I didn't get the significance of the names of the two adjoining cities of Clarkston, Washington and Lewiston, Idaho at first. I finally put two and two together when I saw an information board indicating that we were cycling trails very close to the Lewis and Clark Trail...d'oh! Now I get it. Some of us are a little slower than others!
We took a day trip here from Walla Walla to ride the Greenbelt Trail in Clarkston and the Levee Parkway Trail in Lewiston. These two paved trails are connected by two bridges across the Snake River, so you can park in one place and ride on both trails for several hours, if you like. And yes, we liked!
We parked at Granite Lake Park in Clarkston and started our ride on the Washington side, riding out and back on the Greenbelt Trail along the Snake River first.
This unique house right beside the road overlooking the Snake River caught my eye. I'd love to see the interior!
The Greenbelt Trail is only seven miles one way, so after riding from the north to south endpoints and most of the way back, we crossed over the Snake River on one of the bridges to Idaho and the Lewiston Levee Trail.
The Lewiston Levee Parkway is approximately 11 miles in length. We started at around the mid-way point of the trail after getting off the bridge and headed south.
Looking across the Snake River, the Clarkston Greenbelt trail is right on the other side, where we just rode.
At least on this Wednesday, the Clarkston side was busier than the Lewiston side, probably because the Greenbelt trail passes through numerous parks in just a few miles, with plenty of parking all along. The Lewiston Levee Parkway is a bit more isolated at its south end.
The southern terminus of the trail is in the Hell's Gate State Park, which was also very quiet. I'm sure it's busier on weekends as there's a marina and boat ramp in addition to camping.
Here's a funny sign at the camp store at the state park.
We noticed some Puncturevine in the park. Here's what a goathead looks like. Evil, evil weed; this has given us many flats in the past year riding in the west. Thankfully none on this day, however.
After turning around and heading north on the trail, we made our way past a park with a nice pond with ducks. I think this is a female mallard (top) with an immature male Mallard (bottom).
Here's the second and northernmost bridge over the Snake River. The "blue bridge" is very pretty, I think. Of course, I am always partial to Carolina blue!
There's also this wonderful "wave" sculpture made of canoes near the trail. So imaginative!
We would cross the blue bridge later, but for now, we continued north, soon rounding the eastward bend to the Clearwater River.
While most of the surface of both trails is well maintained, as we continued heading east onto the lesser-used part of the Levee trail, it was apparent that this portion was not a city priority!
It was a very breezy day, and the northwest wind picked up as the day went on. We encountered the worst of it pedaling back towards the west after reaching the end of the Levee trail. No wonder it had been so easy heading east! When we turned westward, the wind hit us like a wall, and pedaling was tough.
Photos don't really show it, but I promise that there were whitecaps in the river, indicating a pretty good blow.
There's a very cool pedestrian visible from this part of the Levee trail. It's kind of hard to see in the photo, but there are colorful images of fish and a long snake decorating the bridge. It's not as fancy as the snake bridge in Tucson, but still fun.
Soon we were back at the blue bridge and about to cross back over from Idaho into Washington.
Bye-bye, Idaho! That's the last we'll see of you this year....
Back in Washington!
And here we are again, several hours later.
We had a fun ride and nice day for it, only a bit too much wind. Still, the dramatic scenery and change of pace from the roads around Walla Walla that have become all too familiar after over two months here, were welcome.
The mileage riding out and back on both trails is around 37, but you can obviously do just one trail or a portion of each if you don't want that many miles. If you go: There's water available in the parks along the trail, so one water bottle is plenty, as you can refill. But take plenty of snacks; there's really no casual places to grab a bite along the trail, which was too bad -- we were hoping for something more than the energy bars we brought.
Of course, you can pedal or drive into either of the cities after your ride for food. We were anxious to get back to let Paisley out so didn't do that. We did buy gas over in Idaho, where it's a bit cheaper than in Washington!
Emily & Barry
We're a long-married, early-retired couple who are currently traveling as nomads with no fixed home base. After years of living in North Carolina (Emily's home state), we spent 18 months living oceanfront on Ambergris Caye, Belize, a year road-tripping the US in a Honda CR-V, a year in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, and are now roaming North America in our 32' motorhome, Pearl, following warm weather whenever possible.
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