Leavenworth has become quite the mecca for outdoor activities. But what about outdoor access for those with limited mobility or that use a wheelchair, walker, or other ambulatory assistance device? We recently received a message through our website message service asking just that question. It was one worth pondering for this life-long Wenatchee Valley resident. We here at Tierra Village love the outdoors, and we want to help everyone access it as best we can.
I was able to come up with a few around Leavenworth, but I'd be very grateful if any of you have any ideas to add!
We would be remiss if we didn't mention Blackbird Island. This trail is right below downtown Leavenworth and their are various points at which it is accessible to wheelchairs, probably most easily at Enchantment Park. If you are feeling frisky, you can even take that wheelchair for spin at the skate park or the pump track. ;) This area, even with high volumes of human traffic still sports a ton of wildlife. I have personally seen Bald Eagles, Swans, Snakes, Salmon, Deer, Bear, Osprey, Birds of all sorts, and recently there was a cougar! That is a rare one indeed. All this to say one does not need to venture out of town to get a solid dose of the wild.
These trails are paved and meander throughout the resort, offering guests the ability to not only commune with nature, but to get up close and personal with some amazing art and architecture. This is an ideal spot to grab a snack, as well, as O'Grady's Pantry and The Kingfisher Restaurant are both excellent.
Located just below Sleeping Lady, off of Icicle Road, this complex was built by the Federal Government to offset fish lost by the building of the dams on the Columbia river. The hatchery is fun to tour, and the trails on beyond the hatchery are nice and flat, and you can access icicle creek in several places. Both this area and Sleeping Lady are still quite close to town and all the services available there, even Cascade Medical Center, should the need arise.
4) Kaylor Glen
Located close to Lake Wenatchee, this vacation paradise sports a golf course, a restaurant, and a fitness center with indoor pool. There are trails aplenty, both paved and unpaved. Some are steep, but some are definitely do-able. This area is extremely wooded and offers great ease of access matched with a "wild" feel.
Okay, so it's not technically in Leavenworth, but we love our neighbor to the east! This walk along the banks of the Wenatchee River gives great views of Osprey, Bald Eagles, and, maybe the most wild of all animals--Whitewater Rafters and Kayakers.
The above areas will work for sure for wheelchairs and walkers. The two following we aren't so sure about, but are definitely possibilities, so they get an honorable mention:
This is a short, flat hike that leads to a beautiful little lake next to Lake Wenatchee This trail is short and flat, for the most part, and ends with a great view of the lake.
This is an absolute local favorite as there is a beach and the views are spectacular up the incredibly steep slopes of Tumwater Canyon. This hike is every bit as close to town as either Sleeping Lady or the Hatchery. We aren't 100% sure about how the access is, but it is a very flat hike. The biggest hurdle may be the initial slope up from the parking lot to the trail.
Last, but certainly not least, a little bird told me that Tierra Learning Center might just be adding a walking path around the canyon sometime in the not-too-distant future. Stay tuned!
It is our belief that access to nature is instrumental in giving human beings a balanced and healthy life, both physically, mentally, and emotionally. As we said above, if you have any other suggestions, or if you disagree with our choices, or have questions, don't hesitate to reach out!
Happy Hiking, Rolling, and Living!