Jul 28, 2022
By: KaTrina Kunkel
Growing up we spent a lot of time outside until the street lights came on or we were called for dinner, we explored rivers and creeks and ponds, and we caught tadpoles and fireflies.
With technology at our fingertips it’s easy to forget these memories and to forget to make these memories with our own families. If you’re anything like us you’d prefer a short drive to paradise with kids giggling in the backseat asking “are we there yet?!” – Here are a couple great places an hour or less away from Connell where you can begin your adventures and your family memories;
Lyons Ferry State Park* in Washtucna features 1,000 acres of exploration with available camping, shade and the cool waters of the Snake and Palouse rivers. Picnics, splashing and fishing can all be found just 31 miles east of Connell.
At the top of Lyons Ferry you’ll find Palouse Falls*; this beautiful state treasure features a 200 foot waterfall winding through a beautiful gorge. Palouse was carved more than 13,000 years ago and was named Washington State’s waterfall in 2014. Please be sure to stay on the trails and away from ledges as this park does have a few dangerous areas.
Kahlotus has several great old buildings, a jail, a schoolhouse, a pool and even The Farmers Daughter – Grab some snacks, explore some great photo-ops and take a dip in the pool on your way to Palouse Falls!
Windust Park* is located on Lake Sacajawea – The lake is formed by the Harbor Dam on the lower end of the Snake River. In this quiet area you’ll hear birds chirping, water rushing and have great fishing, boating and swimming opportunities all around. There are 24 campsites, picnic tables and a few BBQ stands – But as always, if you pack it in, be sure to take it out, keep our parks looking beautiful.
Sacajawea Park* offers 267 acres to explore, sand volleyball courts, horseshoe pits and the Sacajawea Interpretive Center (open 10am-5pm Wed-Sun), the museum features interactive exhibits. With great shade, covered cooking areas and outdoor art installations you can learn a lot about our local region's history and explore something new.
Connell also provides parks here in town – At Pioneer Park you can find a slew of equipment for children to play on, acres to run, a skate park, new basketball court and even the city’s pool which will be free this year! Clark Street Park offers a soccer field, playground great for smaller children and soft grassy areas for a picnic or reading a good book. Striker Park has the new dog park, a full-sized swing set, playground equipment and a basketball court. Old Town park is located right next to the Connell Heritage Museum, has great shade and another great place for kids to play!
*Several of the parks mentioned do require a Discover Pass and if you don’t have one on your own, you can check one out from our local Mid-Columbia Library. Availability is limited but you can borrow the pass for up to seven days if you’re a library card holder. If you’d rather purchase an annual pass you can do that too – the passes are good for one year for $35 and can be found online at the Discover Pass website. Happy adventuring -- let us know where these suggestions lead you! (email@example.com).