Discovering Clark County’s Urban Trails: A Conversation with Author Craig Romano
One of the best gifts I ever received was a double stroller right before my second child was born. My husband was a graduate student at Eastern Washington University in Spokane at the time, and we lived right on the Spokane Centennial Trail. The bike path allowed him to ride his bike to campus each day, and every night after dinner I would walk with my kids to see the dam, watch rock climbers belaying and say goodnight to the ducks and horses we could see from the path. In the summer, we would play on a beach and (despite being barely a mile away) both my kids would be asleep in the stroller by the time we got home. The free entertainment for my two toddlers during those years was a lifesaver for my sanity and our extremely tight student budget.
Even though they have long outgrown the stroller, we still love exploring little “hikes” around our neighborhood. When COVID struck almost a year ago, I made it a point to try out a new local trail once a week. We had lived in Vancouver for three years at that point, but I had never known how many fun paths were right around the corner like Whipple Creek and the WSU Cougar trails.
In his newest book “Urban Trails: Vancouver, WA” (Mountaineer Books, 2020), author and trail enthusiast Craig Romano details essentially all of the local trails in Clark and Cowlitz Counties. From forest ranger, to history teacher and now a full-time outdoor writer, Romano developed a love of the natural world growing up in rural New Hampshire. He currently lives in Mt. Vernon with his wife (a Vancouver native) and their 6-year-old son. Romano has written more than 25 outdoor guide books including “Winter Hikes of Western Washington” (Mountaineers Books, 2009) and more. I recently connected with Romano about his love of hiking and running, his passion for environmental conservation and what makes Southwest Washington trails so special.
Read the rest of this article in the full digital issue below.