Joining the Trails
By Nathan Isaacs, Herald staff writer
There was no golden spike to hammer into the ground when two work parties met Sunday morning, joining together the two ends of a two-mile trail on Badger Mountain they built over the weekend.
Instead, “We had lunch,” said Jim Langdon, hiking trailmaster with the Friends of Badger Mountain.
More than 70 people worked Saturday and Sunday in building the multiuse trail, which will be used by mountain bike riders, horseback riders and hikers.
Photo by Herald/Richard Dickin
The Friends of Badger Mountain coordinated the project, which was paid for through a $10,000 grant from REI. Representatives from Washington Trails Association helped in the project too.
The Badger Mountain Skyline Trail begins at the 574-acre Badger Mountain Centennial Preserve’s west entrance along Dallas Road and follows the ridgeline to where the antennas can be seen on top of the mountain.
The new trail complements a 1.1-mile trail constructed last year. Both traverse through the preserve and offer views of the Tri-Cities, Columbia and Yakima rivers, Horse Heaven Hills, and even the peaks of Rainier, Adams and Hood on a clear day.
“This is going to be a great trail,” said Daniel Edwards, 17, of Kennewick, and one of several Boy Scouts from Troop 190 in Richland that helped build the new trail. He said the scouts were earning service credit toward their 50-mile badges.
He said building the trail was an enjoyable experience, despite Sunday’s wind, rain and cool temperatures.
He and the other scouts hiked the existing trail several times a week with loaded backpacks in preparation for a 50-mile hike they did earlier this year (also required for their 50-mile badges).
He said the new trail will give hikers more options on Badger Mountain. An exact number isn’t available, but some estimate that as many as 1,000 people climb the existing trail each week, Langdon said.
He said that while the new trail needs some finishing touches, including gravel being laid in spots, it is open for use.