Popular Richland hiking trail to expand eastward, to Little Badger Mountain

RICHLAND, Wash. — On a warm, sunny day, Bob Bass inspects a part of a trail expansion coming off of Badger Mountain in Richland.

“It’s been quite an effort, time wise,” Bass said.

Bob serves as the President of Friends of Badger Mountain. They’re the group that started the efforts to create hiking paths on Badger and Candy Mountain.

Soon, their list of trails will extend onto Little Badger Mountain.

“It’s a lot of work and it takes a lot of patience, a lot of meetings. We have real good relationships with the county and the city,” Bass said.

In April, they closed on the final piece of land in Richland that they needed to ensure the trail could extend eastward.

Bob described what it will look like as they extend further, onto Little Badger Mountain.

“Now we’re coming off, down to Queensgate we are working with the Westcliffe Homeowners Association to either purchase or get an easement to work a small section of trail that we’ve had to rebuild,” Bob motioned to a closed-off trail head along the crest of Queensgate Drive.

Bob said eventually, there will be a pedestrian crossing to get to the continuation of the trail.

“We’re going to have a trail system extend across Queensgate, down into this area and through this sagebrush depression here and it’s going to go up toward those homes and then it’s going to go easterly all the way to those water tanks,” he explained.

The trail will continue along a ridge on Little Badger, then make it’s way to Morency Drive in Richland and eventually lead hikers and bikers to the Amon Creek Preserve.

Bob said the full continuation should be finished by 2025, but work on the eastward expansion will begin in fall 2022.

He said he’s proud of the work the organization and volunteers have accomplished and look forward to more expansions to come.

“You know we feel like we’re contributing something real valuable, something that we certainly appreciate; we know we’re leaving something here that’s going to go well beyond our lifetimes and that’s pretty comfortable,” Bass said.

Friends of Badger Mountain is also looking for volunteers to help maintain trails and work on new ones, you can get involved by visiting their website.