News & Press

WENATCHEE, WA – Sage Hills trails system will close for four months starting Wednesday, Dec. 1, to provide winter sustenance and quiet rangeland for mule deer and other wildlife. The area will re-open for outdoor recreation around April 1, 2022.

The first snow has arrived at higher elevations, and mule deer are already moving into their winter refuge in the Wenatchee foothills, said Von Pope, senior wildlife biologist at Chelan PUD. The first mule deer count showed about 20% more deer than normal for this time of year, he said.

Starting today, Nov. 17, there will be crews at Horse Lake Reserve near the lower barn/lower end of Burts Trail doing restoration work. Crews will be planting native seedlings on Wed, Nov 17 then later in the week and possibly into early next week, they will be applying herbicide. 

Burts Trail is still open, but you may want to avoid the area when crews are using ATVs for herbicide spraying. 


WENATCHEE — Ten students in WestSide High School’s 4-H Eco-Stewardship Program ventured out to north foothills land owned by the Chelan-Douglas Land Trust Wednesday afternoon to assist with planting sagebrush seedlings.

The additional plants are needed to replenish food for mule deer and other wildlife after two wildfires in the past 10 years burned all of the sagebrush in the area, said Braden Hourigan, who helped coordinate the event for the Land Trust.

Icicle Fund is now accepting applications from eligible non-profit organizations through its Community Grant Program. The deadline is December 10, 2021. 

WENATCHEE — A new grant will help the city of Wenatchee further connect the trail system in the foothills.

City Council accepted a $491,750 grant from the state Recreation Conservation Office Thursday night. The grant will go toward the city’s Foothills Regional Recreation Area Project, which would acquire about 650 acres for non-motorized recreation, education and habitat preservation.

KPQ News Radio:

Horselake Road in Wenatchee, which leads to the popular Horse Lake Reserve trails, is now closed because of extreme hot and dry conditions and a concern over wildfires.

Chelan County commissioners closed the road Tuesday at the request of the Chelan-Douglas Land Trust, and crews then closed the gate at the lower portion of Horselake Road.

It will be re-opened when commissioners and the county fire marshal decide conditions are safe.

Hikers and bikers can get to Horse Lake Reserve through the Sage Hills trailhead on Sage Hills Drive.

WENATCHEE — Washington Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz stood at the foot of the burn scar left by the Red Apple Fire on Tuesday, and announced the emergency closure of wild areas she supervises in eastern Washington.

Effective Friday, lands managed by the Department of Natural Resources are closed to recreation and public access, to help prevent similar human-caused wildfires from taking hold. The order includes DNR-managed state lands, conservation areas, community forests and associated roads, trails, campgrounds, recreational sites and recreational facilities.

Six community forest projects to be funded in the capital budget

For a variety of reasons, the Wenatchee Foothills are attracting bigger-than-usual crowds this spring and that has led to illegal parking and other problems.

Spring typically brings a throng of people to the trails, looking for a chance to witness the annual rush of brightly colored lupin, arrowleaf balsamroot and other wildflowers.

But this year, the crowds have been especially heavy, quickly filling parking lots that serve the trail system.

A new StoryWalk® book has been installed this spring at Jacobson Preserve in Wenatchee!

Walk the beginning of the trail to read  My Colors, My World/Mis Colores, Mi Mundo by Maya Christina Gonzales, a colorful bilingual board book that follows Maya as she discovers all the colors in her world.

WENATCHEE — There has been a common theme among trails across the Wenatchee Valley since last year: Growing popularity.

The surge in trail use could mean even larger crowds at popular spots, such as Saddlerock or Colchuck Lake trailheads, according to local outdoor organizations.

“I think everyone’s looking for something to do,” said Wenatchee resident Stacey Hill, who was taking her first hike of the season on Sage Hills this week.

Hill was one of a few hikers out Thursday morning, soaking in the sun while catching first glimpses of wildflowers.