Ride the Willapa: The Product of Caring Citizens in Chehalis, WA

Willapa Hill Trail Riders

Bike Rack in Chehalis, WA

Willapa Hills Trail in Chehalis, by Oly360

Last post we talked about the Willapa Hills Trail, the home of our great Ride the Willapa event. As much as we owe Ride the Willapa to Washington State Parks, we owe the City of Chehalis just as much. This blog post is about Chehalis, WA, and the amazing groups of citizens that live and work there to make it a place they are proud to call home.

Train Station Time Travel

It’s a place that has endured much, and seen a lot of challenges and change. Not unlike a lot of small town America, the Chehalis area was hit pretty hard by the economic downturn. It didn’t take much to land a blow to a town that was already struggling by the changing tides of industry. That is not a unique story, as far as small towns go, but what a group of caring Chehalis residents are doing now to shape their future, is.

Ride the Willapa = The Sum of Its Parts

Ride the Willapa, Sum of Its Parts

Ride the Willapa is the product of no short of 4 community groups, well over 35 volunteers, a handful of amazing sponsorships, and also the melding of 2 city and 1 county government. This event is proof that great things can happen when a group of citizens with a common goal work together. This kind of collaboration is what is starting to shape a new future for Chehalis.

Port of Chehalis


Two of the most impactful groups in that laundry-list of involvement, is the Port of Chehalis and the Chehalis Community Renaissance Team. Both are committed to making Chehalis a place that not only attracts new business and vitality, but also one where residents are proud to say where they are from. It is through these groups, and others like them, that events like Ride the Willapa become a reality.

With this level of community leadership, Chehalis is definitely poised for growth. With many business opportunities available because of a reasonable cost of living and available land to develop to your needs, Chehalis and the surrounding areas have a lot to offer in terms of quality of life, as evidenced by events like Ride the Willapa. As a community, we aim to stay true to our roots.

On behalf of everyone here in Chehalis and the surrounding areas involved with Ride the Willapa, we want to sincerely welcome you to our little town. We hope that you’ll stay a while.

Event Update

Willapa Hills Trail, Adna Trestle

We are all getting our final preparations in order for the big day, and we hope you are, too! At this point you should be able to ride 50 minutes at a steady pace, have your bike tuned and ready for some sweet Willapa Hills Trail action, and do a final gear inventory. Do you have water bottles for the ride? Is your helmet in good shape? Do you have all the camping gear you feel you might need? Do you feel you have all the information you need to make this event just pure fun, and no worries?

Some small pieces of advice:

  • Check the weather forecast a few days before hand. Right now it looks like it’s going to be a pretty warm day (80+), so sunscreen and lots of water are in order!
  • Make sure you’ve got a plan for your meals for the trip. Along the trail and at both camps you’re going to find lots of food options, but those options aren’t always able to accommodate food sensitivities or aversions.
  • Make sure you’ve got the right clothing to be comfortable for the ride. Some of us with less cushioned seats may want to consider getting some bike shorts with padding or gel inserts, and of course for the evening time – layers. It can get a little chilly out in the country!

Let us know if you’ve still got some lingering questions. We are here to help and want to make this event the most fun it can be, for everyone!