You'll find nearly 700 miles of trails in Washington state parks, from short interpretive nature walks to challenging long-distance treks. Deception Pass alone has 38 miles of trails that wander through forests and sand dunes, along rocky saltwater headlands, and beside clear freshwater lakes. Climb up Scarborough Hill behind historic Fort Columbia for views across the Columbia River to Oregon and beyond. Spend an afternoon hiking in the timbered Cascade foothills to thundering, plummeting, 265-foot Wallace Falls. And don't miss the gorgeous wildflowers that bloom throughout spring and summer on the Puffer Butte trails at Fields Spring.
For information on wheelchair-accessible trails, see our ADA Recreation page. For still more hiking opportunities, you can check out our long-distance trails below.
Mountain biking trails
Bike riding is permitted in many State Parks. Numerous trails within State Parks are open to multiple uses including mountain biking; however, many trails are for hikers only. Always adhere to posted signage at trailheads including trail closures and seasonal restrictions.
Some State Parks that are very popular for mountain biking include:
- Squilchuck State Park
- Larrabee State Park
- Moran State Park
- Fort Ebey State Park
- Mount Spokane State Park
- Riverside State Park
To find other opportunities for biking, please see the “Find a Park” list. Biking is also popular on our long-distance trails. Please see further information in the Long Distance Trails section below.
Washington State Parks is developing a Scenic Bikeways program to highlight existing bike routes with exceptional scenic, cultural, historic, and/or recreational value. Here’s a link to the legislation regarding the Scenic Bikeways program RCW 79A.800.05.
The Cascadia Marine Trail (PDF) (stretching along the inland waters from Olympia to Point Roberts) and the Willapa Bay Water Trail (PDF) (embracing unspoiled Willapa Bay) are the first two trails in Washington designed for kayaks, canoes, and other non-motorized, beachable boats.
Water trails offer unsurpassed views of Northwest scenery and wildlife while providing access to pullouts, campsites, and other public amenities along the way.
An overnight primitive site fee is charged for state park campsites along both trails.
Horses and riders are welcome on most ocean beaches and on established trails in 10 parks. At Bridle Trails, located at the edge of metropolitan Seattle, horses have the right of way on 28 miles of trails. Battle Ground Lake has a primitive horse camping area and five miles of riding trails, while Steamboat Rock offers 10 miles of trails in a classic Central Washington landscape of sagebrush and bare basalt cliffs. Horses can be rented at Lake Wenatchee for both day and overnight pack trips. For still more riding opportunities, look at the long-distance trails below.
Take a look at various long-distance trails below.
This paved trail wanders for 37 miles alongside the Spokane River from Nine Mile Falls, just outside Spokane, all the way to the state line. (If you would like, you can keep on going right into Idaho.) Several significant historic sites are marked along the way, with many more signs still to come. The Spokane River Centennial State Park Trail is open to hikers, joggers, bikers, and in-line skaters. Certain portions of the trail are open to horses as well.
The Columbia Plateau Trail travels 130 miles from East Pasco to Fish Lake (near Spokane), through the channeled scablands and pine forests of eastern Washington. Only certain sections of these trails are currently paved or graveled. Future phased-development plans call for additional surface improvements and the addition of primitive campsites.
The Klickitat Trail runs 31 miles through stunning Columbia River Gorge country between Lyle and the Goldendale plateau. As it leaves the Columbia to follow the Klickitat River, the gentle trail leads cyclists, hikers, birders and, in some places, equestrians through dramatic Swale Canyon.
The Palouse to Cascades Trail follows the former roadbed of the Chicago-Milwaukee-St. Paul-Pacific Railroad two-thirds of the way across Washington, from the western slopes of the Cascade Mountains to the border with Idaho. The 100-mile portion from Cedar Falls (near North Bend) to the Columbia River near Vantage is open to hikers, bikers, equestrians, and horse-drawn wagons in summer, and to snowmobiles, dog sleds, and cross-country skiers in winter.
Willapa Hills State Park Trail is a 57-mile-long rail-to-trail, running east-west between the cities of Chehalis in Lewis County and South Bend in Pacific County. The trail is a key segment of Washington State Parks' plans for a cross-state trail network running from the Idaho Border to Willapa Bay, where it intersects Highway 101 near the Pacific Coast.