New Candy Mountain trail a great alternative to Badger
WEST RICHLAND, Wash -- After years of planning, the trail to the top of Candy Mountain in West Richland is finally open to the public. "It's more of an easy going walking trail, you can enjoy yourself and just take in the views," says hiker Tami Woehle.
The Friends of Badger Mountain acquired 195 acres on Candy Mountain to create a new wildlife preserve and continue the Badger Mountain trail system. It took nearly 150 volunteers 1700 hours to complete the trail. About half the funding came from a state grant, the rest was raised locally. "Friends of Badger led the fundraising campaign in the community to raise the rest of the money, about $700,000," says Adam Fyall of the Benton County Commissioner's Office.
There's a brand new parking lot at the trail head off Dallas Road, and the round trip hike is 3.2 miles. It takes about an hour and fifteen minutes at quick clip.
It's a gentler grade than Badger Mountain to the east, making it suitable for people of all ages, like Mallori Johnson and 4-year-old son Porter. "So it's not as steep, so it's much easier for us to go up it without as much complaining," says Johnson.
The wildflowers are in full bloom and when you get to the top the vista is 360 degrees, with a peak of Mount Adams on a clear day.
The Friends of Badger Mountain are planning an official opening on June 2. But with the secret out you may want to give Candy Mountain a try sooner rather than later.
To get to Candy Mountain from Richland you take the Queensgate South exit off of I-182. Make a right on Keene Road, then left on Kennedy and left on Dallas Road. Make a right on East 669 PR N.E. just before Dallas goes under the interstate. The parking lot is about a quarter mile up the road.