Mill Creek Recreation Trail
This path is a great in-town opportunity to get the whole family outside. Playgrounds, bathrooms, benches, and a paved route with multiple access points make it accessible for all. Add in the chance to see wildlife, the flow of Mill Creek, and the scenic Blue Mountains as a back drop–this trail checks off most of the wish list. Speaking of, wish the trail kept going? It does! Join the Bennington Trail system via the Kingfisher Trail or Whitetail Trail to extend the adventure.
- Motorized Vehicles :
- Your Public Lands
City of Walla Walla, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
- What To Do
- How To Get There
There are multiple ways to access the Mill Creek Recreation Trail. The most popular way to join the trail is located at the Walla Walla Community College baseball/softball field parking lot, which is centrally located on the trail. At the east end of this trail is Rooks Park, and at the west end is Eastgate Lions Park. Below, we outline three ways to access this trail.
Walla Walla Community College: From downtown Walla Walla, take Rose Street east. Rose Street will make a bend to the right and continue as East Isaacs Avenue for another 2.5 miles. Turn right onto Tausick Way. In roughly a quarter mile turn left into the parking lot just prior to the Mill Creek bridge.
Rooks Park: From downtown Walla Walla take Rose Street east. Rose Street will make a bend to the right and continue as East Isaacs Avenue for another four miles. Pass by Walla Walla Community College and keep an eye out for Rooks Park signage on your right. Turn right on Rooks Park Road and follow to its end to a large parking lot. You will see signage for the Mill Creek Recreation Trail as you drive into the park.
Eastgate Lions Park: From downtown Walla Walla take Rose Street east. Rose Street with make a bend to the right and continue as East Isaacs Avenue for another 1.5 miles. Turn right on North Wilbur Avenue and take your first left onto Tacoma Street. The parking lot is at the end of the road on the right. The access to the Mill Creek Recreation Trail is at the south end of the parking lot in between the baseball fields. There is signage that designates trail access.
- When To Go
The Mill Creek Recreation Trail is open year round. The Rooks Park parking lot is closed beginning mid October and services at Rooks Park may be limited, such as locked bathroom doors. This trail is so accessible that it definitely warrants multiple visits a year. As Mill Creek's flow changes so does the experience. Spring and fall are of course more dramatic displays of the verdant green rolling fields and multi-color foliage leading the eye to snow-kissed mountains. Strap on the snowshoes when possible as the valley seems to accumulate enough snow a few times a season for such an adventure. The community is lucky to have such a trail. It leads to many different adventures and activities, which is why users should take advantage of such an accessible outdoor opportunity.
- What To Expect
The trail runs east-west paralleling Mill Creek sloping ever so slightly toward town. This elevation change is noticeable when biking. The trail is paved from start to finish, and pets are allowed but must be on a leash. Wheeled transportation is allowed as long as it is non-motorized. The trail covers 2.5 miles from end to end, starting and finishing at parks with playgrounds and restrooms. Enjoy the sound of Mill Creek and views of the Blues and wildlife. There are bridges located at Rooks Park, the U.S. Corps of Engineers office, and Walla Walla Community College allowing access to the south side of Mill Creek into the Bennington trail system. For a longer trip, you can connect into the Bennington trail system at the east end of Mill Creek Recreation Trail by the dam joining the Whitetail Trail or the Kingfisher Trail, which is the south side path along Mill Creek.
Pets must be leashed.
Restrooms and water are located at Rooks Park and Eastgate Lions Park. Restrooms also available at Corps of Engineers parking lot. Several benches along the way make the path accessible and manageable for many users.
- Wildlife Awareness
We are all so fortunate to recreate in the Blue Mountains. So many opportunities exist to play outside whether in a national forest, wilderness area, on a Wild and Scenic River, and more! With these opportunities comes great responsibility to appreciate that we are mere visitors and should all take pride in being good stewards of the wild. Many animals call these protected places home, including moose, elk, bear, cougar, bobcat, and snakes to name a few. Take precautions to respect their home and understand the appropriate response should an encounter occur. Additionally, many plant species thrive in the Blue Mountains, so staying on trail is always good practice. Carry First Aid supplies to better respond to accidents or encounters, and always let others know where the day's adventure is taking you.
- Field Notes
Difficulty Level: Here is what we are thinking when we assign a difficulty level: Day Tripper--You don't have much experience in the area but want to get outside! Great for families of all ages. Adventurer--You know your way around the Blue Mountains and love a leisurely day outdoors. Mountaineer--You are ready for a challenge. Wild places excite you and sweat is the goal. Small children beware. Keep in mind some activities may apply to multiple difficulty levels based on usage.
Pets: In general, pets are allowed on a leash and under control throughout jurisdictions. The only restrictions we have encountered are around swimming areas. As a best practice, be mindful of riparian habitat in general. You never know where a precious spawning area might be located. Pack it in and pack it out applies to your furry friend as well.