Fish Lake Trail

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 What:  Mountain Biking, Hiking, on rail to trail that is fun, and very close in to downtown Spokane. Good scenery, geology, lakes, waterfowl, trains. Two trains passed me on this trail, but not one other hiker or biker or horse the whole trip. It is slightly uphill all the way from Spokane to Fish Lake and of course the opposite of that coming back. The 5 mile paved section makes it easy to accomplish this distance. This great trail starts near downtown and so is one of the most close in adventures you can find. If you want wild single track, the Roller Coaster is a side trip with many single tracks going off of the main trail. The trail is constantly changing from rough to super smooth. This made it challenging and more fun for me, but my wife had a little trouble with some of the sections and had to hike-a-bike just a little bit, no problem. This trail is to be graded to a smoother version fairly soon. Near the trail's beginning there is a place where a huge basalt mass has fallen right in the middle of the trail. Looking towards Fish Lake, look up and to the right right after this fallen rock to see a cave-like impression. Might be a good place to explore as archeologists did recently.

The Fish Lake trailhead now continues into the Columbia Plateau Trail  to a Cheney trailhead and that trailhead continues to an Amber Lake trailhead and that continues to a Martin Road trailhead. All these trailheads have services like restrooms, maps, possibly water.


 Where:  Head out of Spokane on Hwy 195 toward Pullman. Take the 16 Ave exit. Go uphill & take the first right on Cochran to park your car. The trail is east of Cochran on top of the overpass. On the south side of 16th there is a small trail that goes over to it. The ending point (of this ride- the trail continues) is at the Fish Lake trailhead, just off the Cheney-Spokane Road.  Topological Map

 Cautions:  Bikes must always yield to hikers and horses. There are a couple "No Trespassing" and "Absolutely No Trespassing" signs along the way. According to the Spokane Parks & Recreation Dept, the trail right-of-way has been purchased, and is open to the public so you may safely continue on. However, land along much of the trail is privately owned, so please be especially careful to stay on the trail near these signs, and leave no litter.

Bring water as this area is hot in summer.

There are two places where you might lose the trail without some awareness, as I did. <s> In about two miles the rail-trail goes into the forest turning into a single track. If you follow this it will dead end. Go back to where the rail-trail hits the road and you will see there used to be a bridge across the Marshall road and that the rail-trail continues across the road at a level about 15 feet higher than the road. The other place is at about the 8 mile point where if you go straight you will almost immediately run into the convergence of two active railroad tracks. Back up a little and cross the right track looking towards Fish Lake and then turn back to the left and you will see your rail-trail continuing on and soon you will be at Fish Lake.


 List:  spare tube for sharp rocks causing a puncture, tools, water. There are no restrooms or water until the Fish Lake Trailhead. Email Us