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Wenatchee Confluence State Park - Horan Natural Area

Central Washington

Location

Central Washington -- Wenatchee
View map below

Length

2.5 miles, roundtrip

Elevation

Highest Point: 640 ft.

Rating

3.50 out of 5

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Parking Pass/Entry Fee

Discover Pass
 
 

Located within the 197-acre Wenatchee Confluence State Park, just minutes from downtown Wenatchee, the Horan Natural Area is a wonderful place to take a quiet stroll and contemplate the beauty and importance of our state's rivers. Here the wild Wenatchee River flows into the harnessed Columbia. An oasis among parched hills, Horan is also an oasis for critters amid a rapidly developing valley.

Begin by taking the paved Apple Capital Trail to the right, quickly coming to a beautiful art deco-inspired bridge that spans the Wenatchee River. At the far end of the bridge, find the entrance to the Horan Natural Area. Be sure to check out the information kiosk before proceeding. Then, on a gravel surface trail, wander along oxbow ponds bursting with birds and frogs and under rows of cottonwoods. Come to a junction where you can go left or right: it doesn't matter, it's a loop.

Along the way enjoy riparian bottomlands, river views, and glimpses out to Mission Ridge and the Sage Hills. Look for muskrats among the cattails and beavers among the willows. And throughout the Natural Area, watch for birds: warblers, kingfishers, kingbirds, towhees, quails, and scores of others.

History

When settlers arrived in Central Washingtone, explorers and trappers for the Northwest Fur Company paddled the Columbia River and established the area's first trading post. The land that is now the Horan Natural Area was cultivated for a variety of purposes, including growing alfalfa for livestock, vineyard grapes, pear orchards and even a golf driving range. 

In 1990, Chelan County acquired 100 acres of land from the Horan family and turned it into a manmade wetland. The area is now a part of Wenatchee Confluence State Park, and is a year-round oasis for waterfowl, birds, mammals and, in winter, migrating bald eagles.

 

Wenatchee Confluence State Park - Horan Natural Area

Map & Directions

Trailhead
Co-ordinates: 47.4601, -120.3305 Open map in new window

Trailhead

Central Washington -- Wenatchee

Washington State Parks

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Getting There

To park at Wenatchee Confluence State Park: Head southwest on Orondo Ave toward S Wenatchee Ave. Turn right at the first cross street onto S Wenatchee Ave; continue for 2.9 miles. Take the Easy Street exit toward Penny Road/Olds Station. Merge onto Easy Street/Old State Hwy 2. After 0.2 miles, turn right onto Penny Rd for 354 feet. Turn right onto Chester Kimm Rd; continue for 0.2 miles. Turn left onto Olds Station Road; continue for 0.2 miles. Turn right into the parking lot at 333 Olds Station Rd. 

To park at Walla Walla Point Park: Head southwest on Orondo Ave toward S Wenatchee Ave. Turn right onto 9th St E; continue for 0.2 miles. Turn left onto Walla Walla Ave; continue for 0.5 miles. After 0.1 miles, the park entrance will be on your right. You'll reach the natural area by hiking the Apple Capitol Recreational Loop Trail. 

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

Discover Pass
 

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Wenatchee Confluence State Park - Horan Natural Area

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