“Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts.” – Rachel Carson
One of the most unique features of downtown Chelan is that it is surrounded by natural beauty in every direction. Stand and turn in a circle in downtown and you’ll see the turquoise blue waters of the iconic lake that gives the town its name, the rolling shrub steppe of the Chelan Butte, and if you look uplake, the steeper wooded hills that grow in size until they reach the Cascade Mountains.
This year, we even had snow-capped hills all the way into June!
These lands and waters are more than just a beautiful view. Our lakes, rivers, meadows, and foothills are valuable resources that provide the area with quality water, recreation, and a vital connection to nature. The lake provides the community with clean drinking water, and the rolling hills around it are filled with apple and cherry orchards, vineyards and farms. Look at the lake early mornings and you’ll see boats full of people fishing for Kokanee, Salmon and Trout.
The natural resources also help keep us healthy. Outdoor exercise has been shown to improve mood, restore attention, and decrease anger, depression, and stress.
You can connect to nature and hike on a network of trails around the Lake Chelan Valley, some of which are right downtown. You can swim, paddleboard and kayak in the cold clean lake or in the slightly calmer, slightly warmer river just behind downtown. You can stroll the Riverwalk, play putt putt golf or try your hand at skateboarding in Don Morse Park.
There’s something for everyone outside in the fresh air.
It’s not just people that rely on Lake Chelan’s natural areas –our diverse wildlife also call this place home. Birds of prey circle in the sky looking for their next meal. Mule deer, big horn sheep, coyotes, cougar, bear, snakes and an abundance of other animals, from mice to marmots, roam the hills and valleys along the lake.
July’s Third Thursday in Historic Downtown Chelan honors the natural beauty around us, and the physical, mental and spiritual health it provides residents and guests all year long. Hope to see you there.
Find a full list of activities here.