Stan Hedwall Park is a great place to start as it offers plenty of parking and sits just inside Chehalis city limits. There is no charge to park at Stan Hedwall Park.
Once on your bike, exit the park and take a left at Rice Road, which becomes 13th Street as it enters Chehalis. Recreation Park will be on your left, and you will want to signal just before William Avenue so you can turn left there.
Turn left on William and bear right on Cascade Avenue, following it all the way to Main Street. You’ll see St. Joseph Parish and its accompanying school, and also pass through a peaceful residential neighborhood.
Turn left on Main Street and you’ll soon pass the Lewis County Courthouse, which was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2014. From here, you have two options: continue on Main and then take a left on Riverside to connect with the Willapa Hills Trail, but for purposes of this guide you’ll turn right on State Avenue at the traffic light.
Look immediately for Prindle Street, where you’ll turn left. Use caution when crossing the tracks, then bear right onto NW St. Helens Avenue. You’ll pass a few homes and New Beginnings Church, then turn right onto NW Pennsylvania Avenue.
Stop for a moment and look at the homes that line both sides of the street; you’re in a neighborhood that has been added to the National Register of Historic Places. These stately homes were once the abodes for many prominent founders of Chehalis, and many have been well-kept for years.
Continue riding and take a left at NW West St., then head over the overpass and at the stop, bear straight to continue on Airport Road. You’ll pass the Chehalis-Centralia Airport, the county’s largest aviation terminal and center for many community events.
Stay on Airport Road and take a look at Riverside Golf Course to your left. You’re right next to the Chehalis River. After another mile and a half, Airport Road connects with Louisiana Avenue, but more importantly it connects with the brand-new Airport Road Trail, a multi-use path that was built specifically for cyclists and pedestrians. Take a left on the trail and enjoy it!
The Airport Road Trail is nearly two miles in length and for now terminates at Mellen Street. Because of the new street configuration, you will need to dismount your bicycle and cross three crosswalks. Once through the freeway interchange, hop back on the bike and take a left on Marsh Avenue, then continue onto Lakeshore Drive and then take a right on Pear.
Continue on Pear Street through the residential neighborhoods of south Centralia, and you’ll soon be on the campus of Centralia College, a center of major change and growth while remaining the primary institution of higher learning in Lewis County.
Continue through the intersection of Pearl Street and bear left on Tower. You may need to wait a few minutes to let traffic pass, but be mindful of all traffic laws and move into the right lane of northbound Tower.
This portion of the ride takes you to downtown Centralia, home to many historic shops and businesses. Stop in at the Olympic Club for a drink, grab a bite at Dawn’s Delectables or select from many of the other businesses in the area catering to folks just like you. There are plenty of places to eat and drink in downtown Centralia, so take your pick!
Once back on your bike, head over to Pearl Street and follow the route you just took in reverse. On the way back, when you reach Main Street in Chehalis, take a left instead of a right at Cascade Avenue and begin to explore the downtown area of Chehalis. Eateries, shops and more await.
When all is said and done, your total trip should be somewhere in the neighborhood of 12 to 15 miles, all in the friendly neighborhoods of the Twin Cities.