and continue to Leslie Road. Leslie Road has a crosswalk and trail user initiated flashing lights to make a safe crossing. After crossing Leslie Road we reach the first location where you could consider parking you vehicle. There is a pizza parlor with a fairly large lot (park in the northwest corner) and just the other side of the pizza parlor is a Safeway which also has a large lot. In this area can be found several small restaurants and a Starbucks if the need arises.

Continuing west the trail takes a slight bend to the right and then you are faced with a split in the trail, keep left as the right only goes up into a neighborhood plus the trail is very uneven if you go that way. On the right you will have houses and on the left you will have the backside of the businesses which face Safeway. Upon reaching Elementary Street you will notice that Keene Road is now on your left, there is a crosswalk at Elementary Street, but no lights associated with it. The trail continues to the west until you reach Badger Mountain Community Park (1.5 miles from Bellerive Drive) whereas Trailbear reported there are restroom facilities and a drinking fountain between the ballfields. To the west and adjacent to the park is Yoke’s market (good deli sandwiches) a Dutch Brothers Coffee and An Original Pancake House. Back on the trail you will then reach Englewood Drive which has marked crosswalks and lights. After crossing Englewood Drive the trail continues west and crosses Lambert Street which has a crosswalk, no lights. If on a bicycle it is a step short climb to the street but as the neighborhood it serves is a large loop the traffic is minimal. We next reach the intersection of Shockley Road (currently dead ends at the trail so no traffic). It was just to the west of Shockley Road where one morning I saw a Coyote just to the right of the trail in the scrub brush.

The next point we reach is Queensgate Village, a collection of small shops and businesses, on the right. The extreme east end of the parking lot is designated as trail parking (about ten spaces) so this is another place to park. Continuing to the west we approach Queensgate Drive and come across a location which has been featured on Food Networks Diners, Drive-ins, & Dives. In the building on our right is Ethos Bakery if you desire to stop for a treat. At Queensgate Drive we have a decision for our journey, continue on the Keene Road Trail or take the route to the Sacajawea Heritage Trail, Richland River Trail, or the Bypass Shelterbelt Trail. If we desire one of the later choices turn right on Queensgate Drive and follow the trail north crossing Jericho Road (crosswalk, no lights and almost zero traffic) and Columbia Park Trail (crosswalk to the east of the roundabout, be mindful of cars as some are not looking as they exit the roundabout). Just north of Columbia Park Trail (south end of next roundabout) the trail will turn to the east and parallel the Interstate heading east. At this same point, just before the trail bollard, there is a turnout to the east which leads over to three wineries which of course have wine tasting and some have food available. It is a fast downhill (watch for folks coming up) to the Yakima River bridge and the Chama Nature Reserve. (I’ll do a review for the Chama Nature Reserve in a separate entry as it is the key to getting between the various trails/bike routes in this area).

Back to the Keene Road Trail, cross Queensgate Drive (crosswalk and crossing lights, east end has two lights; one for the right turn lane and one for Queensgate Drive, pay attention). After crossing Queensgate Drive there is a mini mart, Taco Time, and coffee shop on the right. Continuing west we cross Jericho Road (crosswalk, no lights) and the continue across the bridge over the Interstate and come to Lincoln Landing (crosswalk, no lights). At this point we can turn right and proceed into the Vintner Square Shopping area where there are several fast food and normal restaurants available. The trail continues west to Duportail Street (crosswalk with crossing lights), right turn will also take you into Vintner Square but on a busy street. Although not as close as some of the other parking areas, Vintner Square could be a possible location to park your vehicle. After crossing Duportail Street there is a mini mart/gas station (drinks & restroom). The trail continues west to Kennedy Road where there is a Black Rock Coffee on the other side of Keene Road. Cross Kennedy Road (crosswalk and crossing lights) and continue west. From here to the west end of the trail there are no facilities available. The trail continues to Bombing Range Road (currently has a roundabout, however, the city has indicated it will be removed in the near future so should be crosswalk and crossing lights).

