Ride the Willapa: Ode to Our Namesake

Ride the Willapa: Ode to Our Namesake

This is an ode to our namesake. Our raison d’etre.

Without the Willapa Hills Trail, there would be no Ride the Willapa. And without Washington State Parks, there would be no trail. Because of their 1993 acquisition of the former railroad grade, we get the awesome privilege of putting on this amazing event for you all, using the name of the trail that bares us. We couldn’t be more excited or thankful for State Parks’ involvement and support.

Rainbow Falls

Washington State Parks is the proud steward of both the Willapa Hills Trail AND Rainbow Falls State Park. A nearly 140-acre camping park, Rainbow Falls was constructed in 1935 in the heart of old-growth forest. All the log structures at the park date back to that same year, constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps. And since this post is all about names, Rainbow Falls was affectionately given its moniker because of the rainbow that will cap the small waterfall along the park’s section of the Chehalis River during the right time of day.

Rainbow Falls Ranger House

All About that Campsite

Rainbow Falls is the site of our new Campout offering this year at the park’s day use area (although the Pe Ell School is also still an option). The Campout will bring just the right mix of relaxation and fun to round out your day on the bike. Rainbow Falls boasts some really great hiking trails, 3,400 feet of river shoreline to explore, and some of the great creature comforts that take the edge off sleeping in the great outdoors (bathrooms, showers, etc.).

Forest at Rainbow Falls

The High Noon Sertoma Club is making dinner (and breakfast!) for everyone at the camp ($15 for both meals combined). We’re going to have some great acoustic music for everyone to enjoy by the fireside. Looking to stretch out your tired muscles after the ride? How about a free yoga class provided by Thorbecke’s Fitness Center of Centralia.

The cost of the Rainbow Falls Campout is $4 and nets you a sweet spot in the grass to pitch your tent and get cozy for the night. But for those who would like to take their chances on a full tent or RV campsite at the park, which are available on a first-come, first-served basis, they range in price from $25-40. For more information about camping at the park, call (360)291-3767.

For more information about Rainbow Falls Campout, click here.

Interested in registering for Ride the Willapa? Head to our registration page here.

Helmet at Rainbow Falls

Bicycle on Willapa Hills Trail

Gearing up

So we don’t know about y’all, but we are getting so excited about this ride that we could just *squeeee*. But let’s interject just a small dose of reality. Although Ride the Willapa is a great ride for beginner cyclists of all ages and abilities, it’s still not the sort of thing you want to jump into day-of without having been on a bike for extended periods of time. Most cyclists will complete the ride in 2 to 4 hours, depending on fitness level. That amount of time spent in a bike saddle when you’re not used to it will cripple even the most athletic of us. if you follow us on Facebook we’ll drop friendly reminders of how long you should be able to ride uninterrupted so you can complete the ride without any issues. And don’t forget your helmet!