Chamna Natural Preserve is a 276-acre park hidden in central Richland along the Yakima River. Despite its relatively small size, Chamna has an extensive trail network, with more than 11 miles of named trails maintained by the Tapteal Greenway for hiker, biker, and equestrian use.
The riparian nature of the park makes it an oasis for wildlife in a part of the state dominated by dry shrub-steppe habitat. One can expect to encounter a wide variety of native and migratory bird species throughout the year as well as deer, rabbits, porcupine, coyotes, beaver, and if you are lucky, rivers otters frolicking in the Yakima.
The River Trail in combination with the Peninsula loop makes a pleasant 3.8 mile introduction to the park. From the parking area, head down the main path and turn left onto the wide trail nearest the river. There is a map of the trail system at this junction. Keep right at all of the main junctions as you head through dense foliage of Willows, Russian Olive, and Locust.
Some of the rights do dead end at the Yakima River. If you end up on one of these, head back to the trail after taking in the water fowl and scenic views. At 0.9 miles arrive at a trail system map at a 4-way junction in a grove of Cottonwoods. Head right to stay on the River Trail, keep straight at an unmarked junction at 1.1 miles and then turn right onto an old road at 1.2 miles (the beginning of the Peninsula Loop).
Pass a trail heading left at 1.4 miles and another trail system map at 1.5 miles that will assure you haven't gotten lost yet. The Peninsula loop heads through tall water logged reeds and marshes overgrown with Cattails. Be on the lookout for wild Roses, Cucumber and Grapes.
Take a right onto the first trail you come to on the Peninsula at 2.4 miles, cross two roads and stay on the River Trail to return to the system map in the grove of Cottonwoods at 2.9 miles. Head back the way you came close to the river or, after inspecting the map, take a different path along the River Trail or explore the sage brush along the Red Tail Trail.
In winter and spring the trails closest to the Yakima River are often muddy or flooded. During these months the Sage Trail and Chamna Trail are usually dry and a better option. The Chamna trail is the wide wood-chipped path heading out of the east end of the parking area. Follow this trail through the sage brush for 1.3 miles to an Osprey nest on a pole and views of the Yakima River.