Conservationists in Washington’s Tri-Cities are nearing a deal to secure a trail right-of-way on a scenic peak. That would get closer to the goal of establishing a 20-mile trail that could offer sunny, dry hiking at times of year when most trails elsewhere in the Northwest are muddy or snow covered.
This 200-acre purchase would secure a trail up the southeast flank of Candy Mountain near Richland. The hiking and conservation group Friends of Badger Mountain has been raising the money for the last two years.
Its leaders say they expect the $1.5 million deal to close by February. They have just $9,000 to go in their fundraising.
Sharon Grant, the conservation group’s co-founder, said housing developments and planned roads are driving up land prices on Candy Mountain.
“If we had waited much longer we wouldn’t have access to this land I don’t think,” she said.
Candy Mountain might be considered a mere hump by hikers used to Cascade summits. But it’s a central link in a string of treeless peaks and ridges that eventually would be connected. All-together the trails would provide expansive views across the desert, city and confluence of three major rivers, the Snake, Columbia and Yakima.
Grant’s group has already secured large portions of nearby Badger Mountain and established several trails to the top. The new trail corridor would link Badger Mountain to Candy Mountain.