How does a region gifted with an abundance of natural beauty, with a river running through it, distinguish itself as a place to enhance the physical, mental, social and emotional wellbeing of its residents and visitors? It builds the Spokane River Centennial Trail!
In 1986, an inspired group of local citizens unveiled a plan for the Spokane River Centennial Trail: Don Kardong, Denyny Ashlock, Sam Angove, Dean Moorehouse, Norma Ventris, Phyllis Campbell and Joe Custer. This group was joined by Tom Garrett, Tom Harman and Bob Dellwo in 1987 and formed the Centennial Trail Steering Committee. They worked directly with Congressman Tom Foley and other financial supporters to raise funds for Spokane River Centennial Trail construction. The steering committee incorporated and received its 501 (c)(3) status in 1991, officially becoming Friends of the Centennial Trail.
The Centennial Trail is administered by the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission. It is maintained and completed through the provisions of a Coordinating Council Cooperative Agreement among the commission represented by Riverside State Park management, the City of Spokane Park and Recreation Department, City of Spokane Valley Parks and Recreation, City of Liberty Lake Parks and Recreation, Spokane County Parks, Recreation and Golf, and the Friends of the Centennial Trail.
The Friends of the Centennial Trail assists and encourages the development and maintenance of the Spokane River Centennial Trail, adjacent park lands and connecting trails.
- We believe citizen advocacy plays a vital role in the care and keeping of your Centennial Trail.
- We engage with positive, respectful supporters to encourage managing jurisdictions to prioritize Centennial Trail maintenance and completion.
- We honor the unique types of multi-use recreation the Centennial Trail brings, recognizing it connects people and the commonality of bringing people outdoors.
- We celebrate its gift to our region as our trail system “backbone,” with its fantastic location along the Spokane River and different experiences within open spaces, urban areas and Riverside State Park.
Why We Matter
- A National Recreation Trail, 2.5 million users enjoy the Spokane River Centennial Trail each year. Annually, 90% of Washington residents participate in some form of non-motorized recreation.
- The Centennial Trail has a strong economic impact to our regional economy. According to the Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office, your Centennial Trail contributes $1.6M in health savings, $1.7M to the local economy and $594,000 in labor incomes.
- The Centennial Trail is one of the top 3 attractions enjoyed by Spokane visitors and is regularly awarded a Trip Adviser Certificate of Excellence.
- Recreational trails and open green space are important community assets. The National Association of Home Builders found that trails are cited by almost 60% of buyers as an important amenity, outranking security, ball fields, golf courses and access to shopping. The Spokane River Centennial Trail increases property values!
- 11% of all Trail users commute to work by bicycle or foot.
- Nearly $200,000 in Trail Builders Fund donations for gap completion and maintenance projects have been made by our organization to date.
- 800 visitors to the FCT website each week look for Centennial Trail access, maps, project updates and trip-planning assistance.
- 500 Centennial Trail maps are sold each year; many mailed all over the U.S. and Canada.
- 21 wayfinding posters are displayed on bulletin boards along the Centennial Trail.
- Digital wayfinding from the Regional Bike Map assists users who are “going green” on the Trail.
- 400 volunteers per year clean up and maintain the Centennial Trail and its trailheads.
- 2,800 email, 1,200 Facebook and nearly 500 Instagram friends engage in Friends of the Centennial Trail communication efforts.