Having leased the Prescott Beach area from PG&E since the 1980s, the Columbia County commissioners are finally purchasing the land outright. The $250,000 sale of the 63-acre property will allow the county to install a wastewater treatment system for the city of Prescott while also making improvements to the recreational area, as reported by the Spotlight:
Potential additions to the property, all of which will take some time to carry out, could include:
- Camping sites
- RV sites
- Restroom and shower
- Event venues
- Kayak dock and boat launch
- Hiking trails
- Wildlife viewing area
- History signage/kiosks
- Wildlife signage/kiosks
Pictures of the county’s plan from 2019 as conceptualized by Lower Columbia Engineering LLC can be seen here:
Anyone who has been to Prescott Beach knows that the area already has strong recreation potential due to its beach and fishing, but can be further improved. The area purchased by the county is not ecologically remarkable beyond an active Bald Eagle nest and your typical shoreside bird activity.
However, the park is adjacent to a good deal of beautiful habitat, with river bird and marine mammal activity up and down the river, impressive diversity in waterfowl, wading birds, and turtles in Carr Slough directly behind the property, and forested hills containing Jack Falls and Little Jack Falls just across the highway.
I can see how improvement in the Prescott Beach facilities could lead to improved wildlife watching opportunities for those who would like to wake up with the early birds and spend a full day out there.
Prescott Beach County Park at a glance
What: picnic, fishing, birdwatching
Trip reports: Birdwatching at Carr Slough and Prescott Beach
Where: Approximately 4 miles south of Rainier off Highway 30, turn left onto Graham Road and then left onto Prescott Beach Drive
Hiking: No trails but a good amount of space to run around
Notable Wildlife: sea lions, bald eagles, waterfowl, wading birds
Property status: Columbia County Parks
Website: Columbia County Parks: Prescott Beach
City of Prescott: Prescott Beach County Park