Bicyclists in their warmest riding gear ride the Apple Capital Recreation Loop Trail on Saturday during the annual Yeti Ride event put on by the Wenatchee Valley Velo Club, Saturday near Wenatchee Riverfront Park. Many wore face protection to keep warm as well as multiple layers of jackets. The group has been doing the frigid bike ride event since 2007 as a way to celebrate the new year.
Is there anything better than walking in the fall? When the leaves start to turn and summer's heat begins to wane, hit the Apple Capital Recreation Loop Trail and take in the beauty that is autumn in North Central Washington.
"The Loop," as it is affectionately known by locals, is 10.5 mile trail that traces the edges of the Columbia. It is an outdoor lover's dream — full of shady parks and untouched native wildlands. The trail is entirely paved — perfect for running, walking or riding your bike — and travels through parks, past sandy beaches and over three bridges.
If you want parks and green grass, check out the Wenatchee side of the trail. If you want native lands, head to the east side near the Odabashian Bridge (Highway 2/97). Tall poplar trees shade the trail on the east side near the historic Pipeline Pedestrian Bridge, which was built in 1908 and was the first bridge to span the Columbia River. On the west side of the bridge you'll find Hale Park's off-leash dog park and skate park.
More paved bike trails connect to the Loop:
On the east side of the Pedestrian Bridge, head south 2.2 miles down the Columbia River to Hydro Park.
On the east side of the Odabashian Bridge, head 5.5 miles up the Columbia to Lincoln Rock State Park.
The Loop Trail is a popular trail for strollers, walkers, and runners of all stripes — serious fitness fanatics, parents, kids, families, senior citizens and rubberneckers. Besides walkers, you'll see bicyclists, joggers, skateboarders, dog walkers and more.
After heavy snows, the trail also attracts cross-country skiers.
Access: There are many access points to the Loop. A few include:
1) If you're riding or walking around the downtown core, head east on First Street. At First Street and Wenatchee Avenue, a covered walking-cycle bridge takes you over the railroad tracks to Riverfront Park.
2) Drive Fifth Street east (downhill and toward the river) until it ends in the Riverfront Park. Park here and walk toward the river to find a paved trail.
3) Take Ninth Street east toward the river until it merges into Walla Walla Street. Follow this north for about a half mile and turn right into Walla Walla Point Park. Park here and, again, walk toward the river to find the trail.
4) If you're in East Wenatchee, follow 19th Street NW west toward the river. At the bottom of 19th, turn left and park next to the Douglas County Services Building. Then, walk toward the river to find the trail.
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