Next time you’re in Valley County with the family and looking for a place to ride bikes, check out the Crown Point Trail along Lake Cascade.
It’s a wide, dirt path (about the width of the Greenbelt) through a forested area above the lake. You can walk down to several sandy beaches along the way, or stop at one of several benches set up at nice vantage points.
And as an added bonus, there are several nesting platforms along the trail that attract osprey. I got an earful of screeching from one osprey as I pedaled by its nest. I tried to stop and take a photo but the bird didn’t like that idea.
Officially, the trail is 2.5 miles each way. But I was able to get in a 6-mile round trip by going all the way to the “trail ends here” sign. The entire ride was flat, which makes it family-friendly.
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To reach the trail, turn left on Lake Way on the north end of Cascade. The trailhead is at the intersection of Vista Point Boulevard. Cones were set up to prevent parking at the trailhead, so I drove down into the Crown Point campground that’s part of Lake Cascade State Park. There’s day-use parking but the park does have a $5 use fee if you don’t have a state parks passport.