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I live in the Kennewick and ride portions of the Sacagawea (spelling varies between Sacajawea and Sacagawea on signs throughout the area) Trail daily along with the Richland Riverfront Trail, the Keene Road Trail, the By-Pass Shelter Belt Trail (Green-Belt Trail on some maps) and several connecting trails/streets. The Sacagawea Trail is not a true loop (start and end at the same point without retracing any of your route) as there is a roughly 4.4 mile (each direction) out and back portion in addition to what everyone considers the 19. 5 mile loop. If you start your ride at Sacajawea Historical State Park then to get back to the start is actually close to 27 miles. The local web pages for the trail call it a 23 mile trail with the start in Sacajawea Historical State Park and concludes when you get loop back to the trail but does not count the distance back to where you started which is an additional 4 miles. There are several trailheads in the area but the major ones with parking for more than a couple of cars are as follows:
Columbia Park East
- Playground of Dreams
- Boat Launch Area
- Near Lighthouse ).2 mi from trail)
Columbia Park Central
- Base of Edison Street
- West end of Golf Course
- East side of Cable Bridge
Columbia Park West
- Lot next to boat ramp
- Area adjacent to Bateman Island
Columbia Point Marina Park
- Large lot next to park
- West End (Road 54)
- East End (Road 39/40)
- West A Street and S 25th Ave
- Lot between river and the softball field
- Near Boat launch area
- Lot at west end of Chiawana Park Road
Port of Pasco
- Ainsworth & Oregon Ave
Sacajawea Historical State Park
- Main Parking Lot
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 and services are few on the trail, there is little water available on the trail 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 near the trailheads with the exceptions of Columbia Park Central, Wade Park East, Cable Bridge, and the marked trailhead in Pasco. Wade Park West has no fixed facility however, there is normally a portable toilet just to the west of the park.
There are three bridges which cross the Columbia River:
1) Cable Bridge (eastern most bridge) has sidewalk on each side and marked lane for bikes on each side (I ride a recumbent trike and use the marked lane as there is barely enough room to navigate on the sidewalk).
2) Blue Bridge (Highway 395) (center bridge) has a sidewalk on the east side only which once again is narrow and can be problematic if you meet a rider coming the other direction. I would not recommend this bridge unless you are walking.
3) I-182 Bridge (western most bridge) has a wide sidewalk on each side of the bridge.
I will start the narrative from Sacajawea State 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. One other important fact is to reiterate what Trailbear reported, trail markings are poor to none so I would recommend that you make close notes of this narrative and consult a site such as Google maps for reference as the trail portions not on a road are shown.
Begin at Sacajawea Historical State Park, plenty of parking, there is normally a fee to park here. Available at the park is an interpretative museum along with outdoor displays commemorating the Corps of Discovery (Lewis and Clark Expedition) which camped for two says at this spot on their trip westward towards the Pacific Ocean. Leaving the parking area travel north on Sacajawea Park Road and approximately 0.5 miles past the turn-off for the boat launch the paved trail will be on your left, turn onto the trail. The trail will continue to E. Ainsworth Ave where it turns towards the west and is located on the south side of Ainsworth Ave. Continue on the trail and bear left when you reach East Dock Street and continue to SE Road 20 E where you will turn left towards the river. Travel south through the parking area and pickup the paved path at the south end of the street on your right. Continue on the path until you reach its end at Ainsworth Ave, roughly in the middle of this section is located the Port of Pasco headquarters and a small park. Ride west on Ainsworth Ave using the wide lane on the right of the road, use caution on Ainsworth as it is the marked truck route for Pasco to bypass the city center. After crossing over the railroad tracks turn to the left on S 5th Ave and travel back to the east until the intersection of S 5th Ave and S 4th Ave where the paved trail will be on the east side of S 5th Ave heading towards the river where the trail will turn to the west heading towards the Cable Bridge. When you cross W River Street you have reached the part of the trail which is considered the “loop”. After traveling from Sacajawea Historical State Park to this point it is obvious why only a small number of folks don’t ride this portion, highly industrial and lower income residential area.
