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From I-182 in Richland, exit north onto George Washington Way. After 0.4 mile, exit right onto Columbia Point Drive. Follow the road to its end at the Columbia River, where Columbia Point Marina Park features a large parking lot. Head under the I-182 Bridge to reach the Sacagawea Heritage Trail.
Additional parking can be found at a number of city parks and other trailheads along the trail's route. Refer to the TrailLink map for exact locations.
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.
There is a typo in the following portion of Bear's 2010 route description:
"You have followed the trail to the Yakima River and now there is a choice: Kennewick or Richland. You want Richland. You want to ride ahead, over the river. Ride alongside WA 240 for 1.25 miles, then turn left and ride along a river channel out to the mouth of the Yakima River."
Where it says "You want Richland", it should read "You want Kennewick". We rode the Sacagawea Heritage Trail over the 2014 Memorial Day weekend and followed the trail toward Richland for several miles before we doubled back to the Richland/Kennewick intersection. The Richland route actually took us the opposite direction and away from the Heritage Loop Trail.
TRAILBEAR ON THE COLUMBIA: The Sacagawea Heritage Trail
09.11.2010 Tri-Cities, WA
If you are in the Tri-Cities (think: Hanford Reservation, A-bombs, etc.) you have some trails worth riding: The Richland Riverfront Trail and the Sacagawea Heritage Trail.
The Sacagawea is an enjoyable river ride with a lot of views on both sides of the Columbia River in the Tri-Cities of Pasco, Kennewick and Richland, WA. There are three bridges which give you some loop options – and two of them – The Blue Bridge and the Cable Bridge are well worth a few photos. In fact, they are a delight to the eyes.
The trail runs through a series of parks on both sides of the river. You can loop from the I-182 bridge upstream down to the Cable Bridge. There is an extension off the loop here leading down to Sacagawea State Park. This bit is rather “cross-lots” down by the rail yards with bits of trail, then a diversion to the street, then back on another bit of trail. I chose to avoid it and stick to the loop.
I was surprised. I enjoyed the Pasco side better than the Kennewick side. Pasco is rather the poor sister amid the Tri-Cities, but their levee ride was fun. On the Kennewick side the trail runs alongside Columbia Park Trail (which is a road), then onto the road on a bike lane, then alongside, then on. Hard to concentrate doing that.
Trailbed = 5*, Scenery = 5*, Facilities = 4* It’s a fun loop ride.
@@@ BEGIN AT THE TOP END – COLUMBIA POINT MARINA PARK, GE: N46.26334 W119.24641
Start from the back parking lot at the Columbia Pt. Marina Park, hard under the I-182 bridge embankment. This is a full service trailhead. The restrooms are down at the boat launch. Further over are restaurants, motels, restaurants, shopping, riverfront condos (?), a yacht basin and more. This is not a portapotty on gravel lot in the boonies trailhead.
Go to the river end of the parking lot. The trail heading upstream is the Richland Riverfront Trail. The trail heading under the I-182 Bridge is the Sacagawea Heritage Trail.
Do not expect too much in signage; there is not much of it. When you really, really need it; none. If you have a GPS, download the Traillink file for the ride. Head under the bridge, hard right and follow the trail along the embankment, then along the freeway, away from the Columbia, making a big curve to the Yakima River. The whole area before you is a nature preserve and the delta of the Yakima River. If you want to go the other way, take the trail up to the bridge deck and over to Pasco.
@@@ CHOICES – KENNEWICK OR RICHLAND, GE: N46.25438 W119.25791
You have followed the trail to the Yakima River and now there is a choice: Kennewick or Richland. You want Richland. You want to ride ahead, over the river. Ride alongside WA 240 for 1.25 miles, then turn left and ride along a river channel out to the mouth of the Yakima River.
