New Trtek trailhead now has two trails

Trtek Trailhead Scappoose Crown Z Trail Zellerbach columbia county northwest oregon scappoose bottoms commerce center

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.

Columbia Commerce Center Trtek Trailhead CZ Crown Z Zellerbach Trail Scappoose bottoms Columbia County northwest oregon
Identification quiz – which mountains are those in the background?

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.

Mount Hood Trtek Trailhead CZ Crown Z Zellerbach Trail Scappoose bottoms Columbia County northwest oregon
Mount Hood
Mount Adams Trtek Trailhead CZ Crown Z Zellerbach Trail Scappoose bottoms Columbia County northwest oregon
Mount Adams
Mount St. Helens Trtek Trailhead CZ Crown Z Zellerbach Trail Scappoose bottoms Columbia County northwest oregon
Mount St. Helens

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.

Peregrine Falcon Red-shouldered Hawk Trtek Trailhead CZ Crown Z Zellerbach Trail Scappoose bottoms Columbia County northwest oregon
Raptors in tree

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.

Camping: none

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

Published by Jonathan

Educator, Herpetologist, Hiker.

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