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The Apple Capital Recreation Loop Trail circles the Columbia River at Wenatchee with 22 miles of excellent asphalt trail and lots to see and do. The trail begins north of Wenatchee in Lincoln Rock State Park and runs south along the river to the city. On the Wenatchee side the trail runs through four fine riverfront parks: Wenatchee Riverfront Park (sculpture garden, narrow gauge railroad, boat launch and docks), Walla Walla Point Park (sports fields, open space, swimming lagoon), the Horan Nature Area (wetlands) and the Wenatchee Confluence State Park (camping, swimming, picnic areas) to cross the river on the Odabashian Bridge (US 2).
The East Wenatchee side is wilder. The trail runs along the bluffs, crossing ravines on tight hairpin turns and short 6% grades. Here there are two trailheads: 27th St and 19th St. The 19th St. trailhead at the Porter's Pond Nature Area has full services, including an air station for bike tires. Ahead is Jude's Oasis and a dramatic bike/pedestrian/utility bridge that will return you to the Wenatchee side and Riverfront Park. Once you ride the loop, you will want to go around again. It's a fun ride on both sides of the Columbia.
From US 2, take SR 285 (N. Wenatchee Ave.) southeast into Wenatchee. Turn toward the river on E 5th Street and take it down to Sternwheeler Plaza in the Wenatchee Riverfront Park, which is located behind the BNSF rail yard.
Trailheads and parking: Wenatchee Riverfront Park, E 5th St. and N. Worthen St., Wenatchee
19th St Trailhead, 19th NW St. and NW Cascade Ave., E. Wenatchee
27th St Trailhead, N. River Dr. and 22 St. NW, E. Wenatchee
Walla Walla Point Park, 1414 Walla Walla Ave., Wenatchee
I’ve lived in Wenatchee for four years now and have really enjoyed the Apple Loop trail, even more so after the two additional legs have been added. One leg takes you 5 miles (one way) south to Hydro Park while the other leg goes north ~6 miles (again, one way) to Rocky Reach Dam. The Loop itself is 10 miles so it’s wonderful to be able to crank out 20+ miles on the bike after work right from the office! The county PUD does a great job keeping it clear of snow in the winter as well.
Went for a run on this 10-mile loop on a beautiful fall day with my two labs. They love the swim stops. I love the gorgeous views. The trail goes through the Wenatchee Riverfront Park where there is a public market, lots of art work along the trail, and beautiful, gardens. Bathrooms, water fountains, and trash cans can be found periodically along the route.
Just spent a week in downtown Wenatchee on business. My hotel was a couple blocks from the trail so I brought a hard tail MB and explored the area.
1st ride went north around the 10 mile loop. It was a great trail with perfect weather, little traffic and amazing scenery. Never seen so many quail.
2nd ride was 24 miles north to the dam and then back around the loop. Left mid morning and had quite a few miles to myself.
3rd trip was 18 miles out and back south to hydro park. Again, perfect weather and expansive views of the gorge and mountains. Saw more wildlife than people.
No problems with goat heads or flats so maybe they swept the trail as suggested.
I'm planning on taking my family over there next summer to vacation.
I come to town on business every few weeks and always plan on doing a round of the loop at least two times during my stay. It's awesome. Especially the new section heading north. There's not many places you can do almost 20 miles of uninterrupted blading. Fantastic!
Rode this nice little loop in late August. Surface was excellent and as noted it was a little hilly in spots. We were just passing through so we needed to rent bikes. Found Arlburg Sports, right by the trail in the Public Market. Very convenient, and reasonable too....$20 for a 2 hour rental. The only negative...rented one of their Black 'Simple' bikes...had 7 gears but you wouldn't know it had more than one. Made for some more difficult than expected riding. But...I probably needed the exercise...
Ride the Loop!
We love this trail, but it is now time to ride and would request that whoever is responsible please sweep the bike path...rode to dam and back from Odibashian yesterday and picked up a "s__t"load of goat-heads...thanks for your help and again this is a wonderful place to ride!!!! Think I got them at nearly the end by the dam...large area with fields on both sides...