After crossing Bombing range Road the trail continues west crossing Highlands Boulevard and Hickory Avenue (both with crosswalks but no lights) until reaching Belmont Boulevard (the current western end of the trail) and our turn around point where we backtrack to our starting point. On the southeast corner is a gas station with a sub shop. I envision that in the future the trail will continue west to the intersection of Keene Road and Van Giessen Street as this area is developed. When I ride the entire trail I normally turn right on Belmont Boulevard and ride the trail to Kilawea Drive where I move from the sidewalk/trail to the bike lane and continue north to Paradise Way where I take a right turn heading east. On Paradise Way there will be a school on your left and just past the school is a small shopping center with a mini mart, a Yoke’s Market (good deli and where I stop for coffee) and a couple of other places for food.
If you are comfortable riding a bike lane on a somewhat busy street you can continue east on Paradise Way to Bombing Range Road where you will make a right turn otherwise backtrack your route on Paradise Way and Belmont Avenue to the Keene Road Trail. There are no lights or stop signs on Bombing Range Road and the traffic can be moderate to heavy at times but there is a well-marked bike lane to Keene Road where you will turn left onto the Keene Road Trail and proceed back to your starting point.

Columbia Plateau Trail State Park

Great scenery, rough trail for biking (commenting on the "southern segment")

July, 2022 by jkmcvay

The description led me to believe there was a 15-mile paved "southern segment" between Ice Harbor Dam and Snake River Junction. Consulting, Google Maps, it appeared that the trail north of Levey Park would be paved (as I assumed was indicated by an unbroken, green line). Unfortunately, these assumptions led to a disappointing biking outing. Levey Park is terribly dilapidated and neglected and the trail heading both north and south of Levey Park is fairly intense gravel and not really accessible unless you have a fat tire bike and enjoy motoring through gravel. The scenery is great but it is not a biking trail.

Accordion

Sacagawea Heritage Trail

Sacajewea State Park Trail

September, 2021 by mlmcwhorter

First time on this trail. Pretty along the River but I agree with others poorly marked so we did lots of turning around and backtracking. Will definitely do it again but will start further up the line to avoid traffic areas.

Columbia Plateau Trail State Park

The trail is great, the loose substrate is unrideable

September, 2021 by thorskettle

This loose gravel used as a trail substrate makes these trails unpassable by bicycle. The loose gravel is tantamount to attempting to ride a bicycle across a sand dune. The gravel is soft and loose and creates too much friction for a bicycle ride longer than a quarter mile. This is a real shame and potential waste of resources. Trails must be hard packed for decent travel by bicycle. This isn't the only trail with this issue here in Washington. Many sections of the Palouse to the Cascades trail also suffer the same poor choice in trail substrate.

Sacagawea Heritage Trail

A great scenic trail to ride, but have Google maps handly

May, 2021 by dickmeissner062

We started this loop at our hotel on Clover Island. We crossed over the Columbia on the Ed Hendler Bridge, into Pascoe, then headed upriver, passing many nice parks. For the most part, the trail is right beside the river. We then crossed over the river again on the I 182 bridge, and rode upriver on the Riverfront trail to find some lunch. This starts in the Columbia Point Marina park. There are plenty of places for lunch along this trail . We then headed back downriver to Kennewick. It is not a scenic on this side.
And I agree about the poor signage. This trail is not well marked, we had to rely on Google maps (with bicycling turned on), to find our way. Mostly around the bridges.

Columbia Plateau Trail State Park

A gem in the making

April, 2021 by wiildrose

I am very sad to see that there is very little work being done on this trail. It will be ENORMOUSLY popular if it is ever finished! Right now the surface is horrible to ride, except on the very ends. With the popularity of rails to trails, I guarantee that this would be a much-loved and used trail if it was improved. The paved sections are great, and the trailheads are, too. There has been work on this trail, with the restrooms and paving. Let's hope the improvements continue! I would love to ride it end to end someday.

Columbia Plateau Trail State Park

Gravel can be loose

April, 2021 by osborne.drumm

We started at Fish Lake Trailhead on a beautiful day. The trail was scenic and started out more sheltered from wind and shaded than I expected, both good. After about 4 miles, the asphalt ended and the gravel surface began. My fellow rider and I both had hybrid bicycles, and are used to road riding. After about 4 miles of riding the gravel road, we turned around early as the gravel was deep enough that we were worried about spills constantly. Perhaps this works for people who are used to riding on gravel or have more aggressive mountain bicycles.

Pendleton River Parkway

Enjoyable city River walk

April, 2021 by jennifer.simmons.olympia

Clean and comfortable paved trail, great for bikes.

