New trails coming to Badger Mountain

New trails coming to Badger Mountain »Play Video
RICHLAND, Wash. -- Action News has learned a new trail is set for hiking on Badger Mountain. It's one of many efforts to improve the weekend hotspot. And that new trail is the tip of the iceberg to other improvements. We learned what's in the works.

Rain or shine, 110 degrees or ten below, you can find hiker Richard Standley on Badger Mountain. Every morning, five days a week.

"Well, I like hiking and getting up in the sagebrush," said Standley.

It's a habit he began nearly eight years ago.

"It's just like getting out of town. Out in the boondocks...You can see the whole Tri-Cities," added Standley.

Richard has no complaints to report about the trail or the signage. Just the steps.

"Well, the steps are kind of dangerous I hope they improve those," said Standley.

He was interested to hear plans for additional trails. Just one plan of many discussed Thursday night. Dozens of people showed up for the meeting. All to provide suggestions for a draft plan that will be created in the coming months. Hikers suggested bathrooms at the top and signage with Spanish instructions.

"I really pretty much enjoy the facility as is, and I would really think that the most that could be accomplished if all parties got along together," said hiker David Bartrand.

Bartrand was on the board of seasoned hikers. The 'Friends of Badger' group announced three new plots of land will be added to the site. Four and a half acres on the northeast side of the mountain. The group hopes to add new trails along the area. One that will bypass the steps on the Canyon route.

But first will come the construction of a south trail that connects to the Skyline Trail leading to the summit. It could happen this spring. Money will come from a $10,000 grant given by REI.

For Richard, the new developments come as more validation to invest his time here.

Officials tell us they're also planning an extended route that connects Little Badger all the way to Red Mountain. That is a long-term plan. The draft plan for the changes proposed Thursday night will be presented in a couple months.