In early 2003, a group of local residents came together to see if we could preserve our local ridges for their scenic views and as open spaces. We believed something must be done before their beauty was permanently changed by irreversible development. We named ourselves the Friends of Badger Mountain, and when we learned that 574 acres was for sale on the crest and slopes of Badger Mountain, our goal became to acquire this land to be held as open space.
The preservation and stewardship of the ridges in the Lower Columbia Basin for the benefit of the community and the environment.
Our efforts will have accomplished the preservation of quality ridge land and have established ridge components of the Rivers-to-Ridges public trail system.
Adopting the role of steward of the mountain, FOBM has organized building of:
- The Canyon Trail in 2005 for hikers only
- The Skyline Trail in 2006 for hiking, mountain biking and horseback riding
- The Sagebrush Trail in 2010, extending the Skyline and connecting to the Canyon Trail
- The Badger Flats Trail in 2012, at the base of the Canyon, built in partnership with the City of Richland, Eagle Scouts, and Tri-City Rotary Clubs
- The Langdon Trail in 2014, along the south side of the mountain
- The Candy Mountain Trail in 2016
We continue to maintain and improve the trails and undertake annual events to enhance the recreational use of the ridges.
Outreach to Youth
Scout troops, church groups and Juvenile Justice youth guided by mentors regularly help us maintain the trails. Eagle Scouts have created a number of improvements to enhance trail use. Schools bring their classes for a day on the mountain. REI, the Boys & Girls Club and the YMCA sponsor hikes with special themes attracting kids. Botanists teach about the interaction between soil, plants and activity of man, biologists about the creatures and their habitats, and geologists the Ice Age floods. To integrate these activities into a hands-on curriculum for teachers and students, contact us. Our beautiful wildflower brochure attracts people to our guided wildflower walks held every spring.
Health & Wellness
People of all ages and level of health use the mountain to start and maintain fitness. Companies thru the Regional Chamber program, “Good Health is Good Business,” challenge employees to hike Badger with prizes and acknowledgement for meeting personal goals. Columbia Basin Racquet Club mounted a “Biggest Loser’s Campaign” with climbing Badger as the measurement of success. Many groups, including area Rotary Clubs organize hikes for team building. A Time Trials event held each fall attracts cyclists from around the region. The Badger Mtn Challenge with events of 15K, 50K and 100 miles attracted nearly 700 entrants in Spring 2014. The 5th Annual Challenge will be held March 28, 2015.
History and more
- At an elevation of 1543 feet, Badger Mountain is the highest point in the Tri-Cities basin.
- Badger Mountain Centennial Preserve was created in 2005 from an ambitious grassroots fundraising effort.
- Badger Mountain Centennial Preserve is a Benton County park, managed in partnership with the Friends of Badger Mountain, a local all volunteer organization, and with assistance from the City of Richland.
- Badger Mountain Centennial Preserve currently has a little over 8 miles of developed trails.
- The Langdon Trail undulates along on the south side of Badger for 2-1/2 miles.
- The trails recorded over 200,000 users in 2013, making the Preserve one of the most visited parks in the Tri-Cities.
- Badger Mountain features three distinct micro-environments: the parched, sun-drenched south face; the cooler, deep-soiled north face; and the rocky, wind-swept ridgeline.
- Badger Mountain is an exposed part of the larger, 60-mile long Rattlesnake Ridge feature; which also includes other landmarks such as Red Mountain, Candy Mountain, and Jump-off Joe Butte.
- Badger Mountain is home to more diverse wildlife than many visitors realize, including mammals such as coyotes and ground squirrels, birds such as quail and hawks, and reptiles such as horned lizards and snakes.
- Badger Mountain features a variety of native plants, ranging from large sagebrush and rabbitbrush in the deeper soils, to specially adapted grasses in the drier exposed areas, to a dazzling array of wildflowers that can be seen from February until as late as October.
Citizen’s group organizes to preserve both the viewscape of and recreational access to our area’s local ridges Leads a grass roots effort to acquire and preserve iconic Badger ridge and names itself Friends of Badger Mountain
574 acres of natural open space acquired and donated to Benton County. Badger Mountain Centennial Preserve created! Leads volunteer effort to construct the Canyon Trail
Leads volunteer effort to construct the Skyline Trail
Leads effort to preserve Little Badger ridge. Attempt not successful.
Develops 5-year Strategic Plan focused on ridge preservation, trail creation, education to increase enjoyment of the ridges and building the organization to implement a Ridge Trail vision
Leads volunteer effort to construct the Sagebrush Trail Leads effort to acquire 74 acres on south side of Badger to add to the Preserve, resulting in a park of 1 square mile
Forms Task Force with wineries in the Red Mountain AVA to explore development of a trail that will link Red to the wineries
Accepts donation of 16 acre parcel on Little Badger, a critical link in the creation of a Ridges to Rivers trail
City of Richland and FOBM purchase one acre on south slope of Little Badger, key to creation of a trail FOBM sets goal of creating connected trail across all four area ridges in the next 2-3 years
Volunteers construct the Langdon Trail
FOBM mounts successful effort to acquire and create 200-acre Candy Mountain Preserve
Received “Outstanding Trails Award” from Washington Trails Association
Volunteers expand and improve the Sagebrush Trail on Badger Mountain
Volunteers construct first leg of trail toward Little Badger