Richland Riverfront Trail

Beautiful Waterfront Ride

April, 2021 by lazyjranchca

Nice ride on mostly asphalt! It has a nice park that runs along this trail for stopping and resting! Benches, water fountains and adult swings are available along the route! There is a lot to avoid on this trail, dogs, joggers, walkers, other bikers and occasionally a goose, duck or swan! Bathrooms are available at the park!

Keene Road Trail

Short and Sweet

April, 2021 by lazyjranchca

My daughter lives at the trailhead of this trail and while visiting I ride it daily! It is nice blacktop with a few traffic lights to get through! The number of birds to see is really nice with a estuary along the trail! Due to this being a neighborhood type trail there are lots of families riding and people walking dogs! It also has lots of places to shop, eat and rest on benches with water fountains! Nice easy ride!

Richland Riverfront Trail

Richland Riverfront Trail

October, 2020 by ratrat4563

Richland Riverfront Trail

I live in Kennewick and ride the Richland Riverfront Trail several times a week. I usually get to the trail by using the Sacagawea Heritage Trail or the Keene Road Trail (see my report on the Sacagawea Heritage Trail where I discuss the interconnecting of the trails in the Tri Cities area.. The Richland Riverfront Trail is an out and back trail of approximately 7 miles in each direction. There are several trailheads in the area but the major ones with parking for more than a couple of cars are as follows:

Columbia Point Marina Park

Bradley Boulevard
-North end of Condos

Howard Amon Park
- Richland Community Center
- Lee Boulevard
- Newton Street
- Boat launch Facility

Leslie Groves Park
- River Road
- Newcomer Street
- Park Road
- Saint Street
- Snyder Street

Although this trail is located in the center of a metropolitan area you are on a paved trail or when on a street or road traffic is light, there is no water or restroom facilities available on the trail north of Leslie Groves Park so plan accordingly. Although not a major problem, the Tri-Cities does have a homeless problem and it is not unusual to see one or two sleeping on one of the benches along the trail, I have no knowledge of any problems related to these people. Restrooms are available in Columbia Point Marina Park, Howard Amon Park, and Leslie Groves Park (there are no restrooms north of Snyder Street).

I will start the narrative from Columbia Point Marina Park and detail the entire trail. I will point out facilities close to the trail where you can get food, drinks, or points which may be of interest. Trail markings are few, however since the trail is continuous from one end to the other with the exception of one area where you have to travel on a residential street which has signs marking the bike route they are not a problem like on the Sacagawea Heritage Trail. As there are several hotels along the trail and a popular area for locals to walk it can be crowded for a cyclist so I will detail some of the detours you can take to miss the congestion if it is present


The Trail 

Begin at Columbia Point Marina Park, there is plenty of parking here, unless they are using it for the annual boat show or one of the bass tournaments. The trial actually starts at the end of Columbia Point Drive at the river. The trail runs north along the river side of the park and continues towards the boat launch facility. There is a restroom next to the boat launch facility and on the other side of the boat ramp are three restaurants for those that are hungry, these art not fast food but middle to upper scale facilities. If you’re looking for something lighter or not so fancy you can head back up Columbia Point Drive to the shopping mall at George Washington Way. There are other food facilities just off the trail through central Richland. Most users bypass this short section of trail in the park and begin their trip on the western side of the boat ramp where the trail leaves the parking lot. Overall this section of trail is fairly wide and pedestrians and cyclist coexist with no problems, however, the first few feet of the path from the boat ramp is narrow and a curve so you need to take it easy until you get to the top of the incline and make the right turn.

This section of the trail has benches for resting or taking in the views. On your right is the piers associated with the boat launch facility and a little further the piers where boats are permanently moored. On you left will be two of the restaurants and two hotels followed by several waterfront condominiums. At the end of the second hotel the trail turns ninety degrees to the left and the corner is somewhat blind and you need to be careful here. After the last condominium you will come to the Bradley trailhead on your left with river views to your right and a vacant lot on your left. The pavement in this area is not broken or damaged but has several rises and falls which can be a little unsettling if not aware of them. At the end of the vacant lot the trail turns to the left and passes another hotel. The trail follows the shoreline of the river and after a short distance make a turn to the right, caution the foliage along the river makes this a blind corner so be prepared to be face to face with a pedestrian or another cyclist. A very short straight section and you make a turn to the right and then after a couple hundred feet another somewhat blind turn to the left as you pass another group of condominiums. After passing the last condominium you pass yet another hotel and the trail narrows somewhat while transiting this area, after passing the hotel the trail widens and you have now entered Howard Amon Park.