After heading west (upriver) and passing under the Cable Bridge you will pass a path which heads north to connect with S 13th Ave. Currently S 13th Ave from the trail to West Washington St is unpaved and in poor condition (goat heads waiting to attack your tires), this may change at some point in the future but until that time it is best to avoid this path. The next point you will come to is Riverview Park and immediately to the north the Pasco Youth Baseball Complex, there are restroom facilities available at this location. This could possibly be used as a trailhead but if baseball is in season parking can be a problem. You will now have the Columbia River on your left and a pond on your right, just past the pond will be a path heading north to connect with S 20th Ave. If you take this path there is a path (this path is little used and poorly maintained) which goes to the right and circles around the back side of the pond and outlets at the Pasco Youth Baseball Complex you just passed. Continuing to the west you will pass the trailhead at S 25th Ave and just before you pass under the Blue Bridge there is a path to the right which will take you onto the Blue Bridge and back to Kennewick or onto Hopkins Street to Road 28. Immediately after passing the Blue Bridge the Moore Mansion (built in 1912 and now used for special events) can be seen on your right. As you the reach the east end of Wade Park you will bear left off the levee and into Wade Park (this is probably the best section of the trail with a smooth wide surface (two marked lanes for cyclists and a marked lane for pedestrians). As you pass through Wade Park on your right will be many large older homes many on large lots. You will come to a path heading to the north which connects with Road 44 and Riverhaven Street and a little further the end of Road 52 which has bollards to keep vehicles off the trail.
Upon reaching the west end of Wade Park you will pass the boat launch area and small parking lot and then turn right and slightly uphill (there may be a portable toilet at this point) on Road 54 and on the left will be the entrance to the trail which once again is on top of the levee until you reach the area around Ivy Lane. This is one of the worst sections of the trail (narrow, rough, and steep drop offs on either side). In this section there are three trails leading off to the north of the trail, the first one you pass connects to Road 60, the second one connects to Road 68 and the third one connects to Ivy Lane. Take the sharp turn to the left and transition down off the levee and continue on to Chiawana Park, passing many newer large homes on your right. This section of the trail is a little wider but still very rough. There will be paths leading to the north connecting to (in the order you pass them) Buttercup Court, Road 76, Road 84, Adams Drive, and Road 88. As you pass the connection to Adams drive the inlet for the boat launch facility will be visible on your left and just ahead the trail continues straight towards Road 88, you want to take the ninety degree turn to the left which takes you into Chiawana Park across the boat launch access road.
Just after crossing the boat launch access road there is a restroom facility on your right. The trail through Chiawana Park is wide and fairly smooth. As you approach the west end of Chiawana Park you will see a dock on your left and a parking lot on your right, there is a restroom facility near the upper end of the parking lot. The west end of Chiawana Park is where most of the trees in the park are located and this short stretch can be a reprieve from the sun in the summer months. The trail will turn to the north for a short period and then to the west and up a small rise to West Court Street.
Upon reaching West Court Street cross to the far side of the street and turn left onto the wide bike lane heading to the west. This section of West Court Street has one of the wider bike lanes in the Tri-Cities with the additional benefit of little traffic. On your left will be homes with riverfront property and many have docks on the river (currently new docks cannot be built on the river, older ones were grandfathered in), After a short pleasant ride the I-182 Bridge will come into view, pass under the bridge and turn on the path to the right which takes you up onto the upriver side of the I-182 Bridge. The path is somewhat narrow and you need to keep a sharp lookout for riders coming in the other direction, once you get on the bridge the path is much wider (I’ve ridden this while next to another recumbent trike with plenty of room). On the Richland side of the bridge continue down the path (use care where you have to make the sharp 180 degree turn part way down) and there will be a short path on your left to Columbia Point Marina Park.
As Trailbear said this is a full service trailhead, the restrooms are on the other side of the park next to the boat ramp and on the other side of the boat ramp are three restaurants which have good food however it is not anywhere close to fast food. If that is what you are looking for then you have to ride approximately 1 mile west on Columbia Point Drive to the shopping area at George Washington Way. Columbia Point Marina Park is also the southern end of the Riverfront Trail which goes north along the river in Richland. After stopping at Columbia Point Marina Park I would recommend crossing Columbia Point Drive (towards I-182) onto the trail coming down from the bridge, turn left on the trail and head towards the river. There is access at the river end of Columbia Point Drive however it is usually blocked by parked cars. Proceed under the I-182 bridge and away from the river up a slight rise where you will see a trail on the right which goes up to the I-182 bridge on the downriver side of the bridge and to Pasco. Continue straight on the trail until you reach the Yakima River where a trail goes to your left and passes under the WA-240 freeway, you want to continue straight and cross the Yakima River towards Kennewick. Coming from the other direction the signs will point towards Pasco (where you are coming from) and Richland, or from under WA-240 Kennewick or Pasco, this is probably the best marked point on the trail.
