Our Parks
Badger Mountain Centennial Preserve
Badger Mountain
The product of a grassroots public fundraising campaign by the Friends of Badger Mountain organization, the Preserve was established in 2005, the year of the County’s centennial.  Goals for saving Badger Mountain were to preserve views, protect upland shrub-steppe habitat, and provide for non-motorized uses such as hiking, biking, and horse riding.  In the years since, the Preserve has been expanded to over one square mile in size and features eight miles of trails.  With over 200,000 patron visits each year, it is one of the most visited parks in the Tri-Cities area.



Candy Mountain Preserve
Candy Mountain became Benton County’s tenth park in June of 2016.  A State of Washington grant, matched by funds raised in the community by the Friends of Badger Mountain, afforded the acquisition of 186 acres in Goose Gap and the upper slopes of the mountain.  A parking area and a trail will be developed in the fall of 2016, with interpretive and other elements to be added later.



Horn Rapids Park

Contact Mark Finkbeiner, Park Ranger, at 509-531-7016 
Horn Rapids has been owned by Benton County since the 1960s and is the premiere natural area of the park system.  Protected by over four miles of Yakima River frontage on one side and the public lands of the Hanford Reach National Monument, Rattlesnake Mountain Shooting Facility, and Rattlesnake Slope Wildlife Area on the other, Horn Rapids Park offers over 800 acres of transitional river-to-upland shrub-steppe habitat.  The park has a campground, horse camp, model airplane facility, boat launch, tree collection, and miles of multi-use trails.  Horn Rapids Park is renowned as a sanctuary for both quantity and variety of dragonflies and birds, and listing by the Audubon Society as a designated “Important Bird Area” is pending.


 
Horse Heaven Vista
Horse Heaven Vista 1Horse Heaven Vista 2
Horse Heaven Vista lies above Prosser along State Route 221 on the crest of the Horse Heaven Rim.  A two-acre site,
Horse Heaven Vista is essentially a rest area and view point, with a small parking area and modest shelter.  Benton County has owned Horse Heaven Vista since the early 1960s, and is currently undertaking a $400,000 upgrade of the Vista that will include lighting, paving, landscaping, a restroom, and other refurbishments.
 


Horse Heaven Cemetery 
Added to the parks portfolio in 2012, Horse Heaven Cemetery is a two-acre decommissioned pioneer cemetery located about seven miles south of Benton City.  Established in 1893 by the Dennis family, the cemetery has not had a burial since the 1940s. It has been challenged by the harsh conditions and the passage of time, but the County has been undertaking some modest restoration and beautification efforts in recent years to provide some dignity to the grounds and make it more of a point of interest.



Hover Park
Hover Park lies about six miles downstream of Two Rivers Park on the Columbia River, and is a Corps of Engineers property operated by Benton County under the same lease as Two Rivers.  Hover consists of about 200 acres of undeveloped open space, and is near the site of the old town of Hover, remnants of which can be identified in the area. The Park Board is currently evaluating future options for Hover Park.
 


Rattlesnake Mountain Shooting Facility
The Shooting Facility is operated for Benton County by the Tri-City Shooting Association, and the County leases the property jointly from Washington State and the US Bureau of Land Management.  Multiple ranges have been constructed on the property to accommodate varied shooting disciplines.  The Shooting Association reports enrollment of nearly 2,000 members.



Two Rivers Park
Contact Richard Hillmer, Park Ranger, at 509-531-7106
TwoRivers1   TwoRivers Playground  
Two Rivers is the County’s most developed and most visited park, easily packing-in over 1,000 patrons per day in the summer.  It is a bridge linking urban park amenities such as a playground, picnic sites, and 19 acres of lawn to rural open space qualities such as nature trails, native habitat, and open space.  The park has three sheltered lagoons, fed from over two miles of Columbia River shoreline, and the last downstream developed boat launch in the Tri-Cities.  Benton County leases Two Rivers Park from the US Army Corps of Engineers.



Vista Park
Vista Park Ribbon Cutting   Vista Park Playground
Originally developed by the Vista Junior Women’s Club in 1970, Vista is the County’s smallest park, located in the Tri-Cities Heights neighborhood of Kennewick.  It was completely remodeled in 2015/16, with a new playground, refurbished lawn, donated tree, repainted wall, and other updates.  It is a popular tot-lot/picnic spot for the neighborhood.



Wallula Gap Preserve
Wallula consists of three discontinuous parcels, ownership of which was transferred from the National Park Service to the County in the early 1990s.  The parcels are remote and generally inaccessible, one of which being little more than the sheer basalt cliffs of Wallula Gap itself.  These parcels, along with their sister parcels in the Two Sisters area of Walla Walla County, have “National Natural Landmark” status, and as such the County must file status reports with the Park Service every five years. Wallula is potentially a prime location for land trusts to buy land for perpetual public use, connecting these parcels and facilitating opportunities for unique outdoor experiences in our area.

Updated 12/06/2016

       
       
       

       
      Benton County    620 Market Street    Prosser, Washington 99350
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