TRAILBEAR DOES TWO RIVERS: The Lewiston Levee Parkway Trail
LEWISTON, ID, 9.13.2010
The Lewiston Levee Parkway Trail is a fun 11 mile ride down one river and up another. There is good blacktop, good scenery and good facilities. Grade it a 3 x 5* trail. It has more features than the Greenbelt Trail across the Snake. It has less shade.
It starts in Hells Gate State Park, runs down the Snake River and onto the levee to the Lewis & Clark Center at the confluence, then up the Clearwater River to Locomotive Park. You can stop here, but the trail crosses on the Memorial Bridge (@ 6.7 miles) to the north shore and continues on Lower Goose Pasture at 11.2 miles out.
@@@ TRAILHEAD & TRAIL END – HELLS GATE STATE PARK, GE: 46.353000 -117.059883°
This has to be the easiest ride to stage that I have encountered. All too often finding camping near the trail takes a lot of hunting. Not here. The trail begins at the back of Loop C in the park campground. We took a campsite across from it and I was on the trail after breakfast. If the weather is warm, best be on the trail at dawn.
The official start of the trail is about a mile further on, but the blacktop doesn’t know and I won’t tell. Pedal on past the campsites, past the cabins, past the picnic area, past the visitor’s center to …
@@@ THE MARINA AND BOAT RAMP, GE: 46.370312 -117.054907°
The trail goes across the boat ramp parking lot and between the marina store and the bluff on the road. The marina is just beyond. There is a parking lot up there on the bluff. If you find yourself up there, you will find a connecting trail at the far end. Now the trail runs down the river under the bluffs for 2.0 miles to the Southway Bridge. If you want to connect to the Greenbelt Trail on the far shore, take the bridge over. From the bridge it is another 0.6 miles to the…
@@@ SOUTHWAY BOAT RAMP, GE: N46.40288 W117.03522
The boat ramp has a vast parking lot and two portapotties. You can use this as a trailhead if you want a short ride or a loop ride with the two bridges and the Greenbelt Trail in Clarkston. Otherwise, pedal on 0.6 miles to …
@@@ KIWANIS PARK, GE: N46.41374 W117.03314
This is a nice, well-shaded park below the levee. There are restrooms and water below, plus parking. If you are happy, stay on the levee where there are benches, waysides and trailside water.
The levee is there because the Corps of Engineers really wanted to build the Lower Granite Dam – and the Lower Granite Lake was going to flood downtown Lewiston. They got a levee and facilities and the Corps got the dam and lake. What you have been riding along – the Snake River – is actually Lower Granite Lake backing up into the Snake and Clearwater. Ahead of you is the Interstate 12 bridge – called by some The Blue Bridge. Can you guess why? Keep going 0.8 miles to …
@@@ TSCEMINICUM AND THE LEWIS & CLARK INTERPERTIVE CENTER, GE: N46.42023 W117.01600
This attractive center is at the confluence of the Snake and Clearwater Rivers – down there under the lake and the fishermen. You are in Lewis and Clark Country, so expect to have them interpreted to you in many locations. It would make a nice trailhead. Parking is down below the levee. Up on the levee they have water, shade, restrooms, interesting exhibits and Tsceminicum (“Meeting of the Waters”).
Tsceminicum is a remarkable bronze statue. Her hair flows behind her forming the Seven Devils Mountains. On the flanks of the mountains are over 100 images celebrating the wildlife and legends of the Snake River country. Spend some time here, then onward past the interesting railroad bridge to West Pond. This is one of a series of ponds which collect the runoff water from Lewiston (it can’t run into the river with that levee here) until it get pumped into the river. Next stop is the ...
@@@ CLEARWATER LANDING, GE: N46.42023 W117.01600
The landing actually has a small landing. You can tie a boat to the floating dock here. The theme of the landing is river navigation from canoes to tugs and barges. The system of locks on the Snake and Columbia Rivers makes Lewiston a sea port. Grain from the Palouse is shipped down to Portland and loaded on bulk carriers there. The landing has parking, water, restrooms and shade. Take advantage because things get thin for a bit. The next stop is…
@@@ LOCOMOTIVE PARK, GE: N46.41620 W117.00216
Getting to Locomotive Park at the base of the Memorial Bridge can be a puzzlement because there are really no trail signs on the Levee. You are happily riding the nice levee trail when it heads downhill. The Memorial Bridge is in front of you. The blacktop turns to gravel and it seems the trail goes under the bridge. Wrong. Turn hard right into the alley behind an industrial supply company (Hilti, Rigid and Milwaukee to the right of you on the building.) Continue on into the parking area for Locomotive Park.
Here you will find a portapotty and a logging locomotive. This is the last logging locomotive to operate in this part of the state.
Sure are a lot of outlets and strange pipe arches in this park. The park is the home of Winter Spirit Christmas Lighting – and the locomotive, the caboose, the arches, the trees and more come alive with color.
That is for the winter months. Today you have a decision. If you end the ride here, just back track to your trailhead. If you want to do the whole trail, then follow the path up to the bridge and over. There is a small sports park by the bridge on the far side – Clearwater Park. Not too many facilities. Ride on up the Clearwater 1.2 miles to the…
CLEARWATER (NORTH LEWISTION) RAMP, GE: 46.430474 -116.984272
Here, at the junction of Frontage Rd. and Steelhead Way are the best facilities you will find on the North Shore: parking, restrooms and water. That said, ride on another 2.6 miles along US 12 and the industrial side of town to the…
TRAIL END @ LOWER GOOSE PASTURE, GE: 46.426602 -116.931210
This is it. End of the trail. Parking and not much else. Now you can retrace your route to where you started.
Heading back to Tsceminicum