Dishman Hills Natual Area: A Guest Post From Katie Wilcox

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As a teenager I loved spending time with children, because it usually meant I was getting paid hourly to do so. Then in my 20’s I avoided them like the plague so the “baby bug” didn’t rub off on me. But when my nephew was born, I discovered the awesome adventures of being an Aunt. I get to take him out and do all the fun stuff but when it comes time for the not so glamorous aspects Grandpa tags in and I can go find someplace quiet. There are so many awesome places to take toddlers I had no idea existed until I was entertaining one. It’s easy to distract your 3 year old with Dora but that means you are depriving them of exercise, fresh air, and exposure to new things.

My 3 year old nephew’s favorite place is Bear Lake, located 15 miles North of Spokane adjacent to Newport Highway. This park is perfect for the mini adventurer in your family. Make sure your little one is prepared with durable clothing, rain boots and a life vest. They will thoroughly enjoy the 166 acres of wetland and surrounding forrest. Paved walkways will guide you around the lake to a playground and picnic area. This park was built with the toddler in mind. Easily accessible docks make the lake perfect for canoeing and fishing, stocked every spring with farm raised fish. You can also teach your toddler the names of all the plants and wildlife that are bountiful in this area. Bathrooms will not be open until May 28th, good to know!!!

Something closer? Dishman Hills Natural Area in Spokane Valley across from Dishman Dodge on Appleway Blvd. is 530 acres of raw adventure and it’s probably closer to your home than work! Within 5 minutes I saw a snake, a lizard, a whole pond of frogs, 2 wild rabbits and a red forrest squirrel. That should be enough to hold your toddlers attention. And the trails are well managed enough to allow tiny travelers to tear through. Complete the loop and you find yourself in a large clearing with a playground, park and log cabin; right in the middle of the woods! Let them choose the trail and enjoy hours of exploration.

Katie Wilcox. is a 25 year old business owner and massage therapist from Spokane who loves The Inland Northwest with a passion and loves to write about it.


Monte Tareski