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The best and most convenient running trails in the Inland Northwest 

The Running Issue

click to enlarge The South Hill Bluff is an ideal trail for a sunset run. - YOUNG KWAK
  • Young Kwak
  • The South Hill Bluff is an ideal trail for a sunset run.

Sure, you can pay each month to run on a treadmill while news headlines flash on the TV in front of your face. But with so many great running trails around Spokane and North Idaho, why wouldn't you go outside?

The trails in the Inland Northwest feature great views, and sometimes you don't even have to hurt your knees on the pavement. Here's a list of some of the top running trails around.


This may be the most popular running trail around, and for good reason. It's just under 4 miles, and it's mostly even ground, taking you through a forest and along the river. It's only a few miles from downtown, so it's pretty easy for anyone to get to. It's a wide enough trail that you'll be able to run in peace. You might run into some dogs on leashes though.


This is a great run at sunset. Park your car on High Drive on the South Hill and venture down onto the South Hill Bluff with an unpaved trail featuring a view of the west that's perfect for an evening run. With Latah Creek just below, look up to the sky if you get a chance and you may catch a glimpse of some birds of prey. Look out for bikers.


It's a 72-mile paved trail across North Idaho that follows the Coeur d'Alene River, Coeur d'Alene Lake, other chain lakes, farmland and forests. There are trailheads all over the place, starting in Plummer near the south end of Coeur d'Alene Lake and moving northeast. It's open year-round and it's well maintained. It's a good trail to catch some scenery.


Run through an old-growth forest and by a waterfall on this 8-mile loop at Liberty Lake Regional Park. There's a bit of an incline here, with an ascent of 1,339 feet, but hey, at least it evens out on the way down. There's plenty of shade here too, so it's a good spot to beat the heat.


The Dishman Hills Natural Resources Conservation Area features plenty of unpaved trails for runners of all experience. Located just off Appleway Boulevard in Spokane Valley, the trails let you choose your own adventure, in a way. Runners, though, should watch out for rocks or exposed roots.


Starting near the southwestern corner of Spokane, the Fish Lake Trail theoretically could take you all the way to Cheney, if that's what you're into. It's paved and well-maintained, with only a light ascent. It's convenient to get to, and you'll quickly get away from the busy city. ♦

The original print version of this article was headlined "Get Outside"

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