Columbia Plateau State Park Trail

Columbia Plateau State Park Trail is a 4,109-acre, 130-mile-long rail-bed trail that traces the 1908 original path of the Spokane, Portland, and Seattle Railroad. The route is most accessible at Cheney, with other less accessible points along the way. The route is steeped in history, with scenic vistas along the trail. Currently 23 miles of the trail between Lincoln County and Cheney are developed and open for public use.
Another 15 miles of trail from Ice Harbor Dam to Snake River Junction are open to hikers and bicyclers. Activities include hiking, bicycling, horseback riding, in-line skating, nature viewing, bird watching, cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing.

Wildlife viewing is a very popular attraction along the Columbia Plateau Trail as it passes 4.75 miles through the Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge. Many large animals can be seen such as deer, elk, and moose. More than 200 species of birds have been identified, and the area is famed for the visiting trumpeter swans. The best times for wildlife viewing is early morning and evening.

Spring migration occurs from mid-March through mid-May, while fall migration is from September through November. While enjoying your trek through the refuge, you can read from several interpretive panels on topics such as wildlife, the Ice Age floods and wetlands.

Discover Pass: A Discover Pass is required for vehicle access to state parks for day use. For more information about the Discover Pass and exemptions, please visit the Discover Pass web page.

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  1. Activities
  2. Boating
  3. Camping
  4. History
  5. Maps
ADA Amenities/Facilities
  • Restroom
  • Hiking trails
Picnic & Day-Use Facilities
Covered, ADA accessible picnic tables are available at Cheney, Fish Lake and Snake River Junction trailheads.

  • 34 miles of horse trails
  • 48 miles of ADA hiking trails
  • 48 miles of bike trails
  • 48 miles of hiking trails
Winter Activities & Features
  • Cross-country skiing
  • Snowshoeing
  • Snow play
Other Activities & Features
  • Amphitheater
  • Bird watching
  • Mountain biking
  • Wildlife viewing
Additional Information
  • County-owned Fish Lake is reachable by trail and offers fishing.
  • The park permits no fires or trespassing on adjacent land.