Hiking and Herping through Columbia County
Soon after my exciting first visit to Liberty Hill, Matt went to take a look. He reported back to me that he had found skinks there. Skinks weren’t known to exist in Columbia County! I had to see this for myself. The meadows of Liberty Hill were as beautiful as they had been at firstContinue reading “What makes Liberty Hill special”
Layers of basalt from ancient lava flows helped form the hills of Columbia County. The basalt takes unique shape depending on how the lava cooled. With the Crown Zellerbach Trail being an old logging road, there are a few areas where the road cuts through the adjoining hillsides and exposes the geological past. I (Matt)Continue reading “Cool Geology along Crown Zellerbach Trail”
Some vistas capture you at first sight. Years ago I returned home to visit my parents after having spent time working abroad. They now lived in Yankton (I grew up in St. Helens proper), and my father mentioned that he had passed an interesting hill that might be worth a look. I had noticed theContinue reading “Stepping foot on Liberty Hill”
Our county’s most unique mammal may be the Columbian White-tailed Deer. Just 50 years ago these beautiful creatures were nearly extinct, hanging on in a few islands in the Columbia River. In 1978 another small population was discovered at the southern end of the Willamette Valley. The subspecies was added to the federal Endangered SpeciesContinue reading “Whitetails of the Columbia”
This is an entry by Matt D’Agrosa, a Scappoose native who will contribute regularly to the blog. My favorite section of the Crown Zellerbach Trail is also its highest point; the remote Nehalem Divide trailhead. The trailhead lies alongside Scappoose-Vernonia Highway at the turn for Mt. Pisgah Home logging road. Heading down from the parkingContinue reading “Nehalem Divide on the CZ Trail”
Imagine a Columbia County with no roads. It’s easy if you try – I grew up with family members older than that. In 1899, E. Henry Wemme, a German-American businessman based in Portland, brought the first car to Oregon. Before the roads came, newcomers traveling by boat and wagon built a small mill on theContinue reading “Old Highway 30 and Little Jack Falls”
On occasion we give Rosey a break and take Sophia out for the day. Matt and I got ambitious and decided to take the little girl on a two-leg stretch of the Banks-Vernonia State Trail. Sure it was a big chunk to bite off, sure there were rainstorms forecast all day, but we were upContinue reading “Loooong hike with Sophia on Banks-Vernonia Trail”
Small owls warm my heart. On a day when we had to push through too much brush, soak our shoes thoroughly, and see few herps in the cold air….a little owl sighting made it all worth it. Matt and I drove into central Columbia County and took an ancient logging road into some medium-young forest.Continue reading “Bushwhacking to a Pygmy Owl”
A couple weeks ago I took a stroll at the Nob Hill Nature Park. The trail was basically empty. It provided a quiet place of beauty in the middle of downtown St. Helens. Driving up to the Plymouth Street entrance, I noticed that the adjacent water treatment facility sported quite a few birds. At leastContinue reading “Fall walk at Nob Hill Nature Park”
This mirrored treasure is visible from your car, but you’re an official veteran of Columbia County’s backroads (and proximate to some colorful history) if you can have seen it in person and remember where it is. (If you want to show you’ve been there before without giving away the location, just write in the commentsContinue reading “Name this waterfall!”
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