On the left will be the Richland Community Center with its parking lot. The park contains several covered pavilions with tables and other amenities for use by the public. As you reach Lee Boulevard on your right will be a pier at which you may find the paddle wheel Mississippi style riverboat which ply's the Columbia and Snake rivers from Lewiston, Idaho to Astoria, Oregon with a stop in Richland. Parking is available on Lee Boulevard and in a lot to the north of Lee Boulevard between the park and George Washington Way. There is a restroom facility on Lee Boulevard next tot he tennis courts. If you continue west on Lee Boulevard and cross George Washington Way the next street you come to is The Parkway which has several small restaurants, one of which is Frost Me Sweet Bakery and Deli which has been featured on Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives on the Food Network. Also you will find Greenies bicycle shop.

At this point the trail along the river narrows and it can become cumbersome to travel on a bike if there are pedestrians present, a usable detour is to travel up Lee Boulevard and turn right onto Amon Park Drive. If you plan on continuing on the trail next to the river skip to the next paragraph. As you travel through the parking lot on your left will be Northwest Paddleboarding where you can rent paddleboards and kayaks, take paddleboard lessons or a paddleboard tour. At the north end of the parking lot Amon Park Drive turns to the right and then back to the left to parallel the river and trail which are a short distance on your right while on your left will be another hotel. As you reach Newton Street on your left will be a restaurant and on your right will be a restroom facility. Continue on Amon Park Drive until you reach the parking lot at its end, the trail exits from the northwest corner of the lot and proceeds up onto a levee section of the trail.

For those who choose to continue on the trail from Lee Boulevard you will find benches and other amenities along the trail. There is a restroom adjacent to the small parking lot located at Newton Street. Proceed north until you reach the boat launch facility and turn right across the ramp and continue around the east side of the parking lot on the trail and continue up onto the levee section of the trail.

As you climb up onto the levee there is another hotel on your left, once on the top of the levee section of trail you will notice a path bearing to your left and back down the levee towards George Washington Way. At the bottom of the path on the left is a new building which houses a winery and Porter’s BBQ which has been featured on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. This section of the trail which is on the levee is one of my least favorite sections due to the buckling of the asphalt pavement. Somebody has painted lines around most of the bad spots but it is wearing off and either needs to be reapplied or repairs made to the trail. If the trail is crowded or you want to miss some of the bumps you can take the next path to the left down to Harris Avenue, turn right on Harris Avenue and parallel the levee north. The first street on your right will be River Road, turn onto River Road and once over the top of the levee turn left into the parking lot. If you stayed on the top of the levee when you reach River Road turn right before the vertical railroad tracks stuck in the ground. This is the beginning of Leslie Groves Park which has a unique path system ,which most users honor, the path closest to the river is for pedestrians while the path slightly inland is for cyclists. If on a bike turn left where the railroad track is missing and into the parking lot. Just ahead between the parking lot and the pedestrian section of the trail will be a restroom facility. Where Howard Amon Park was all grass like your lawn many areas of Leslie Groves Park are natural foliage. The cycle trail transitions from the parking lot to a trail at the north end of the parking lot, marked by two large boulders spaced wider apart than the rest of the smaller boulders. Both trails continue north within a few yards of each other and at times are separated by trees or other foliage. Eventually you will reach Newcomer Street which has a small parking lot for trail access. Continuing north you will reach the more developed portion of Leslie Groves Park, on your right you will find sand volleyball courts and a sandy beach which is used for swimming, CAUTION NO LIFEGUARD, SWIM AT YOUR OWN RISK. On your left will be the south end of the parking lot located at Park Street, near this area there are two pavilions with tables and a restroom facility.

Continuing north the trails continue on to Saint Street where there is a large parking lot. The pedestrian route continues north along the river where you will find tennis courts on your left along with another pavilion. Cyclists have a decision to make here as the trail between Saint Street and Snyder Street is rather rough from tree roots causing the pavement to buckle, if you decide to stay on the path cross the west end of the parking lot and continue on the path with the tennis courts on your right. If you decide to bypass this rough section jog slightly to your left and continue north on Harris Avenue. Harris Avenue has no businesses on it and is only residential so traffic is minimal or non-existent plus it is a fairly wide street. At Snyder Street turn to the right towards the river and pick up the trail on your left.

