10 best places to run in Spokane: Noelle Lovoi
Today I’m super excited to have a guest post by the lovely Noelle. We connected on Instagram a few years back and she’s been inspiring me ever since! Noelle has checked off miles all over the Pacific Northwest and I knew she was the perfect person to share a few of the best places to run in Spokane!
10 Best Spots To Run in Spokane
1. Kendall Yards
One of Spokane’s latest editions to the Centennial trail and an up and coming neighborhood, the trail that runs through Kendall Yards has quickly become a favorite destination for local runners. The trail itself is only about a 2 mile stretch through Kendall Yards, but it is connected to the Centennial trail and you can easily extend your run in either direction. The trail continues into Riverfront Park or, heading west, continues to Riverside State Park.
Terrain– The terrain is a paved path that is open to only pedestrian and bike traffic. It is relatively flat with only a few short climbs.
Scenery– The views are truly some of the best in Spokane. Within the 2-mile path, you get urban views of downtown, the waterfalls under the Monroe street bridge, and on the western end you feel like you’re in the forest getting to run along side the Spokane River.
Stroller friendly– This route is extremely stroller friendly. It is paved and closed to cars which makes it great for children who ride their bikes as well.
Why is it a favorite? This route made it on the list because of views listed above, but also because of the neighborhood and businesses along the trail. It’s convenient to have Hello Sugar and coffee shops right along the trail to use as a stopping point. Nothing is better than a good coffee after a run!
Photo Credit: Jon Jonckers
2. Riverfront Park
Home to the 1974 World’s Fair and now a runner’s playground, Riverfront Park is a must! Even while under construction, the park offers many paved paths for runners to explore over its 100 acres. Also, being a part of the Centennial Trail, the path through Riverfront Park easily connects to Kendall Yards and eastward onto the rest of the Centennial trail that connects all the way into Idaho.
Terrain– The terrain is paved paths that are open to only pedestrians and bike traffic. The paths through Riverfront are flat and many offer designated bike lanes.
Scenery– You can’t find any better views of Spokane Falls, especially from the 2 suspension bridges that cross directly on top of the falls!
Stroller friendly– There are some sections on the north side of the river that are a bit bumpy from tree roots growing under the path, but overall, this is another stroller friendly place to run with many places to stop for kids to play and enjoy attractions.
Why is it a favorite? This route offers some spectacular views of the falls and the park is the heart of downtown Spokane. It is also rich in history and culture.
3. Manito Park/Manito Blvd
Manito Park is a 90-acre public park located on Spokane’s South Hill. The thing that makes Manito unique, are all the gardens located within the park.
On a single run you can visit the duck pond, see the koi fish at the Japanese Gardens, run past a rainbow of vivid colors at Rose Hill, and smell the lilacs from the Lilac Garden, just to name a few. The quiet residential streets that surround the park and the paths that intertwin through the park, are lined with 100-year-old trees and take you back in time.
Manito was established in 1904 and history is all around as you explore the park. There are also 2 playgrounds within the park which is a plus for those running with children.
Terrain– Paved paths and quiet neighborhood streets are what you’ll run on while in Manito Park. Some of the roads and paths are bumpy from tree roots. There are also sections where you can see the original brick streets and the cable car tracks! When you run on Manito Boulevard, there is the option to run on the dirt path on the median allowing for a bit of trail running within the park. There are some hills and climbs within the park, but many smooth and flat sections as well.
Scenery– Gorgeous tree lined streets, flowers, ponds, and historic homes are the views you’ll enjoy while running through Manito Park.
Stroller friendly– While some of the running is on the road, there is very little traffic and the paved surfaces make this park stroller friendly.
Why is it a favorite? Manito Park is a favorite because of the rich history, gorgeous trees (especially in fall with vibrate colors), and because the park is not crowded or very busy at all. Most everyone you will encounter is a friendly neighbor, fellow runner, or busy squirrel jumping from tree to tree.
Photo Credit: Jon Jonckers
4. South Hill Bluff
Within seconds, you can go from running through neighborhoods, to solitude trail running. The Bluff on Spokane’s South Hill is a trail runners dream. Not only is it convenient, it offers miles of trails that provide some of the best sunset views in all of Spokane. The path runs parallel to High Drive with gentle ups and downs and there are trail options to continue lower into Hangman Creek.
Terrain– Dirt trails with gradual ups and downs.
Scenery– Enjoy a pink sunset or a sea of brilliant wildflowers in the spring.
Stroller friendly– This run is all narrow dirt trails, so leave the kiddos with a babysitter or your significant other and get in some solo miles!
Why is it a favorite? This run is a favorite because of its views, but also because of its proximity to the neighborhoods of the South Hill.
Photo Credit: Jon Jonckers
5. Mirabeau Park Trailhead
Another section of the Centennial trail that makes the list is this section that runs through Mirabeau Park. You can start your run at this trailhead and run either direction for countless miles. Head east and run to Idaho or go west and run to downtown Spokane. Directly across from the trailhead is Discovery Park and waterfall.
