The Waterfront Park in Leavenworth is situated right next to the shops and restaurants of Leavenworth, and makes the perfect place for a mellow stroll along the Wenatchee River. It's a great short hike in all seasons, and provides nice views of the Wenatchee River and surrounding areas, with easy access to the trails within the park.
The main trail starts in the northeastern area of the park, and takes you over a bridge onto Blackbird Island, which has three parallel trails running through it. These trails converge at a bridge which leads into a trail to Enchantment Park. There are a variety of access points to the trails in the park, whether from the parking area at the Waterfront Park, one of the paths coming off Commercial Street, or from the parking area at Enchantment Park.
After a fun couple of rides down the Mountain Coaster, we headed to Enchantment Park as my son wanted to try out riding his scooter in the pump park. Enchantment Park has a trail which connects into the Waterfront Park, so this was the perfect place for some scootering and then a family hike.
While it took us a while to find parking in Leavenworth after the hike, we had no issues getting a spot in Enchantment park, with only a handful of other people in the park. Granted it was a cold late fall afternoon, hovering just above freezing, but downtown Leavenworth was packed with visitors enjoying the Christmas vibe.
The wide gravel trail begins near the playground, and splits apart near the start. We opted to head left on the Enchantment Trail, as I figured we could take the other trail closer to the river on the way back. We passed by a couple of other groups over the course of the hike, but as expected, there were not many people walking along the trail, as it was close to getting dark and very cold.
Near the bridge over to Blackbird Island my son spotted a frozen pond. The ice looked thick for this time of year, and my son was insistent on finding a rock to test the strength of the ice. We were unable to locate a rock of requisite size, however on the way back he grabbed a couple of rocks from the bank of the river. Tossing them on the ice, they harmlessly bounced off, not so much as causing a crack.
Crossing over the Enchantment bridge onto Blackbird Island, the trail split into three, and we opted to head left along the Channel Trail. There were some interpretive sings along the way, a couple of which we stopped to read, but given the receding light and cold temps, there was very little idle time.
While crossing Blackbird Island Bridge it was hard not to notice the Posthotel Leavenworth rising majestically from the banks of the Wenatchee River. While it is probably an impressive structure when viewed from the street as well, it towered above the bridge and river. Once across the bridge, we decided to turn around and head back towards the car.
We took the River Trail back across Blackbird Island, which obviously afforded nice views of the Wenatchee. It would certainly be fun to come back in the summer and throw in a tube or paddleboard and cruise down the river.
While crossing the Enchantment Bridge from Blackbird Island, I couldn't help but marvel at how clear the water was. Granted it wasn't a particularly deep section of the river, and I'm used to the clear water of Lake Chelan, but it was a mesmerizing sight watching the water flow over the rocks and logs on the bottom of the river.
After crossing the bridge, we took the trail closer to the river called the Bear Trail, and noticed a couple of ponds along the way which are open for fishing for anyone under 15. I joked with my son that we should have brought a rod and tried our hand at ice fishing. Towards the end of the trail we had nice views of the Enchantments and the start of Icicle Creek.
We made our way back on the rest of the trail, passing a couple of deer at the end grazing next to the playground at Enchantment Park. Cold, but happy with the hike, we went into Leavenworth and enjoyed a beer at Icicle Brewing and then had an amazing dinner at Larch!