Dalton Lake Nature Preserve is a short paved bike trail (also called Columbia City Bike Trail) through a wooded area which connects to a gravel path around a forested lake.
Dalton Lake Nature Preserve at a glance
What: walking, biking, wildlife viewing, birdwatching
Trip Reports: Nostalgia at Dalton Lake
Updates at Dalton Lake
Where: In St. Helens, turn east off Highway 30 onto Deer Island Road, then immediately left onto Oregon Street. The trailhead is at the Columbia Humane Society parking lot at 2084 Oregon St, St Helens (45.873484, -122.812915). Look for the paved trail parallel to the railroad tracks to start walking, do not turn into the mobile home lot.
Alternatively, there is also a parking spot or two at the other end of the trail on 4th Street in Columbia City.
A map of the site is below, with the paved path in thick red and smaller gravel road and dirt walking trails in narrower red.
Hiking: About 1.5 miles of trail including an asphalt bike path, a gravel road going halfway around the lake, and a narrow dirt trail in the forest.
Notable Wildlife: Beaver, nutria, muskrat, otter, herons, waterfowl, woodpeckers, warblers, garter snakes, salamanders, treefrogs
Property status: Oregon Department of Transportation
Website: Friends of Dalton Lake Nature Preserve
Go back to Find a Hike
2 thoughts on “Dalton Lake Nature Preserve Overview”
Any crime issues reported by anyone? Is it safe to walk alone in the area? No assaults, robberies, physical attacks?
Any homeless camps there?
It sounds isolated. Would love to come see the wildlife in a safe environment. Thanks.
It’s not particularly isolated – while natural and peaceful it is still right in town, there are houses on all sides and people walk there frequently. I have not ever heard of a physical attack there nor has anyone I know experienced such (my mother takes her granddaughter there without worrying). There was 1-2 people camping in a rarely accessed part of the woods last year but last time I went they weren’t there anymore.
If you want more specific answers from people who are there often, you can ask the Friends of Dalton Lake group: