Slowly but surely, the Centennial Trail through Spokane is closing its gaps as it celebrates its 25-year anniversary.
Built along off-road paths and on-road shoulders between 1989 and 1991, the trail rolls for more than 37 miles along the Spokane River between the Idaho border, through the old world’s fair site downtown, and out to the rocky canyon lands west of town.
During the past two summers, crews have shifted two miles of the Centennial Trail off of busy streets and onto freshly laid off-road trail. The Friends of the Centennial Trail boasts that 34 miles of the Centennial is now separated from traffic.
Trail crews completed the latest work in the Kendall Yards area, immediately west of downtown as the trail makes the scenic Post Street bridge crossing between the Upper Falls and Lower Falls.
Instead of following its old route on city streets, the trail leaves Bridge Avenue to cut through Veterans Park and stay within view of the river around a bend and all the way north to Boone Avenue. The project was completed in two parts, described in 2013 and 2014.
The trail was such a civic improvement that the Spokesman Review newspaper commented on it in an editorial, which said in part:
“If you have an hour or two sometime soon, get out and walk or ride on the new section of Centennial Trail between the Monroe Street and Sandifur bridges. Even in its more or less raw state – the landscaping and most of the other planned amenities will not be in place until spring – the 12-foot-wide ribbon of asphalt is stunning.
Nobody alive today in Spokane has ever been able to see the Spokane River as they can now.”
If you ever have a reason to visit Spokane, don’t neglect to take your bicycle and take a spin on the trail. In fact, I’d say the Centennial Trail is reason enough to visit the city.