Last year a new trailhead was completed on the Crown Z, right in the middle of Scappoose. The “Trtek Trailhead” (what we used to call the Scappoose Trailhead) will be the easiest spot for most people to access the Scappoose Bottoms portion of the CZ Trail. It’s a fine parking lot and includes restrooms, picnic tables, and a bike repair stand.
If you take the path that’s on the right when you enter the parking lot, you will be on the CZ Trail and in 1.3 miles reach the Chapman Landing Trailhead on E. Columbia Avenue. But my wife and I were surprised to discover that there is now a path to the left as well, one that curls up north 1.2 miles through the future site of the Columbia Commerce Center.
The open fields attract a variety of birds, including huge flocks of waterfowl.
It appears that some of these fields are slated for development of the commerce center, but others will remain as stormwater detention.
Besides lots of kestrels, red-tailed hawks, and northern harriers, several less-common birds have been spotted including rough-legged hawks, American pipits, and a snow bunting. On my second walk on the trail I was lucky to see a northern shrike along with the common raptors, though the great distance meant it wasn’t much of a photo.
That day there were spectacular views of our local mountains.
Of course the Trtek Trailhead still connects to the CZ Trail too, and that old favorite continues to produce. Matt already posted the most exciting wildlife we saw in the Scappoose Bottoms this year, but I have to add on this little November walk I did just to show how much diversity you can see on a single day.
The ponds were productive as always. Ducks were in the water, kinglets, chickadees, bushtits, and warblers flew from branch to branch, and a Wilson’s Snipe burst across the trail too fast to photograph.
But the real prize of the day was just on the other side of the ponds. Off in the distance I spotted a tree 250 yards from the trail that appeared to have a pair of raptors sitting in it. Even with my 24x zoom camera it wasn’t easy to tell what they were.
The bird on the right appears to be a Red-shouldered Hawk, but the bird on the left….is a Peregrine Falcon!
I can’t promise a falcon every day, but hike here often enough and you’re sure to see your own treasures (there was a Golden Eagle sighting a few weeks ago). With two trails to choose from, the Trtek Trailhead is an excellent launching pad for regional birders.
Trtek Trailhead at a glance
What: Hiking, bird watching, blackberry and cherry picking
Where: Trtek Trailhead (45.7606, -122.8674) is on NE Crown Zellerbach Road 0.4 miles east of Hwy 30 in Scappoose, directly east of the intersection with West Lane Road.
Hiking: 2.6 miles to go from Trtek Trailhead to the Chapman Landing Trailhead and back, or 2.5 miles to from Trtek Trailhead to the end of the Columbia Commerce Center Sidewalk and back. Part of the 22-mile long CZ Trail, with another 2.5 miles one-way in the opposite direction to get from the Trtek Trailhead to Pisgah Trailhead on the west side of Scappoose.
Notable Wildlife: Beaver, River Otter, Brush Rabbit, woodpeckers, warblers, sparrows, raptors, American Bittern, Green Heron, Wilson’s Snipe, Virginia Rail, Sandhill Crane, other wading birds, waterfowl, Western Painted Turtle, garter snakes
Property status: Columbia County Parks
Website: Crown Z Trail official site
Friends of CZ Linear Park Trail