Camp Wilkerson’s quiet forests

When I was a boy scout Camp Wilkerson was a decent jamboree and camping site. After scouting I didn’t think about it much until Matt and I began our Columbia County Reptiles and Amphibians project. Now that I’ve been back to visit 30 years later it’s turned into a gorgeous family hiking destination with beautifulContinue reading “Camp Wilkerson’s quiet forests”

New Trtek trailhead now has two trails

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, picnicContinue reading “New Trtek trailhead now has two trails”

Updates at Dalton Lake

Since the bike trail at Dalton Lake became “Dalton Lake Nature Preserve“, we’ve enjoyed watching the place change. There are now info kiosks and bike stands on both ends as well as new benches. Friends of Dalton Lake has worked to widen trails and remove some invasive vegetation, and Patrick Birkle leads nature tours. SophiaContinue reading “Updates at Dalton Lake”

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”

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”

Walking Sauvie Island’s Westside

On a warm July morning Rosey and I crossed the bridge, picked up our parking pass, and headed north on NW Sauvie Island Road. The road parallels the Multnomah Slough and osprey nests spring up everywhere. We were aiming for the Westside Unit of the Sauvie Island Wildlife area, which begins about eight miles northContinue reading “Walking Sauvie Island’s Westside”

Winter stroll at Sauvie Island

“I [s]lept but verry little last night for the noise Kept [up] dureing the whole of the night by the Swans, Geese, white and & Grey Brant Ducks &c. on a Small Sand Island … they were emensely noumerous, and their noise horid.” Diary entry of William Clark, 5 November 1805 Sauvie Island has longContinue reading “Winter stroll at Sauvie Island”

Family hike at Gnat Creek

I’m going to cheat – Gnat Creek isn’t in Columbia County! But it’s on the edge of the county, just 15 miles west of Clatskanie on Highway 30, and is one of my favorite hikes in the area. It’s also the easiest place that Columbia County residents can access State Forest land. So lets ignoreContinue reading “Family hike at Gnat Creek”