Author Archives: Jim

Vancouver Waterfront

The Vancouver Waterfront has become a great place for long level walks.  Several new portions of path have been added, but one section, immediately east of I-5 has deteriorated and been closed to access.  Still, there is another route and just under 2 miles of connected waterfront walk.

I feel the best place to start a walk on the waterfront is on Columbia Way just east of I-5.  From here you can walk along the river either east or west, or you can cross Columbia Way and visit the Old Apple Tree, the Confluence Land Bridge and Fort Vancouver.

Cedar Ridge

The Cedar Ridge neighborhood in Ridgefield has a short paved path that wraps around a small stream, tributary to Gee Creek.  A few short dirt trails lead down to the stream.  To explore, I parked on S Cedar Ridge  Drive, entered the trail from there, followed it around as it looped north and then south.  At the end the paved path splits with benches at the end of each fork.  From the end of the right fork I followed a dirt trail that continued down the hill, then across and along the stream.  The paved path was about 1,000ft, and the dirt trail took me about another 650ft before it hit a steep drop to the creek, which I did not bother to cross.

If you continue west to the end of Cedar Ridge Dr there is a narrow paved road that goes past a storm water facility, and then has a bench set by the hill. I could see there being someday a trail connecting this site with the other paved trail to the east. The land along the stream is owned by the City of Ridgefield and could make for a nice nature trail park. A bigger task would be to build a trail west connecting to Gee Creek and Abrams Park.

Parkview Trails

This neighborhood has several nice trails that meander along the creek and past several wetland sites.

<iframe src=”!1m18!1m12!1m3!1d2101.0924580783167!2d-122.56549404952139!3d45.78849697900352!2m3!1f0!2f0!3f0!3m2!1i1024!2i768!4f13.1!3m3!1m2!1s0x0%3A0x0!2zNDXCsDQ3JzE4LjYiTiAxMjLCsDMzJzQ3LjkiVw!5e1!3m2!1sen!2sus!4v1557812065393!5m2!1sen!2sus” width=”100%” height=”450″ frameborder=”0″ style=”border:0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>

Here is one option for a nice 1-1/2 mile loop walk in this neighborhood.

  1. Start at NW 6th St and NW 29th Pl (enjoy the wetland at this site).
  2. Walk east along 6th St, then left to continue on 6th St, follow it as it curves to the left and becomes NW 25th Ave.
  3. Cross to McConnell Park, and walk the sidewalk around the park (along 8th St and 24th Ave), then follow the path back across the park to 25th Ave.
  4. Walk north on 25th Ave, cross 10th Way, then enter the dirt path to the right.
  5. Follow this dirt path along the stream, cross 12th St and continue alongside the stream.
  6. Cross the bridge over the stream to 22nd Pl.
  7. Go north and follow the grassy path across the field to NW 15th St.
  8. Turn left, then turn left onto the paved pedestrian path toward the south.
  9. Follow the right branch of this path to 24th Ave.
  10. Cross 24th and follow the pedestrian path to 25th Ave.
  11. Go south along 25th Ave, pass 12th St and 11th St then turn right onto the paved pedestrian pathway.
  12. You can cross 27th Ave, but the pathway straight ahead dead ends, so instead turn left onto 27th Ave, then turn right on 10th St.
  13. A short distance down 10th St, turn left onto another paved pedestrian pathway.
  14. Follow this path to 7th St.
  15. Turn left, then right onto NW 30th Path.
  16. Follow that path to NW 6th St and back to your start point.

Hillhurst Highlands

This new development is being built with a pedestrian trail and nature play area on the west edge.  While this is a short walk, the nature play area is unique and attractive with the use of logs and stumps as playground equipment.  Mid-block walks through the neighborhood will also allow for a longer walking route to explore.

Washougal River State Park

An undeveloped piece of land held by the state for a planned future park.  This site has one road running through it parallel to the Washougal River for 1.6 miles.  At the end of the road is a private cabin whose only road access is through the park.  Respect the landowner and turn back when you reach a very steep downhill slope.

Parking is at a small pullout a short distance before the gate.  The road in the park is paved for about another 800ft after the gate and then continues as a dirt road.  If you want to get down to the river, your only opportunity is a rough trail approximately 900-1000ft after the pavement ends.

Steamboat Landing Park

I stopped at the Pendleton Woolen Mills Store and was intrigued by a tunnel under Highway 14.  This tunnel took me to the dike path that runs from Steamboat Landing Park (next to the river side of the tunnel) to Captain William Clark Park, and further to Steigerwald Lake National Wildlife Refuge.

For this walk, you could either park at the Pendleton Store or at Steamboat Landing Park.

Cape Horn Loop Trail

This is a 7.4 mile loop with tremendous views of the Columbia River Gorge.  A section of the trail is closed during Peregrine Falcon nesting season, so if you want to walk the full loop do not visit between February 1 and July 15.  This trail can be rough and steep in places.

In addition to the loop trail, there are other connecting trails the can be explored.  For example, a short distance west of Pioneer Point the trail follows the power line road.  Turn north-east on the power line road, and you could follow it through to Canyon Creek Road.

The easiest location to start on the trail is the Salmon Falls Park and Ride at Salmon Falls Rd and Highway 14. The Upper Trailhead would make for an easier walk to the high viewpoints. Parking on Cape Horn Road is less desirable, but could allow for more easily exploring the lower section of the trail when it is not Falcon nesting season.

Schmid Family Park

A large field along the Washougal River, this park has a trail to the river, and along the river.  Following the trail around the bend downriver can get you to Hathaway Park.  Walk to the river, to the bend, then back across the field for a 1/2 mile loop.

Cougar Canyon Creek Trail

View accessibility details from Access Trails here.

There are two distinct parts to this trail divided at NW 119th St.

North of NW 119th St is a paved multi-use trail that connects to the Salmon Creek Greenway Trail.  This is a 1/2 mile walk alongside Cougar Canyon Creek.  4/10ths mile from the road is a connector trail that climbs 1/10th mile up to NW 125th St & NW 15th Ave.

South of NW 119th St is an unimproved dirt trail the follows Cougar Canyon Creek, then turns to the west to climb up to park land labelled Canyon Creek Woods.  With a trail loop in that area, this trail is about 1/2 mile, making for a 1 mile out and back hike.

While the trail does not continue further up Cougar Canyon Creek yet, the county owns many parcels along the creek, so that eventually it may be possible to complete a trail all the way through to Hazel Dell Ave.

Foley Neighborhood Park Property

At first glance this just looks like an empty lot.  Walk to the back of the field, and you find trails through a wooded area and an orchard.  The first couple times I visited the site, I saw deer in the orchard.  The fence on the north side has an opening which allows the deer to easily access the orchard.

To walk the trail through the wooded area, around the perimeter of the orchard and return to the start is about a 1/3 mile path, but of course, you could meander through the orchard.