A very cool plaza, featuring donation recognition wall and a fountain, sits near an entrance to the Apple Capital Loop Trail.
The Apple Capital Loop Trail is one of the key features of life in Wenatchee and East Wenatchee. It can be accessed at a number of points, crosses the Columbia River twice, and meanders past a wide variety of urban and natural scenery. There’s a lot of reasons to make use of the Apple Capital Loop Trail but one of the best is as a picnic destination.
Here’s a look at some of what we think of as the best picnic spots on the Apple Capital Loop Trail:
Picnic at Walla Walla Point Park
Walla Walla Point Park is probably the most popular spot along the trail. It really has everything for the active family, including climbing toys, volleyball courts, swim area, as well as handball, tennis, and basketball courts. Settling in at one of the many picnic tables there can allow different members of the family to sprint off to enjoy any of those fun pursuits, only to come back for food and drinks after an appetite has been worked up.
Picnic at Wenatchee Confluence State Park
Wenatchee Confluence State Park is located north of the Wenatchee River and is popular with those wanting to visit and be close to town, while enjoying the camping experience. There are some great picnic spots there towards the water where a unique swimming and wading area is located. Again, lots of fun can be had as there are playground toys, tennis and basketball courts, and all kinds of water recreation available there. This can be a fun picnic spot for families with young children.
Picnic Spots Just North of the State Park
Just north of Wenatchee Confluence State Park is a narrow strip of park that lines the Apple Capital Loop Trail as it heads towards the Odabashian Bridge. This area really isn’t a destination part of the trail which makes it perfect for a quiet picnic spot. There are tables nestled in little hollows and along low bank access to the Columbia River. Bring your own entertainment activities or just some scooters and bikes and you just may feel you have this little part of the park and trail to yourself.
A Picnic at the 9th Street Trailhead
The 9th Street Trailhead is located in East Wenatchee and offers a nice parking lot and immediate access to one of the most beautiful parts of the Apple Capital Loop Trail, an area known to locals as “Porter’s Pond”. There are no picnic tables located in the area but two great picnic spots are right there near the fountain, using the low wall as a place to sit, and then down towards Porter’s Pond, again using the low wall for a place to sit. This is yet another great spot to bring bikes and scooters too.
Picnic at the Orondo Street Boat Launch
A fun picnic spot along the Apple Capital Loop Trail is the Orondo Street Boat Launch. When you find your spot there you can enjoy watching boats being loaded into and out of the water, a good amount of people watching, and all the activity out on the Columbia River. Before or after eating you can also walk down boat launch or even out on the nearby boat dock at the north end of the parking lot. You can even walk over to the very popular Pybus Market which is an outstanding place to walk through and experience.
Picnic at Riverfront Park
The main part of Riverfront Park sits at the bottom of 5th Street on the Wenatchee side of the river and is a great picnic spot. There are lots of picnic tables available, plenty of shade trees, and some nice things to see. Before or after enjoying your picnic, you can get out and look at the phenomenal amount of sculptures and pieces of art that line this part of the Apple Capital Loop Trail. Again, there’s plenty of activity out on the water to enjoy viewing from there too.
Picnic at the Linden Tree Area
The Linden Tree Area is a historic part of the Apple Capital Loop Trail, featuring an old barn with ties back to the early days of agriculture along the river. The barn is now used as a boathouse and there are some nice shady areas and picnic tables scattered about the area to enjoy a picnic at. You can also get down to the water in the Linden Tree Area, including at a neat spot where a small creek flows into the river.
The Apple Capital Loop Trail is a fabulous feature of the Wenatchee area and lends itself greatly as a place to get out and enjoy a meal at. Any of the above picnic spots will serve you well and as you get out and explore it you may find a few favorites of your own.
One of the things Wenatchee is known for to travelers around the Pacific Northwest is its close proximity to a variety of different outdoor recreation activities. Within a quick drive from Wenatchee, you’ll be able to participate in hiking, boating, fishing, mountain biking, rock climbing, kayaking, ziplining, horseback riding, and skiing. Once your back in town though, you can still get out and enjoy the outdoors though thanks to one of the best features that Wenatchee and East Wenatchee possess, the Apple Capital Loop Trail.
The Apple Capital Loop Trail stretches for well over 10 miles and runs along the banks of the Columbia River on both the Wenatchee and East Wenatchee side. Either on or adjacent to the trail you’ll be able to go jogging, bicycling, swimming, canoeing, kayaking, walking, picnicking, as well as play a number of sports and make use of climbing toys. There’s even a protected nature area to walk through.
The western portion of the Apple Capital Loop Trail, on the Wenatchee side of the Columbia River, is home to several well developed parks including Riverfront Park, Walla Walla Point Park, and Confluence State Park. Each of these parks has different highlights including camping, swim areas, playground toys, art sculptures, a miniature railroad, picnic areas, and more. The Horan Nature Area is also on this side of the river and a walk through there will make it somewhat hard to believe you are actually in the middle of a medium sized city.