The following paragraph will discuss options available if you should turn to the left and go down the path and under WA-240. Although not listed as part of any trail this is a highly used connection between trails in the area.
If you were to take the trail under the WA-240 freeway you will go up a small hill, cross the railroad tracks and eventually onto the east end of Carrier Road (Carrier Road has very little traffic as it is the access to a gravel pit and a couple of businesses and only one access road). Proceed west on Carrier Road passing the access road (Jadwin Avenue) to Richland and continuing down a short hill. At the bottom of the hill bear to the right staying on Carrier Road entering Chamna Natural Preserve until you reach the parking lot on your left. The trail splits upon after passing the parking lot, if you go to the right you will go onto the I-182 Bridge and continue uphill until you reach Queensgate Drive. Just prior to Queensgate Drive there is a path to the left which appears to go towards a group of recycling dumpsters don’t let this mislead you as there are three wineries just beyond them and two of them have food available. Go past the recycle bins past to the end of the park and ride on your right and turn left onto Tulip Lane where you will find the wineries (J. Bookwalter, Barnard Griffin, & Tagaris) (J. Bookwalter has announced plans to build a new tasting room one road to the east and the old building will house an expanded restaurant facility). Back at Queensgate Drive we want to go left away from I-182 crossing Columbia Park Trail until we reach Keene Road and the Keene Road Trail. In the small retail building on your left can be found Ethos Bakery which has been featured on Dinners, Drive-Ins, & Dives. Had we gone the other direction on Queensgate Drive and crossed over I-182 we would arrive at the intersection with Duportail Street which is populated with many food choices (various fast food locations and indoor restaurants available). Return in the southerly direction on Queensgate is not as easy as heading north so would recommend going southwest on Duportail until meeting Keene Road and the trail or heading the other direction on Duportail and across the Yakima river on the newly completed bridge (Fall 2020) to the WA-240 intersection. Just prior to crossing the railroad tracks there is a trail to the right which will go to the south and back to the Chamna Natural Preserve parking lot. If you cross WA-240 you will intersect the By-Pass Shelterbelt Trail immediately on the east side of the highway.
Back on the main trail continue towards Kennewick through the Yakima River Delta, keep your eyes open here as there is a lot of wildlife just the other side of the fence. I was coming through here one morning and not fifty feet from the trail were two deer staring at me as I rode by. You will come to a junction and you want to go to the left (continuing straight dumps you onto a busy section of Columbia Park Trail) and onto the levee with the water on your left and the Bus Barn on your right. Continue on the levee until you reach the boat launch and keep to the left down across the access road and back onto the trail. If you are hungry keep to the right and cross Columbia park Trail and continue in the easterly direction. After a short uphill there will be a small mini-mart/deli on the right followed by a small restaurant (Sageport Grille) which is only open for breakfast and lunch, don’t let the looks fool you the food is good. A little further on the right is a sports bar/restaurant and a more formal restaurant. At the bottom of the hill you are back where you meet the trail had you stayed on it. At the top of second small hill is the access to Bateman Island on your left the Wye Park trailhead on your right and just ahead at the bottom of the hill is the Columbia Park West trailhead and restroom facilities.
At the east end of the park the trail transitions onto Columbia Park Trail which has a bike lane until you reach the area around the golf course. Just after transitioning onto Columbia Park Trail there is a road on the right which will take you to the Reach Museum about a block south. The Reach Museum has exhibits detailing the history of the area including one dedicated to the Manhattan Project during World War II and current activities in the energy field. As an alternative to the road just past the disc golf course and Kiwanis Building there is a path on the left which meanders through the mark until it rejoins Columbia Park Trail in approximately 1 mile. After a short stretch on Columbia Park trail there is another section of path on the left which meanders over to the river and right back to the road, It is in the marshy overgrown area next to this part of the trail where Kennewick Man was discovered some years ago. After another short ride on the road there is an entry to the path on the left which continues eastward until it rejoins the road near the restaurant/golf building at the golf course. At this point the marked bike lane on the south side of the road goes away as the pavement on that side narrows, marked bike lane is on the other side of the road until you are past the driving range. Currently there is a small restaurant at the golf course/driving range which is usually open during the day. After the driving range you can continue on the road or keep to the left and ride on the old road along the river until you reach the Hydroplane Pits (restroom facilities here) where you will turn to the right to the Playground of Dreams. Just past where you either go on the main road or the old road is the Tri-Cities Veterans Memorial honoring those who have served. I have ridden this section between Columbia Park West and the Playground of Dreams and had as few as one or two cars pass me the entire time on the majority of days.
