Brainstorming outdoor activity ideas in the region? Your light-bulb moment could come from the local power company.
Avista Utilities is offering digital recreation maps for sections of the Spokane and Clark Fork rivers. The maps detail recreational areas Avista maintains near these scenic waterways, in addition to generating power from them.
Live at avistautilities.com, the new maps highlight dams, parks, trailheads and recreation areas, offering descriptions of amenities as well as photos for a sneak peek at the local scenery.
The Spokane River map showcases 72 points of interest including Q’emiln, Falls, Corbin, McGuire and Stateline parks in Idaho.
Heading into Washington, the map includes spots like Huntington Park near the heart of downtown Spokane and Mission Park, a 13-acre expanse connected to the Centennial Trail and equipped with sport fields and courts, picnic areas, a playground and a swimming pool. Farther out, areas like the Lake Spokane Campground offer overnight campsites, boating, fishing and swimming.
Bruce Howard, the company’s director of environmental affairs, said the new river recreational maps are in line with Avista’s longtime commitment to environmental stewardship.
“By exploring our river recreation maps, individuals and families can create custom outdoor itineraries for their next long weekend or extended summer break,” Howard said. “While planning a trip, it’s important to note areas that may pose a greater risk to visitors and require additional care.”
Howard encourages recreation seekers to heed information on signs and respect site rules and boundaries.
Near dams, visitors should take extra steps to be safe above and below the dams and obey all warning and closure signs, and boaters should never cross the boater safety cable above a dam. Also, for those planning to get in the water, water flow levels can be checked in advance on Avista’s website.
The Clark Fork River map extends from Idaho into Montana, offering 28 points of interest for outdoor enthusiasts. Some highlights include Pilgrim Creek Park, with its group pavilion, baseball/softball fields, playground and Native American interpretation area; Finley Flats Recreation Area with overnight campsites, boat access, fishing and hiking; and the River’s Bend Golf Course, with stunning views from every hole.
Avista maintains its own staff of fish and wildlife biologists, technicians and engineers dedicated to habitat maintenance.
With the Clark Fork hydroelectric project, Avista has worked toward restoring habitat for bull trout, monitoring water quality, improving wetlands, safeguarding cultural and historical resources, and enhancing recreational sites. Along the Spokane River, Avista’s programs have included aquatic weed management, erosion control, water quality monitoring, aquatic and riparian habitat stewardship and bald eagle protection. Combined with other environmental initiatives, these efforts have garnered Avista recognition such as the 2015 Environmental Excellence Award for Leading Environmental Practices from the Association of Washington Business.
Carter Douglas, 8, right, looks over a bridge for fish at the fishing pond in Falls Park in Post Falls on Wednesday. Anglers can easily fish the small pond from the bridge and the shore.
The Post Falls Dam seen on Wednesday. For those planning to enjoy the water, visitors can check water flow levels in advance on Avista's website and obey all warning and closure signs near damns.
Visitors of Falls Park enjoy the views of the Spokane River from an overlook on Wednesday.
The 22-acre Falls Park has many scenic views of the dam, gorge and ponds. The family friendly park has three covered shelters, historical interpretive signs, picnic shelters, restrooms and a playground.