The delightful Riverside State Park (www.parks.wa.gov ) six miles northwest of Spokane  has open ponderosa pine forests with a grassy understory. As the name suggests, it sits along the Spokane River. Access is from Nine Mile Road on the north side of the river or several convoluted routes along the south shore.
The 7,655-acre Riverside State Park is a popular place for camping, hiking, horseback riding (guided horseback rides are offered by a concessionaire), bird-watching, and kayaking (class III rapids).
A favorite hiking destination is the “Bowl and Pitcher” area, where a trail leaves the campground and crosses a suspension bridge to connect with a network of enjoyable paths. These unusual volcanic formations stand along the fast-flowing river and are visible from a dramatic overlook; the resemblance to a bowl and pitcher is vague. Get here by heading northwest from town on Highway 291 (Nine Mile Road) and turning left onto Rifle Club Road, then left again on Aubrey L. White Parkway after a half mile. The park entrance and the Bowl and Pitcher are on the right after 1.7 miles.
Another feature of Riverside State Park is the Spokane House Interpretive Center (12 miles northwest of Spokane on Hwy. 291, 509/466-4747 Wed.–Sun. 10 a.m.–6 p.m. summers only, free) on the site of the first structure built by white men in the Pacific Northwest. Erected in 1810 by the Northwest Fur Company, this fur-trading post sat at the confluence of the Spokane and Little Spokane Rivers.
After 16 years of use, the post was moved to a better site at Kettle Falls. No evidence remains of the trading post, but the interpretive center relates its history in a diorama, exhibits, and artifacts. It is located a half mile north of the bridge (on the northeast bank).