Biking The Apple Capital Recreational Loop Trail

An Easy, Paved Trail Running Along The Columbia River In Wenatchee


Apple Capital Loop Trail in Wenatchee


The Apple Capital Recreational Loop Trail, also more commonly referred to as the “Loop Trail,” is a 10-mile paved trail running along both shores of the Columbia River in Wenatchee, WA. Popular with cyclists, joggers, dog-walkers, and more, this trail provides excellent views of the river, the city, and the nearby mountains. With a mostly level grade, it is easy enough for everyone to enjoy. Nearby numerous parks, local businesses, the market, and rest areas make this an enjoyable experience.

It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them.
— Ernest Hemingway


A 10-Mile Loop In Scenic Wenatchee


Loop Trail


After taking a few hours break from our morning hike to Saddle Rock, we were ready to hit the bike trail around 4PM. Part of the path runs through Wenatchee Confluence State Park, where we were camping for the weekend. We brought some water and snacks along in a backpack, strapped on our helmets, and away we went.

Riding in a clockwise direction, we quickly left the park boundary and headed to our first bridge crossing, which was Highway 2. The bridge provided a wide, barricaded pedestrian path, keeping us safe from the vehicles. After making it across, the trail continued south along the river, and the sounds of traffic quickly faded.


The beautiful, sunny afternoon gave us unobstructed views all around. There is little shade along the northeastern portion of the route, but fortunately, there was a cool, continuous breeze. Managed by the Chelan County P.U.D., there are picnic tables and boardwalks hosting information regarding area wildlife just off the trail, providing views and places to rest. On this side of the river, we had stopped to appreciate the views and noticed some movement in the rocks. Focusing in, we realized the movement was a marmot enjoying the sun. Just as we had caught sight of the marmot, it caught sight of us and began blasting its loud vocal alarm to alert others of our intruding presence.


We continued south and detoured to explore the Russell Congdon Recognition Plaza. Dr. Congdon was the first trained surgeon in North Central Washington and moved to Wenatchee in 1909 to determine the cause of the area typhoid outbreak. He was a respected physician, ornithologist, and amateur archeologist. This space provides seating, plaques, blossoming trees, and a gentle fountain. The fountain layout supplied areas where the water pooled and we joyfully watched small birds as they bathed in these spots.


Back on our bikes, we continued to the Columbia River Bridge, also known as Old Wenatchee Bridge. We saw more marmots and paused to take a look around. As part of the trail, there is no automobile traffic to worry about here, and there are lovely views of the Columbia and the city of Wenatchee. We soon found ourselves outside the Pybus Market, and we definitely recommend a visit to this bustling public market. The variety of quality vendors makes this a must see.


This side of the river boasts several parks, gardens, and art displays. There are so many places to visit. Public restrooms and picnic tables are plentiful in the parks. It is immediately apparent that much planning and care was taken in the layout in conserving of this public space. Geese grazing on the green grasses of the park lawns, ducks and other waterfowl grace the waters within and adjacent to the trail.


Continuing north, we approached Horan Natural Area, which is part of Wenatchee Confluence State Park and lies on the south side of the Wenatchee River. Bikes are not allowed in the natural area, so we didn’t explore much of it, although we were lucky to see a brightly colored pheasant just inside the entrance.


We crossed over one last pedestrian bridge and were back in the park and at our campsite. We had had a full day of hiking and biking. The afternoon light was beginning to fade, so we started our campfire, roasted a few marshmallows, enjoyed a brew and called it a day!



Final Thoughts


Welcome sign to Wenatchee Confluence State Park


Time outdoors, a great bike path, nature, views, and wildlife were just some of the great things we got to experience along The Apple Capital Recreational Loop Trail. This was an excellent way for us to get around and enjoy some of what Wenatchee has to offer. Whether out for a stroll or putting in some easy mileage on a bicycle, this trail could not have been more convenient and accessible.


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