The family and I enjoyed a project and hiking filled extended weekend. Let me tell you, after running errands, doing the Farmers Market, and working on home projects, a day spent hiking and exploring with the family was greatly needed and appreciated. All work and no play is just no way to live!
We decided on easy hikes this go-around. First we visited Horsethief Butte Trail. This trail split twice, but we kept to the right lower path along the water as opposed to going left towards the rock cliffs. That portion of the trail will be one Sam and I will have to explore on our own, perhaps even with Anthony. We enjoyed this hike; it was easy, with just enough rocky terrain to keep the kids on their toes and the views of the Columbia River were beautiful. Just be mindful of where your kiddos are; the path is a good distance from the edge, but if you stray off the path, obviously there is the risk of falling. I think my only gripe about this hike was that it ended too soon! The trail abruptly ends and you can not continue from there unless you somehow make your way down the hills at a different location to the worn path you can see from where you've been stopped. With children, this just wasn't going to happen, so we parked our butts and enjoyed a snack before turning around and heading back out.
This would definitely be a hike I'd take the kids on again with the purpose of packing a picnic and enjoying the views and nature while we ate somewhere along the trail.
Next we visited Catherine Creek Universal Access Trail Loop. The kids really enjoyed this one with it's paved path, small wooden bridges, benches to sit on, and informational signs to read about the local plants and wildlife. This would be a great trail for those with a stroller to push or someone wanting an easy jog with great views. I felt comfortable letting the kids run ahead of us and they loved playing leader and finding the next bench to sit on to take in the views and the next signs to read. We were even treated to a view of windsurfers on the Columbia!
There is more to Catherine Creek than this trail loop. Above the Catherine Creek Universal Access Trail Loop is the Catherine Creek Natural Arch Trail. We didn't hike that one, but will for sure do so in the future; probably as a morning hike. It got really warm out and dinner and ice cream were calling our name, haha, so we opted to end our hiking adventures and save the Arch Trail for another day.