Ride the Willapa bike ride and campout returning to its roots with 2024 event

New ‘Family Fun Ride’ offering for families with young kids is new addition to event set for June 22-23


Ride the Willapa is going back to its roots, celebrating its eighth year by coming back to Chehalis and offering an overnight campout along with its June 22-23 bike ride.

This year’s Ride the Willapa event will return to the Veterans Memorial Museum just off Interstate 5 Exit 77 in Chehalis. The ride offers four route options open to riders of all abilities, ranging from Chehalis to Frances in Pacific County.

New to Ride the Willapa this year is the 5-mile Family Fun Ride, a special route for families with kids who want to experience the trail but might not wish to commit to a full day of riding. A car-free trail experience awaits, along with games, snacks and more at Back Memorial Park in Adna.

Three routes for the ride exclusively use the Willapa Hills Trail between Chehalis and Frances, offering cyclists a peaceful and picturesque experience that passes through scenic forests, farmlands and fields. A new route this year brings together the trail, local backroads and the L-3000 line road, presenting a challenging ride for stronger riders.

Also, for the first time since 2019, in cooperation with Washington State Parks, the Rainbow Falls Campout is returning to the event. Through a special arrangement with parks staff, space for 150 campers in the Rainbow Falls State Park Day Use area has been reserved for this event only. Luggage and tent transportation to and from the campout is provided through a  partnership with UPS.

Most Ride the Willapa routes take place on finely crushed gravel. Ride staff recommend any bike with wider tires than thin road bike tires; gravel or mountain bikes will provide the best experience on the trail. Class 1 and Class 3 E-bikes that provide power assistance only are welcome. Riders must use them in accordance with Washington State Parks rules.

One-day and two-day ride tickets are available. Prices start at $40 for adults 18 and over, $25 for youth ages 9-17 and $5 for kids 8 and under with a paying adult. For the Family Fun Ride, all riders are charged a fee of $5.

Ride the Willapa is the primary fundraiser for the Lewis County Community Trails Association (LCCT), a nonprofit organization advocating for and helping support trail construction and maintenance in Lewis County.

In a news release, LCCT thanked Washington State Parks, UPS, Hub City Bike Shop and Jones Creek Brewing for their partnership in the event.

Volunteer opportunities are available for anyone wishing to help out this year. Cycling enthusiasts or young people seeking community service opportunities are encouraged to volunteer to assist with staffing check-in, aid stations and guiding young riders.

For all available information on the ride, visit the Ride the Willapa website at ridethewillapa.com. To register to volunteer, email ridethewillapa@gmail.com