The Playground of Dreams has restroom facilities and a large playground for children and in the summer months a water feature for them. Adjacent to the playground is the Columbia Park Pond which is normally stocked with trout for children to fish (there is an age limits so no adults). As an option there is a path which circles the pond if you desire the detour.
Leaving the Playground of Dreams continue east on the road and past the boat launch facility trailhead and restroom facilities on your left and then pass under the Blue Bridge, at the top of the hill cross to the other side and join the trail on the levee and continue to Washington Street (access to Clover Island) where you can turn left to access clover island (restroom and restaurant) or turn right and then look for a trail on the left side of the road (approximately 200 feet) which goes along the south side of Duffy's Pond for a short distance. At the end of this trail is a couple of wine tasting rooms and a food truck area (availability varies, usually 1-4 most weekdays for lunch). The main trail continues across Washington Street and under the Cable Bridge. Stay on the sidewalk/path until you reach the street where you have to decide the sidewalk or the marked lane over the bridge. On the other side of the bridge take the first right turn onto W Washington Street and continue for one block to S 9th Ave where you will turn to the right towards the river up onto the levee where you will intersect the trail.
You have now completed the loop portion and turning to the left ride the reverse of your route back to Sacajawea Historical Park to finish your ride on the Sacagawea Heritage trail.
This is a rough surface trail through some beautiful country. I rode through on 38 mm but wish I had 2 plus inch tires.
"SO, WHERE’S THE TRAIL? GE: N46.22237 W119.10200
You were warned that when you really needed a trail sign, none would be there. TrailBear was right. Here you are at a small parking lot at the base of the bridge in Pasco, wondering which way to go.
Turn left onto W. Washington St. and ride down to S. 13th Ave. Turn left onto something of a track. Across the waste land you can see the river levee. Head thataway.
If you do it right, you should cross the RR tracks and arrive at Milepost 4.5 on the levee. Turn left for the trail to Sacagawea State Park. Turn right to the Blue Bridge and beyond. Thus begins the Pasco Levee ride - "
Since his report they have worked on the access. The correct way is to come off the bridge, take the first right onto Washington Street followed by the next right onto S 9th Avenue. When the road turns to the left continue straight across the railroad track and onto the trail, left to ride to Sacagawea Park and the junction of the Snake and Columbia River or right to under the bridge for about 0.3 miles where you can pick-up with TrailBear's ride at milepost 4.5. This is all good asphalt road and much more direct connection between the bridge and trail.
What a great walk along the Umatilla River. Beautiful scenery and easy to walk greenbelt that will show you much of what Pendleton has to offer!
This is a nice trail along the Columbia River. There’s picnic tables and benches all along the way. Some rest rooms too :)
We rode the Sacagewea Trail Loop today (20 Miles) and it had the worst signage of any trail we have ridden in the US. We were always wondering if we were on the trail after unmarked intersections. It is a shame because of the infrastructure investment the Tri-Cities have made in the Trail. Buy some paint and mark ever trail intersection. It will make the visiting users experience much nicer. The setting for the trail is wonderful. Pay some attention to marking the trail and the biking experience will be wonderful!!
Okay for hiking, but terrible for biking. Love the area. I just wish the surface was better maintained. It would be great if it was paved.
This is a short but scenic, out-and-back trail. We started at the south end at Columbia Point Marina Park and cycled north to the end point at the USS Triton Memorial Park. The distance was around 16 miles. The trail condition varies from being narrow at the developed marina to wider around midway. In one or two sections, you’ll need to watch for large tree roots encroaching on the trail. There is a break in the trail for a couple of blocks where you must cycle through a low-traffic neighborhood. Signs direct the way.
The trail passes through a number of parks (water, restrooms, picnic tables, etc) and generally follows the river. In some sections towards the end, the trail splits with one path designated for walkers and another path for cyclists. Easy to miss the directions for this section painted on the trail.
You can also extend your mileage as the trail connects directly to the Sacajawea Heritage Trail which continues underneath the bridge.
