Death on the trail – waterfall safety

I’m going to introduce our new waterfalls page in a roundabout way. Safety comes first. Falls from heights are our greatest natural danger, killing more hikers than heat, cold, lightning, or wild animals. Unfortunately, beautiful waterfalls bring the greatest risk of serious injury or death. In 2009 I was surveying a small waterfall on theContinue reading “Death on the trail – waterfall safety”

Rosey, Lucas, Matt, and Jon year in review

To add some fun to this freezing New Year, I asked our main blog participants to give their 2021 highlights. What was your favorite trail, favorite reptile, favorite moment? Here are their replies and photos – share your own answers in the comments! Hike of the Year Rosey: In June I did an 11-mile hikeContinue reading “Rosey, Lucas, Matt, and Jon year in review”

Birding at Santosh Wildlife Area and Honeyman Road

The longer we work on this website and wildlife survey, the more hidden locations we turn up. One new discovery is “Santosh Wildlife Area” at the north end of the CalPortland property in Scappoose. Marlea Berumen told us about the place, otherwise we never would have known it existed. We started at the CalPortland officeContinue reading “Birding at Santosh Wildlife Area and Honeyman Road”

Wildlife of the CZ Trail – Scappoose Bottoms

The Crown Zellerbach Trail holds numerous unique habitats along its 26 miles. In particular the lower section beginning at Chapman Landing heading towards Scappoose has many wildlife viewing opportunities that change throughout the seasons. A series of fields, assorted trees, sloughs and ponds attract many a bird, mammal, reptile and amphibian. Today I wanted toContinue reading “Wildlife of the CZ Trail – Scappoose Bottoms”

Walking local on cold and rainy days

As the days shorten and the skies turn dreary, mist and rain frequenting the landscape more often than not, it can get hard to get outside. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a real thing, the result of too little sunlight and too much time indoors. But don’t despair! All of our towns have close hikesContinue reading “Walking local on cold and rainy days”

Birdwatching at Carr Slough and Prescott Beach

Whenever I’m driving back from the Rainier area, I stop to check out the birds at Carr Slough. This waterway next to Trojan Park is one of the best local spots to birdwatch any time of year. But in winter the waterfowl really start to fill it. I park just off the highway at theContinue reading “Birdwatching at Carr Slough and Prescott Beach”

The Final Stretch of the CZ Trail

Matt and I got around to hiking the recently completed Holce-Wilark leg of the Crown Z Trail, now that the route negotiation is complete and active logging near the Holce end has finished. The terminal trailhead is signed and connects through to Banks-Vernonia Trail via city streets. It is a beautiful conclusion to a greatContinue reading “The Final Stretch of the CZ Trail”

Squirrels of Northwest Oregon

Folk often ask me what kinds of squirrels live in our area. I figured it was time for a post. In Columbia County we have: 1 chipmunk 1 ground squirrel 2 native tree squirrels (one little and one big) 2 introduced tree squirrels 1 flying squirrel Without further ado, here they are! There are severalContinue reading “Squirrels of Northwest Oregon”

A pleasant little trail in the corner of the county

A few weeks ago I learned about a short trail that commemorates “Four County Point” – the only place in Oregon where four counties meet in a single location. While the trail is a bit out of the way, it goes through some beautiful forest. Last week I finished a survey in Vernonia early andContinue reading “A pleasant little trail in the corner of the county”

Stumbling upon Wilark Pioneer Cemetery

It’s not as easy to hike logging company land as it once was. But if you get access there are gems to be discovered. One Friday morning I drove Sophia up Pittsburg Road for a walk in the woods. Way up the ridge (long after the road goes to gravel) we turned left onto CampContinue reading “Stumbling upon Wilark Pioneer Cemetery”