Across the river, on the East Wenatchee side, you’ll be treated to a much more undeveloped and natural looking portion of the trail. Here you’ll find a small wooded area, a small creek that the trail crosses, and a lot of land that looks much the way it did way back when settlers first came there. While it lacks the developed park areas that are featured across the river, this portion of the trail has some magnificent views and is great for exploring off the trail.
The Apple Capital Loop Trail crosses the Columbia River in the north as a walkway on the side of the Odabashian Bridge that carries Highway 2 through the area. There’s plenty of room here and the views from the middle will make you want to reach for your camera. Crossing the river in the south takes place on the Old Wenatchee Bridge. Sometimes referred to as the Columbia River Bridge, this was the first automobile bridge to cross the Columbia River south of the Canadian border and is now used only by pedestrians, as well as by a large irrigation pipe. This bridge was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1982 and is somewhat of a local treasure.
Visiting Wenatchee and want to get out and get some exercise or just spend time in the outdoors? The Apple Capital Loop Trail is waiting for you.
Check out everything you need to know about: The Apple Capital Loop Trail
The Apple Capital Loop Trail in Wenatchee has been one of the best civic additions of the last half century. This 10+ mile loop trail, suitable for everything from walking to bicycling, runs along the shore of the Columbia River on both the Wenatchee and East Wenatchee side. Locals and travelers alike make use of the trail each and every day. It is even used several times a year by groups and organizations putting on benefit walks as well as competitive runs. It really is something the entire community can take pride in.
Here are five fun facts about Wenatchee’s Apple Capital Loop Trail.
Well, Since It Was There Already
Getting the Apple Capital Loop Trail across the Columbia River on the south end of the trail was extremely easy. Opened in 1908, the Old Wenatchee Bridge is well over 100 years old and was in fact the first road bridge to cross the Columbia River south of the Canadian border. Pedestrians share the bridge today with a large irrigation water pipe. When originally constructed, the pipe carrying the irrigation was across the bridge was actually mounted onto the outside of the bridge structure.
A Whole New Structure
Crossing the Columbia River on the north end was an interesting problem because there was no pedestrian bridge already in place. The solution was to add a pedestrian walkway off the side of the already built Richard Odabashian Bridge in the Olds Station of Wenatchee. This was added in 2001 and is maintained by the Washington State Department of Transportation.
From Barnyard Animals To Kayaks
Located in the Linden Tree Area of the Apple Capital Loop Trail is a small historic barn. This barn was used long ago to house a small herd of cows, among other things. Today, it is used by the Wenatchee Row & Paddle Club to house kayaks.
Man Gives Back To Nature
Located on the southern banks of the Wenatchee River and accessible from the Apple Capital Loop Trail is the Horan Nature Area. This is a beautiful little protected area where at different times of the year it is possible to see eagles, ducks, raccoons, deer, squirrels, minks, beaver, and even skunk. This area for a very long time was actually farmed orchard land. It was bulldozed and shaped back into a nature area for everyone to enjoy.
Third And Final Bridge
Within a short distance of each other, there are actually three crossings of the Wenatchee River in the Olds Station area of Wenatchee. The Wenatchee River Bridge carries SR 285 over the river so that residents of and visitors to Wenatchee can get in and out of town on the north end. There is also a railroad bridge that spans the river too which is helpful for moving various types of freight through the region. In 1994, the third bridge crossing of the river in this area was completed when a pedestrian bridge was opened for public use, connecting Wenatchee Confluence State Park with the Horan Nature Area. This bridge is an essential part of the Apple Capital Loop Trail now and is used by many area residents for both enjoyment as well as commuting by foot or on bike to and from work in the Olds Station area.
Find out more about the Apple Capital Loop Trail right here: The Apple Capital Loop Trail
The Apple Capital Loop Trail provides some wonderful outdoor recreation opportunities in the Wenatchee and East Wenatchee area. It follows the Columbia River for a little over five miles on each city’s shoreline.
The Apple Capital Loop Trail is a huge asset that the people of Wenatchee and East Wenatchee make use of all year long. This ten plus mile long paved trail skirts the Columbia River shore on both city’s side. It crosses on the Odabashian Bridge in the north and the old pedestrian bridge in the south.
A nice addition to the riverfront area in Wenatchee in the last year is Riverside Drive which runs parallel to the Columbia River and right by Riverfront Park.
The Horan Nature Area in Wenatchee sits right where the Wenatchee River meets the Columbia River. It is easily accessible from the Apple Capital Loop Trail and is also very near to Confluence State Park.
The nature area is a great place to go for a walk on its own, or as part of a larger walk along the river. There is also a good opportunity to see some wildlife there, though we didn’t see any the day this video was shot. Being able to visit the Horan Nature Area is definitely one of the many pluses of living in the Wenatchee area.
Click here for photos of the Horan Nature Area.