Sunday, April 6, 2014

Ben Burr Trail

You all may have heard The Ben Burr Trail is going to be paved - see a January City report here and the latest from the City here. There's a pro and con over at OutThere Monthly Locking Horns, and a Cycling Spokane blog post about it.

We've always wanted to check out the Ben Burr, but living on the Northside never made it over.  Debbie and I were walking the dogs last week in the Perry Street district, and while overlooking Liberty Park we saw part of what we figured was the Ben Burr. So when I was in the area again last week, I did some exploring to experience the trail in its current gravel/dirt state.

mostly walked my bike down this trail at the end of 5th
to the Ben Burr
the entrance

the bridge over Altamont St.

saw a few other people that morning on the trail
a switchback off the main trail
down to Underhill Park

the trail ends at Hills Court
Hills Court intersects Thor Street running north/south, which didn't look bike friendly, but there is a sidewalk. From what I can make of the trail plans, I think it'll be routed up to 11th and Fiske instead. I'm not familiar enough with the area to know where or how you might bike to other areas on the South Hill from here.

I was struck once again how great it is to have these natural areas like this in the middle of or near Spokane. With my fondness for gravel and dirt, I liked the the trail as is. That's just my selfish perspective from someone who won't use it often. (Wait, will I be able to connect to Trader Joe's?)  I'm afraid by removing some trees and vegetation and paving it, the trail will lose some of its charm. But I can see the perhaps greater value in paving and connecting the trail to downtown and points south.


  1. This looks to be an old railway. If so, it's nice that there is money to pave this. Rail Trails usually convert lots of naysayers over a shot time.

  2. short time. Shot is my Boston dialect.

  3. shot time, I like that. You're right, it is an old railway; federal grant money is paying for the paving.