I'm a longboarder and this is one of my favorite trails. Lots of hills and turns so you have to be careful but it's a great workout!
This is a mostly gentle ride, with the exception of a couple of spots where you may have to get off your bike briefly and push your bike up a short hill. It follows the Columbia River with nice views. Portions of the Wenatchee side of the trail go through the parks, the East Wenatchee side is more natural. You may see deer, turtles, skunks, snakes, herons and dozens of other bird species in some areas. It takes about an hour for the slower paced rider. One downside is having to ride past the local sewage plant, which is smelly, and close to the footbridge where several homeless people live. Avoid that area at night.
This is a great ride. Paved all the way. It has some steep but short climbs a a couple of spots and some more gradual longer climbs depending on which direction you go. The beauty of this trail is that the scenery is completely different on each side of the river. Desert like in parts and lush green in others. It can be very hot on a sunny summer day.
This is a perfect trail for casual riders who enjoy short, relatively flat asphalt covered trails with beaufiful views of the river. And as Wenatchee touts sunny weather almost every day of the year, a rider can escape the often time sketchy winter time weather that is found in the northwest.
Features and Facilities Survey for the TrailLink listing, 9.3.2010
The Apple Capital Recreation Loop Trail: Whodathunkit?
TrailBear didn’t. He has been going through Wenatchee for years, on the way to other places. He had no idea that, hidden beyond the rail yards and industry, Wenatchee has a green and scenic riverfront lined with parks. Then, last winter, while preparing for the 2010 summer survey season, he turned his attentions and Google to Wenatchee and found the ACRLT. He tucked the map aside for a future look.
The Apple Capital Recreation Loop Trail: Where to begin?
Well, anywhere. It’s a ten mile loop trail. Continue on, keeping the river on your right or left hand long enough and you will wind up where you started. In between, it is one Nice Ride, with lots to see and do. TrailBear rates it A/A/A for trail bed, scenery and facilities.
The Wenatchee side has three nice riverfront parks in a row. The East Wenatchee side is more “take a ride on the wild side.” It offers two trail heads, one oasis, a memorial bike painted white and a number of ravines with hairpin bends and 6% grades. You might want to ride this side from upstream (Odabashian Bridge, US 2) down to the dramatic black girder pipeline/bike/ped bridge. That seems to put the 6% grades on the downhill side. The TrailBear started in the …
WALLA WALLA POINT PARK, GE: 47.443325 -120.317550
This is a good place to start a loop ride. It’s a grassy sports park with baseball diamonds, tennis courts, lots of parking, a swimming lagoon, picnic tables and views of the river. This and many other parks on the river have been built by the Chelan PUD. Something about mitigation. You want to build a dam or two? We need parks – a dozen or more. I parked here and started up river on the trail and didn’t get far before hitting…
COYOTE LEADS THE SALMON UPSTREAM, GE: 47.446532 -120.318404
Art in the Park is always interesting. This sculpture is more so than most. It retells a local legend. Note the salmon in cheerleader skirt and pearls heading the wrong way and the senior salmon with cane. In a more modern version she would be on her I-Phone.
From here the trail heads inland to the RR tracks and along them. Below is the Horan Wetlands – a purpose-built wetland. No bike trails in here. Peds only. The River Loop Trail leaves the bike trail back at the top of the park and rejoins it at the river bridge ahead.
WENATCHEE RIVER BRIDGE, GE: 47.45696 -120.33298
There are three bridges over the Wenatchee River at this point: One for the highway, one for the railroad and one for the bikers and peds. Our bridge is a graceful Art Deco ribbon of concrete leading to the…
WENATCHEE CONFLUENCE STATE PARK, GE: 47.461084 -120.326345
Here is a handy feature of the trail – camping on the trail at the Confluence. There is an RV park by the river, a swimming beach, sports fields, a boat launch and lots of parking and grass. The trail stays to the inland side of the park, then enters a narrow strip between industrial buildings and the river to climb to the …
ODABASHIAN BRIDGE, GE: 47.47155 -120.31955
Oda who? Richard Odabashian – did twelve years at member and chairman of the state transportation commission. This is the top of the west bank trail. Once over the bridge you are on the wilder east side. Clipped parks will be a thing of the past. Facilities will be further apart. Ride on and you are on the flats above the river, an area of scrubland cut with small ravines and steep slopes.