The trail bears right and you are now on the Columbia River (Lake Wallula). You will pass a boat launch, then the trail leading to Bateman Island, then a marina with restrooms (possible trail head). Now you are riding along Columba Park Trail – the road. You can take the bike lane or duck back into the park on the trail when possible. In 3.4 miles after you leave the marina, you will arrive at the …
TRI CITIES REGIONAL VETERANS MEMORIAL, GE: N46.22257 W119.15076
Now that boring stretch of bike lane is finished and you are entering the heart of Columbia Park. There are a number of things to see and do here and the trail route is obscure. If you like cars, stay on Columbia Park Trail. The scenic way is to ride along the river to the Lampson Pits (hydroplane racing) and continue on until you notice a creek blocking your way. (This is hard to miss.) Turn right and go 250’ along the creek until you reach an obscure blue foot bridge which crosses over to the …
COLUMBIA PARK BOAT LAUNCH, GE: N46.22135 W119.13939
Here is another full service trailhead at the Blue Bridge. The trail is across Columbia Park Trail, up on the embankment. Ride under the bridge. If you want to cross over the river here, look for the trail leading up to the bridge deck. The handsome Blue Bridge is illuminated and you might want to check out the photos of the bridge by day, night or season on Google Earth or at Flickr.
Ride on downstream 1.5 miles on an attractive section of levee, past the Clover Island Marina to …
THE ED HENDLER CABLE BRIDGE, GE: N46.21473 W119.10622
What a grand looking bridge! It has inspired countless photos. Check out a few. But first, go under the bridge to find the bike on-ramp on the far side. The bridge sidewalk is not that wide. If two riders or a rider and a ped are passing, best to dismount and walk the bike. …
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 - the best part of the trail. Ahead are several trailhead parks and numerous parking access points. The Blue Bridge is 1.25 miles further on and the first restroom on the Pasco side is just 0.24 miles ahead at…
RIVERVIEW PARK, GE: N46.22414 W119.11159
You could trailhead out of this little park. It has a baseball diamond, a grove of trees with picnic tables and parking. However, the grand parks over in Kennewick and Richland are better choices. Stop in, then back on the trail and head to the Blue Bridge. Enjoy the facilities along the levee. There are waysides at intervals with covered tables or benches. It does get sunny here. Summers are XXX hot.
Pass under the Blue Bridge and keep going up river. On the far side of the bridge is the Moore Mansion.
Quite a striking building. However, you would think that the wife would have liked something in Seattle and closer to shopping, restaurants, etc. Ahead is the lawn section of the levee. Here the levee is a sloping lawn leading up to a line of riverfront homes. At N. Rd. 54 you are back on the rock levee and the lawn is behind you. Nice while it lasted. It is about 3.3 miles up the trail and through Chiawana Park to …
THE BIKE LANE ON COURT ST., GE: N46.25326 W119.22110
Here the trail ends for a bit and you ride the bike lanes up W. Court St. to the I-182 Bridge. On the left you can see the driveways of lovely riverfront homes, many with boat docks, which line the bank to the bridge. The bike lanes are wide enough for comfort. It is 1.2 miles ahead to the …
INTERSTATE 182 BRIDGES, GE: N46.26619 W119.23919
Actually there are two spans. Ride under the bridges and take the trail up on that side to arrive on the Columbia Point Marina side over in Richland. A nice ride over the river, a high speed descent down the embankment and you are back at your car, hopefully none the worse for a 20 mile loop around the river in the Tri Cities.
Want more miles? Back over the bridge and ride down to Sacagawea State Park and back on the Pasco side. That should get you over twenty more miles.
@@@ STAGING THE RIDE
We were in the Tri-Cities for two days while I surveyed the Richland Riverfront Trail and the SHT. We camped at the Corps of Engineers Hood Park Campground (electricity, showers, etc.) It’s a nice place – and we get to use the Golden Geezer card. The COE has a chain of campground on the Columbia and Snake worth checking out. Let me mention Windust further up the Snake where the Columbia Plateau Trail comes out of Devil’s Canyon and there are three trestles within five miles. Closed, of course, but.
From Hood Park it is 7 miles up the river to the Ice Harbor Lock and Dam. You will find the bottom end of the 130 mile Columbia Plateau Trail there at the boat launch parking lot.
Here you can ride 15 miles up the Snake River on a crushed rock surface. Then it turns to ballast for another 100 or so miles across the scablands and your ride turns to an expedition. The TrailBear would have developed the section from Kahlotus down Devil’s Canyon and along the river by Windust. There are tunnels and trestles there – and tunnels and trestles have rider appeal.
Riding both sides now.
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