At Snyder Street the pedestrian and cycle trails merge back together and in the boat launch parking lot near the trail you will find the last restroom facility as you head north on the trail. The portion of the trail north of Snyder Street is designated as the North Leslie grove Natural Area and as such is covered in vegetation natural to the area. The trail continues north through this area until it turns to the left up a short incline onto Ferry Road for a short distance until you reach Harris Avenue. Turn right onto Harris avenue and continue north until you reach Sprout Road. Across Sprout Road will be Washing State University, Tri-Cities Campus, you will turn right on Sprout Road and at the end of the street pick up the trail which immediately turn left as you enter it and then down a short downhill followed by an equal uphill section with the river on your right and the university campus on your left.

Other than the landscaped areas of the university this section of the trail in a natural habitat and you can expect to see wildlife native to the area, this includes rabbits and the occasional snake. More than once between the university and USS TRITON Park I have been startled by a rabbit dashing across the path mere inches in front of my recumbent trike. After leaving the university campus behind you merge onto Waterfront drive for a short stretch until the path picks up on the right side as the pavement ends for Waterfront Drive, stay to the right of the line of boulders. After passing a picnic table on your right the path takes a mild bend to the left and appears to go straight with a branch going to the right. Turn right as the straight section ends in a very short distance. Go up the slight incline past a couple of roadside tables and find yourself approaching some riverfront homes. It has recently been announced that the area to your right and immediately west of these homes will be developed into a higher end luxury apartment complex.

After passing the last of these homes you will climb a short rise and approach a pavilion on your right which has a table. From this pavilion you will be able to overlook the Columbia River and the Port of Benton barge slip which services the Hanford Site (formally Hanford Nuclear Reservation). If you look off to the northwest from this location you can visually follow the trail and see the sail from USS TRITON at the top of the bluff. From this pavilion it is a short ride up the hill to finally arrive at USS TRITON park. USS TRITON park is a very small park with parking for ten cars and a space just slightly larger than the sail itself.

USS TRITON Park

USS TRITON was a first generation nuclear powered submarine of the US Navy (fourth hull design, eighth boat built) which during her short career made history by becoming the first submarine to circumnavigate the Earth while submerged. The course generally followed that of the first circumnavigation of the world led by Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan from 1519 to 1522. TRITON was originally designed as a radar picket but quickly outdated with the US Navy’s acquisition of carrier based early warning radar aircraft. TRITON was commissioned on 10 November 1959 and decommissioned on 3 May 1969 when her design made her no longer viable as a fleet asset. She was towed from Norfolk Naval Shipyard (Portsmouth, Virginia) to Puget Sound Naval Shipyard (Bremerton, Washington) in 1993 to await her turn in the Nuclear Powered Ship and Submarine Recycling Program. Triton began the recycling program in 2007 and completed the recycling in 2009.

The recycling process removes all hazardous material whether chemical, mineral, or nuclear and disposes/contains it while parts of the vessel such as steel which can be recycled is sent to the appropriate facility for reuse. The reactor is highly contaminated and during the recycling process it is removed and encapsulated in suitable containers for long term storage, these containers are then transported to the Hanford Site where they are placed in long term storage. During the recycling process the sail was removed as a single unit and placed on a barge and towed from Puget Sound Naval Shipyard out to the Pacific Ocean and up the Columbia River to the Port of Benton Barge slip where it was offloaded by the cranes you see and transported by the multiple-wheel high-capacity trailers you see adjacent to the park, up the hill to its present location where it was mounted to its current location. There is a sign on one side of the sail which instructs ou haw to arrange for a tour inside the sail if you desire to do so.

USS TRITON park commemorates not only USS TRITON but all of the nuclear powered ships and submarines who have undergone the Nuclear Powered Ship and Submarine Recycling Program whose reactors have been sealed during the recycling and placed on barges to take the same voyage as USS TRITON’s sail. Upon their arrival at the Hanford Site they were offloaded and transported to their burial location.

Return is a reversal of your north bound journey. I hope you enjoy this trail as much as I do, other than the bad areas of pavement this is a great trail. I ride thirteen miles to ride this trail and thirteen miles back home, the ride is worth it.

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