Spokane County boasts a multitude of parks and recreational areas. Check your community’s parks and recreation listings to see more of what your local area has to offer.
Cat Tales Zoological Park
17020 N. Newport Highway
Mead, WA 99021 509-238-4126
Get up close and personal with pumas, tigers, lions, leopards, bobcats, bears and more. Visitors walk within 8 feet of the animals. You can even hand-feed a tiger, bear or royal white tiger. The park works with various wildlife agencies throughout the United States in rescuing and relocating exotic animals. Cat Tales is also home to the Zoological Training Center, the only school of its kind in North America, where students learn the profession of zookeeping.
John A. Finch Arboretum
3404 W. Woodland Blvd.
Spokane, WA 99224 509-363-5466
This 65-acre botanical and tree garden has more than 2,000 ornamental trees and shrubs. There are several walking paths to stroll along, with Garden Springs Creek running through the garden areas.
1702 S. Grand Blvd.
Spokane, WA 99203 509-363-5422
This 98-acre park has a conservatory, five gardens and a duck pond, as well as many walking and biking paths. More than 150,000 visitors enjoy the park each year. The gardens, which offer diverse horticultural displays, include a Japanese garden, a lilac garden and Rose Hill. Rose Hill is home to more than 150 varieties of roses.
Mount Spokane State Park
26107 N. Mount Spokane Park Drive
Mead, WA 99021 509-238-4258
Mount Spokane State Park is a 13,919-acre park in the Selkirk Mountains. More than 100 miles of hiking, biking and horse trails are available. Enjoy mountain biking, bird-watching and wildlife viewing. In the winter, the park features Nordic ski trails through varying terrain and groomed snowmobile trails. Eight standard campsites are available, and a group camp can accommodate up to 60 people. If you’re looking for something a little more daring, spend the night in the fire lookout. At an elevation of more than 5,000 feet, the lookout provides stunning views of the Spokane Valley, north Idaho and the Selkirk Mountains. Call 888-226-7688 for reservations at the Quartz Mountain Fire Lookout.
507 N. Howard St.
Spokane, WA 99201 509-625-6600
Riverfront Park combines the best of the outdoors and the arts. The 100 acres include paths, lawns, the Spokane River Falls, public art and various venues, with the Spokane River at its heart. Enjoy attractions that include an IMAX theater, an amusement park, an ice rink and the hand-carved Looff Carousel, created in 1909. Take a self-guided tour of the more than 20 sculptures, including Garbage Goat, a steel goat sculpture created for Expo ’74 that will eat small pieces of trash with the help of its vacuum digestive system. There are several restaurants and food vendors throughout the park as well. The park is being redeveloped; check the website for details before you visit.
Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge
26010 S. Smith Road
Cheney, WA 99004 509-235-4723
Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge is on the edge of the Columbia River Basin in an area known as the Channeled Scablands. The more than 18,000 acres are a combination of wetlands, ponderosa pine and aspen forests, marshes and lakes. The refuge conserves habitat for nesting and migrating birds and supports a variety of wildlife. More than 200 kinds of birds have been recorded, and mammals include moose, elk, deer, porcupines, river otters, bobcats and coyotes. There are several hiking trails, and Blackhorse Lake has a boardwalk that offers easy lake viewing. For wildlife observation tips and more information about the refuge, visit its website.