Spring hiking season in the Wenatchee foothills is about to open. 

Chelan PUD, the city of Wenatchee, and the Chelan Douglas Land Trust are opening the foothills trail systems for outdoor recreation on Monday. 

PUD spokesperson Rachel Hansen says the two agencies and the city together own all of the foothills land between Saddle Rock in the south and Horselake Road to the north. 

"We all coordinate together to close that from December until April as a wildlife preserve," said Hansen. 

The opening of the land will be in synch with Chelan County, which opening Burch Mountain and Horselake roads that lead into the foothills on Monday. 

Hansen says there'll likely be a lot of people who will head into the foothills quickly. 

"There's a lot of interest in hiking and biking the Wenatchee foothills as it starts to green up," Hansen said. "It's a beautiful time of year. The weather is nice and mild." 

Chelan PUD crews will be replacing some transmission poles in Horse Lake Reserve in early April but will not be closing any trails. 

The three agencies coordinate to close the foothills between December and April so mule deer and other wildlife can use the space as a winter refuge. 

Chelan PUD manages Home Water Wildlife Preserve – about 960 acres in the heart of Sage Hills – as part of its federal license to operate Rock Island Dam. Winter closures are a condition of the permitted seasonal trail use.   

Chelan-Douglas Land Trust and the City of Wenatchee also close public access to more than 2,200 acres of open space adjacent to PUD property to provide additional winter range for wildlife. 

Chelan-Douglas Land Trust is conducting trail maintenance work across the Foothills beginning with the Saddle Rock Traverse Trail, with intermittent trail closures. 

 The Land Trust also has several hikes in the foothills that people can sign up for. 


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