Apple Capital Loop
At the heart of the Wenatchee Valley, the Apple Capital Loop trail runs along the shorelines of the Columbia River. This 11 mile paved trail leads though beautiful urban parks on the river’s westside and through diverse natural habitats on the Eastside. The trails are connected via the pedestrian bridge to the south and the Odabashian Bridge to the north. Residents and visitors alike value the recreational opportunities afforded by the loop. All year long people can be seen biking, walking, running, skating, or even cross-country skiing and snowshoeing when the weather permits. The Apple Capital Loop trail is a treasured community asset utilized by a diverse cross-section of our population for exercise, recreation, and commuting.
Currently the fate of the Eastside shoreline is up for debate. The Washington State Department of Transportation owns the land along the Eastside loop trail and is looking to surplus everything but the trail itself. During the More Than a Trail public input process the community expressed strong support for keeping most of the land in public ownership, and concern that the natural habitat and beauty along the river will be lost forever.
In January 2011 the Chelan-Douglas Land Trust initiated an effort to develop recommendations to the City of East Wenatchee, Douglas County, and the State Department of Transportation for the trail and adjacent lands. Eliot Scull worked for CDLT to convene "Our Shoreline's Future", a group of East Wenatchee citizens of diverse views to help the County and City with a plan that preserves the unique character of the trail and surrounding lands and reflects the community’s desires for this critical piece of property. The plan includes recommendations for the amount and location of appropriate developments, conservation of lands that should be kept in open space and preservation of the trail and its surrounding natural areas.
Read more about Our Shoreline's Future and their recommendation here.
Apple Capital Loop Trail
This 11 mile paved trail leads though beautiful urban parks on the river’s westside and through diverse natural habitats on the Eastside. The trails are connected via the pedestrian bridge to the south and the Odabashian Bridge to the north.
For a Chelan County PUD map of the trail with access points & amenities, click here.
The legacy of the Apple Capital Loop Trail began in the early 1970’s. At this time, the riverfront consisted of a garbage dump, cars for rip-rap, and concrete waste causing extremely limited access to the river. Additionally, the east side of the river was threatened by a proposed highway along its banks. Two citizen groups arose to protect the future of our shorelines. One group, called the Save the Riverfront Committee, formed to oppose the development of the Eastside highway. The other group called the Columbia River Environmental Study Team (CREST) led by Joan Vandivort began discussing the viability of a park system along the Wenatchee Riverfront.
In the early 1980’s, the Save the Riverfront Committee hired attorney Mickey Gendler who successfully argued the case to abandon the Eastside highway before the state Shorelines Hearings Board. By the late 1980’s, CREST’s dream became a reality when the Chelan County PUD, largely motivated by Kirby Billingsley, developed a park system and non-motorized trail along the west bank of the Columbia River. The parks and trail were required mitigation for recreational opportunities lost by the construction of Rocky Reach and Rock Island dams.
Seeing an opportunity to expand the project, in 1989 the Chelan-Douglas Land Trust gathered a group of community leaders to discuss the potential for a pedestrian/bicycle trail along the river’s east side that would connect to the new parks and trail along the west side. The Complete the Loop Coalition was born, headed by Gordon Congdon Sr. and Bob Parlette. Over the course of several years, the Coalition worked tirelessly to raise funds, gain political support, and increase the awareness and interest of the community for the trail project. The dream was realized in 1994 when approximately 5 miles of paved trail along the east side of the river completed the loop.