THE BLUFFS AND BUGS
One of the features of this side of the ride are the columns of bugs you encounter. Breathing through your teeth does not work that well. I now carry a bandana in the saddle bags for these occasions. The scenery here is wide open with distant views of the mountains and close up views of the river below.
27TH ST TRAILHEAD, GE: 47.450272 -120.309563
About 1.5 miles down from the bridge you encounter the first of three trailheads on the east side – the 27th St. Trailhead. Here there is parking and a ramp down the bluffs to the trail below. If you are starting on the east side, there are better trail head facilities down river.
19TH ST TRAILHEAD, GE: 47.440357 -120.306377
Here is another bluff top trailhead. Parking only and along the street. Ride on. It gets better below at the ...
19th STREET TRAILHEAD, GE: 47.43419 -120.30201
Now this is a trailhead - a rather nice one. This one has full services. There are trees, flower beds, restrooms, water, parking, a trail plaza and fountain honoring those who contributed to the effort and even an air station for your tires (Yet to see that feature at another trailhead). This is the obvious choice for your east side trailhead. It is co-located with the Douglas County Transportation offices, so you are not out in some lonesome parking lot. The next stop down the trail is the…
MEMORIAL BIKE, GE: 47.42350 -120.29793
There is it, painted white and attached to a large cottonwood by the trail. Nice spot overlooking the river. There are flags and floral tributes. Across the lake (for what is the Columbia River now days but a series of lakes behind dams) you can see the parks lining the shore on the Wenatchee side. That is for later. For now your next stop is a nice one…
JUDE’S OASIS, GE: 47.41608 -120.29548
Here is a pleasant little Rotary Club parklet on the trail. Water rushes out of the bank, fills a pool and vanishes toward the river below. There is shade, a bench, a trash can and views. It’s a nice place for a break before…
THE BLACK BRIDGE, GE: 47.41475 -120.29684
Here is a dramatic black girder bridge with a surprise – no cars. The bridge is for a large pipe, utilities and peds and bikies. This end of the bridge is also a trail junction. A spur trail heads down river for 3.52 miles to the Kirby Billingsley Hydro Park. Like all the Chelan PUD parks, it is a quality operation.
If you want a longer ride, trailhead at the hydro park. This will add seven miles to your loop ride. For now, head across the Black Bridge, back to the Wenatchee shore. More parks and delights await, such as the …
WENATCHEE RIVERFRONT PARK, GE: 47.42470 -120.30602
This is a delightful park hidden behind the rail yards. It would make a fine trailhead for the ride. There is a sculpture garden, a bridge over the tracks to the convention center and a small gauge railroad of some length – the Wenatchee Riverfront Railway. In fact, it’s quite an operation, complete with station building and maintenance shops. Continue riding through the park until you reach…
STERNWHEELER PLAZA, GE: 47.43235 -120.31238
The plaza commemorates the steam boat era on the Middle Columbia River. That ran from 1888 to 1928. The highways and the railroads finally did the boats in. Have your photo taken with the bronze statue of Capt. Griggs Walks to Work, then saddle up and head for the end of the loop, back in Walla Walla Point Park.
Taking in the sights along the river at Wenatchee.
I would have given this 5 stars if it were longer. I included the 7 mile (RT) paved extension to the end of the trail at Hydro Park. A very nice ride. There are numerous RR in the parks on the west side of the river. They are permanent RR, so there is probably drinking water inside. There are root heaves mainly on the east side as you ride thru tree lined sections. It can be HOT here in the summer, so bring water. Confluence St Park has camp sites, which makes it nice to just ride from the campground. Last year when i rode this, i picked up 3 goat-heads. This year i did not find any in my tires. I now have Ultra Gatorskins and tire liners tho. It seems like a different trail when riding it in the opposite direction. Enjoy the ride.
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