Purchased with Conservation Futures funding in 2005 with a subsequent 44 acre addition in 2015, this 465-acre property protects important wildlife habitat and 3,000 feet of Newman Lake shoreline at the same time it provides hiking opportunities for visitors. The trail system consists of loop trails built by the Newman Lake Property Owners Association with the blessing of Spokane County Parks, along with a 2018 trail extension onto the property addition. Old logging roads are connected by a series of single-track trails to form the network of approximately 6 total trail miles.
One enjoyable route is hiking out Bedrock Ridge from the trailhead, passing through a surprisingly lush second-growth forest of cedar and conifer. Just over a half mile into the hike, bear left and downhill on Cross Draw, continuing to where it intersects Turtle Rock Trail. Take a right and head down this old roadbed to the lakeshore, which you'll reach at approximately 1.8 miles. You'll want to linger at Newman Lake, both for the views of the shoreline and the surrounding mountains and also for the native plant garden, installed and maintained by neighbors of this Conservation Futures property.
After taking it all in, continue up the roadbed and just around the bend to rejoin Bedrock Ridge. You'll take this trail all the way back to the parking lot, gaining elevation and getting a few more glimpses of the lake on the part that will be new to you, then eventually rejoining the beginning section to complete the lollipop. In the final few hundred feet before returning to the parking lot, there's the option to take the newer Vision Quest Trail to the west, which adds a 1.5 mile loop on the newest portion of the Conservation Area. Vision Quest takes hikers to the highest point on the property, so the visit includes a little extra elevation gain.
There are a few other trail extensions to explore on the south end of Turtle Rock trail if you're looking for a little more mileage, connecting to an alternate access point on Peninsula Drive. Watch for snowshoe hares, whitetail deer and, if you're lucky, a resident at the eagle’s nest near the lakeshore. This is a regular hike much of the winter (although traction devices might be useful when it’s icy). It could also be a snowshoe hike following winter storms. Be sure to check the Spokane County Parks Trailhead Camera website to assess snow conditions in the parking lot before a winter visit, since following fresh snowfall it might take the plow operators a little extra time to reach this trailhead.