Spokane’s Best Parks –
Finch Arboretum may be the most unique on the list of Spokane’s Best Parks, and is the first park on the list that provides a landscape more diverse than simple greens with a playground or two. In fact, diversity is the rule, rather than the exception for Finch Arboretum. To explore the entirety of it takes the bulk of a day. The magic behind Finch Arboretum is how the landscape evolves as you move deeper into the park. Upon arrival, the visitor is greeted with a lush, rolling landscape featuring shallow Garden Springs Creek, a pond, footbridges, and mature trees (fit, of course, for an arboretum).
The park is sloping and located on Sunset Hill, which ascends its way from the river bottoms of downtown Spokane up about 500 feet to a plateau that overlooks the City. The visitor enters Finch Arboretum from the bottom (only about 5 minutes from downtown). From the entrance, there is nowhere to go but up. The hill is gentle, however, and fit for young and old. Garden Springs Creek provides a natural waypoint to follow as you mosey up the hill. Ever so gradually, you notice landscape changes as you move deeper into the park. There is plenty to explore in Finch Arboretum but your first inclination is likely the best: keep following the creek up the hill. Eventually, you find you are no longer in a park with manicured greens and strategically planted trees, but in a natural area lush with foliage and the only thing manicured is the foot trail that your walking upon. Finch Arboretum terminates at the headwaters of Garden Springs Creek.