Irene Rinehart Park, part of the Ellensburg development project, is about 115.0 acres of lush green regional park along the edges of the Yakima River. An easy trip from Seattle, Ellensburg itself is not a very populated city, and if you drive through it, you might get that quintessential countryside feeling. And the park carries that feeling forward. It complements the quaintness of the city of Ellensburg while providing its own charm with the flowing river, creeks, ducks, and footpaths. The park offers an easy day hike with family and kid-friendly amenities.
From the parking lot, walk parallel to the park on the gravel path and reach its southern end to find the small wooden bridge over the beautiful Yakima River. After crossing the bridge, you will end up on a beaten trail running parallel to the river. It is a very quiet trail that might offer you wildflowers depending on the season.
The park also offers a large play area, a volleyball court, a picnic shelter with barbecue grills, and beautiful spots for swimming. Note that fishing in the ponds is prohibited from May 15 to September 15, which coincides with the park's open season. Fishing is allowed in the nearby Yakima River, however. The park is close to Yakima Canyon, which offers opportunities to explore nearby desert hikes such as Umtanum Ridge Crest or Umtanum Canyon Creek. This well-maintained park receives relatively few visitors, and it is a quaint mix of natural and urban environments.