Lacamas Lake

KEY: H – Hike | B – Bike | W – Water Route

Lake River to Bachelor Island | W

Lewis and Clark passed this lush atoll in both 1805 and 1806, naming it Cathlapotle Island and noting a village with long plankhouses on the mainland behind it. Today that’s Ridgefield, Washington, and it’s where you’ll start a 10-mile birdathon by slipping into Lake River and drifting downstream toward Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge and numerous great blue heron rookeries. Mind the currents and shipping traffic in the Columbia River, and don’t miss the entrance to Bachelor Island Slough, your return route, at the southern tip. Access: Boat ramp at the west end of Division Street, Ridgefield

Lacamas Lake Park | H, B

The 312 acres here pack in conifer groves, fetching waterfalls, fir-fringed Round Lake, and, in spring, tiers of rocky meadows electrified by scores of camas lilies. Mountain bikers fawn over challenging patches of rooty singletrack and lung-burning chugs up dirt roads. Birders favor the adjoining Washougal River Greenway for a 1.5-mile tour of avian-rich wetlands. Need a skinny-tire cruise? The Lacamas Heritage Trail stretches 3.5 miles alongside Lacamas Lake, offering chance encounters with herons, doublecrested cormorants, and bald eagles. Access: 2700 SE Everett St, Camas

Salmon Creek Greenway | H, B

Departing from Salmon Creek Park in North Vancouver, this easy three-mile, paved path borders some of the most impressive wetland habitat on either side of the Columbia. Near the two-mile point, the trail funnels though an archway of trees abutting a steep, fern-blanketed embankment. The slightly elevated course here delivers eye-level views of darting songbirds and hang-gliding snowy egrets. Patient souls may also glimpse bashful river otters inspecting the shoreline. On the return ride, soak up inspiring views of Mount Hood beaming in the distance. Access: Salmon Creek Park, 1112 NE 117th St, Vancouver. $3 day use fee; bike visitors excepted. Note: Drivers can avoid fees by parking at the W 36th Avenue trailhead.


Burgerville As if you needed another excuse to pull over for a cherry chocolate shake—B’ville’s flagship Vancouver location is the only one that offers beer and wine (Northwest labels, of course) to sip while you nosh on your Walla Walla onion rings. 13309 NE Highway 99, Vancouver;



 Read This Now

Wild in the City: Exploring the Intertwine

Mike Houck, executive director of the Urban Greenspaces Institute and one of Portland’s most vocal conservationists, lands yet another victory for the metro area’s natural places as coeditor of this comprehensive update to the original Wild in the City volume, released in 2000. Detailing more than 75 local parks and trails, complete with easy-to-read maps, directions, flora and fauna notes from naturalists like the Portland Audubon Society’s Bob Sallinger, and essays from writers such as Ursula K. Le Guin, it’s as much indispensable field guide as it is quirky coffee-table reader.

This article appeared in the July 2012 issue of Portland Monthly Magazine.

Show Comments

More in City Trails

Hoyt arboretum sfbwif

Trail City

Express Escapes

You don't have to ramble too far to find a scenic vista in this town.

  • 06/15/2012
Trail city afxjud

Cover Story

Trail City

Within 20 miles of downtown you’ll find an astonishing 1,200 miles of trails and 40,000 acres of parks and natural areas. as hiking season arrives, we celebrate our seamless connection to nature by mapping 32 places to get outside in every corner of

  • 06/15/2012
Smith bybee wetlands oupn4f

Trail City

Afternoon Delights

Tell the boss you're working from home and take a tour of nearby nature.

  • 06/15/2012
Hillsboro jackson bottom wetlands preserve lhgffg

Trail City

Sublime Southwest

The 'burbs have their own splendid sites that deserve a detailed look.

  • 06/15/2012
Clackamas mount talbert nature park tgyafp

Trail City


Take a detour during your commute down I-5 South, and pay a visit to some enchanting green spaces in Oregon City and Milwaukie.

  • 06/15/2012
Sandy river impdac

Trail City


Overnight adventure beckons at Oxbow Regional Park.

  • 06/15/2012
Maplecemetery v3xe46


Portland's Top Five Fall Foliage Walks

Where to see autumn color at its best right now

  • 11/11/2012
Portland terwilleger turns wqygkx

Trail City

The High Road

Happy 100th birthday to Terwilliger Parkway! You don't look a day over 95.

  • 06/15/2012
Heroes of the intertwine r32n3i

Trail City

Heroes of the Intertwine

Let's take a moment to deliver some well-deserved thanks to those visionary folks who've fought to keep our trails and parks pristine.

  • 06/15/2012

Trail City

A Year in Nature

Who says hiking is limited to summer sojourns? Nature is happening year-round.

  • 06/22/2012