Terrain– The terrain is a paved path that is open to pedestrians and bike traffic only. The path is very flat and no real significant elevation changes.
Scenery– This section of the Centennial trail hugs the Spokane River and offers tree and water views almost the whole entirety.
Stroller friendly– With its flat paved path, this is one of the friendliest routes for strollers.
Why is it a favorite? This route is a favorite because of its convenient location, river views, and large playground for post run playing!
6. Fish Lake Trail
A railroad converted into a trail, this path is a favorite among runners and bikers. Starting from the trailhead off Sunset Highway, you can enjoy up to 9 miles one way of paved path to Queen Lucas Lake. Future plans to extend the trail an additional 1.5 miles to reach its ultimate destination, Fish Lake Regional Park, will only make this trail more attractive to local runners looking for a place to get in their long runs.
Terrain– The terrain is a paved path that is open to pedestrians and bike traffic only. Traveling north on the trail, there is a very gradual incline that can often feel un-noticed.
Scenery– This path runs through open forest and even some farm land (a big hit for kids to stop and see the horse and cow around mile 2).
Stroller friendly– This flat, wide, paved path is great for stroller running and another spot that’s great to run with kids on bikes.
Why is it a favorite? Fish Lake Trail made the list because of its scenery, but also because of its length. The ability to run continually for almost 18 miles without having to run through traffic or share the road, is a treat for those looking for distance runs.
7. Ben Burr Trail
This 1.3-mile trail combines urban scenes and nature all in one! Nestled in between residential streets and green space, it’s a hidden gem. While only a short trail, it’s easily accessible and can be combined with running from Liberty Park or into the surrounding neighborhoods.
Terrain– The terrain is a paved path that is open to pedestrians and bike traffic only. Flat and gradual inclines are what awaits you on this path.
Scenery– Runners can enjoy views of charming surrounding neighborhoods. The trail itself is tree-lined and has plenty of greenery.
Stroller friendly– This path is stroller friendly and if you plan to continue your run into residential neighborhoods and into South Perry, there are switch backs you can use to avoid stairs.
Why is it a favorite? The Ben Burr Trail is a favorite because of its views and its accessibility.
8. Cannon Hill Park
Considered Manito Park’s little sister, Cannon Hill Park is just a few blocks west of Manito and is charming and historic. Originally a brick quarry, then turned park in the early 1900’s, it offers some of Spokane’s most picturesque running spots. While the entire loop around Cannon Hill Park is only around a half mile, it is a great addition to any run at Manito Park or in the neighborhoods of Spokane’s South Hill.
Terrain– There are some dirt paths surrounding the park and quiet residential roads. The historic roads can have cracks and bumps so watch your step!
Scenery– A duck pond, tree-lined streets, and 2 handmade stone footbridges are just some of the sights you’ll enjoy at Cannon Hill Park.
Stroller friendly– This park is stroller friendly when running the perimeter on the streets.
Why is it a favorite? You may not find a prettier park in all of Spokane! It also has a playground, which makes it a favorite when running with kids.
Photo Credit: Jon Jonckers
9. Riverside State Park
Bowl and Pitcher- As part of the 100-acre park, the Bowl and Pitcher section is a favorite for trail running. You can enjoy a 10-mile section of trail that runs that wanders through hilly terrain, ponderosa pines, and the Riverside State Park Equestrian Area.
Terrain– This trail is made up of packed dirt, gravel, and rock.
Scenery– Views of the Spokane River can be seen from most all parts of the trails that run through this section of the park. You can also enjoy striking rock formations at the Bowl and Pitcher overlook.
Stroller friendly– There are portions of the trail that are wide enough and are packed dirt that a stroller could handle, but it is probably best to run these trails sans stroller.
Why is it a favorite– This trail is only a short drive from downtown and offers some breathtaking views of the Spokane River.
10. Dishman Hills Natural Resources Conservation Area
While this area is a popular location for hikers, it’s also great for trail running. Dishman Hills Natural Resources Conservation Area offers 8 different trail options.
Terrain– This trail is made up of dirt and rock. Some steep climbs and stairs can be found on the trails.
Scenery– The trails lead you through wooded areas along with some giant rock formations and ponds. You can enjoy views of Spokane Valley as well.
Stroller friendly– These trails are not stroller friendly but recommend is the Eagle Peak Loop for older kids who may be interested in running with their parents as it’s a pleasant 1.1-mile loop that ends at a playground.
Why is it a favorite? Dishman Hills is a favorite because it offers many trail options. With the variety of trails in one area, you can run here frequently and not get bored.
Noelle Lovoi is a mother runner of two boys who lives in the Spokane, WA. You’ll often find her pushing her stroller throughout Spokane. She combines her love of running, kids, and the sisterhood of mother runners by leading a weekly stroller run in Manito Park. She has trained and qualified for the Boston Marathon by pushing a double stroller and is training to re-qualify for the 2020 race. Make sure to tag along on all her adventures over on Instagram!
Photo Credit: Jon Jonckers
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