Overall, a nice trail which I would recommend.
Since we were camped at the nearby Hood Park, we drove to Sacajawea State Park to begin our ride there. The trailhead is not actually in the park but approximately 1/4 mile before entering the park on the right-hand side of the road. You can park in the State Park but it requires a Discover Pass or you can pull off the road and park across from the trailhead. We started from the park.
The section of the trail that runs through a Pasco industrial area is far from being scenic. You pass loading docks, distribution centers, vacant lots, and cross a number of railroad tracks. At some point you must cycle off-trail over the Charles Killbury Overpass to cross the railroad tracks and then follow the road for a short time before reconnecting to the trail. There are no directional signs in this short section but we figured it out after cycling through a neighborhood.
Once you go under the I-182 overpass in Kennewick, the area changes drastically. The views across the river are nice along with huge homes with perfectly manicured lawns line this side of the trail. Since we didn’t have a map, we cycled as far as Court Street and turned around and eventually cycled across the I-182 bridge to head back to Sacajawea park. The pedestrian/bikepath across this bridge is very, very narrow. Traffic is heavy and it is noisy. We cycled a short distance and eventually crossed the Cable Bridge. The path over this bridge was narrow, but not as narrow as the I-182 bridge. Once over the bridge, there were no signs as to where to pick up the trail again. We followed another cyclist for one block to the trail back to our truck
Our distance traveled was 20 miles. Note that brochures list the trail as being 23 miles but that mileage starts from Columbia Park in Kennewick and sticks to the Kennewick section. The section of the trail that we cycled was in excellent condition. Bring a map if you are not from the area.
I am from Seattle, but I walked this trail back in July when we visited the Tri-cities, and remember how awesome the interpretive environmental educational signs are! I am now doing a project for my Urban Ecology Master's class and am basing it partly on these signs and the information and activities for kids and families that they provide.
One downfall about the trail, however, was that it seemed to disappear at one point and we were walking along the street. This didn't seem very safe to me. Other than that, the trail was beautiful.
5 stars for the scenery, 2 for the rail ballast. It was rough going, even on a fatbike. I ran out of water mid morning and bailed off the horrid bone rattling ballast about 5 miles south of Lamont onto a gravel road that connected to Lamont Road and then into Lamont. Found water from a pump handle spigot in the little park behind the small community center. Filled up all 5 bottles and proceeded on pavement to the rough but fun dirt jeep road called Swift Roa that runs paralell to the CPT. I stayed on this when it became Cree Rd, then rejoined the CPT at Martin Trailhead. The rest of the ride was great, but hot, 106 degrees.Too hot for rattlesnakes so I got lucky and saw none in 5 day ride from North Bend) A refreshing jump in Amber Lake helped cool me down, and a second plunge into Fish Lake too, helped me arrive in Spokane feeling somewhat refreshed.
As others have noted, if they ever pave the CPT (and John Wayne Pioneer Trail) we will have an incrediblly scenic route through some remarkeable desert lanscapes and channeled scab lands. But for now, this is a ride that while I would say is doable for anyone, but just be ready with lots of water, energy bars, and thick mountain bike tires and maybe even a fat bike. The rail ballast rocks slid around like dinner plates even under the fat bike, which made it impossible to ever fully relax like you can on the packed gravel or paved trails.
Well, the developed sections were excellent (Spokane to Martin Rd. in the North and Snake River Rd to Ice Harbor Dam in the South) but just about everything in the middle of that is ruthless and underdeveloped. My fiance and I just attempted to bike-pack it -aboard fatbikes- and were rattled to the bone on the ballast. We've ridden a whole lot of trail throughout the west and this was some of the most brutal we've experienced (unrelenting loose 2-4" basalt rocks).
Also, not having developed the old-unmaintained bridges for crossing was certainly a negative, being that there is no decent way around them (unless you're a fan of trespassing on private property!)... Thankfully, by the time we arrived at those gaps in the map, we were doing a little road-detour until we could rejoin on more developed trail.
On the plus side, it covers beautiful and under-appreciated countryside and is filled with glorious cheerful birds filling your world with song at every break.
Overall, I don't think this "trail" is developed enough for public "enjoyment" or "recreation" but, with a little work, could be a hidden gem of Eastern Washington. If it ever gets paved, it would be a road-cyclists heaven and would certainly help boost the small-town economies along the route!
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