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”

The Hidden Carcus Creek Falls

Oregon is a state laden with beautiful waterfalls and Columbia County is no exception. While some of our county waterfalls are Instagram-famous roadside attractions like Bonnie and Beaver Creek, others take quite a trek and are known online as little more than approximate GPS points. Jon and I have decided to search out and documentContinue reading “The Hidden Carcus Creek Falls”

New possibilities for Salmonberry Lake

I’m excited to learn that Columbia County’s new parks and facilities director, Riley Baker, is looking to work with the city of St. Helens to set up Salmonberry Lake as a county park. County hires new leader for parks and facilities Salmonberry Lake (also called Salmonberry Reservoir) is one of the best birdwatching spots inContinue reading “New possibilities for Salmonberry Lake”

Unsettling Encounter with a Young Elk

I was hesitant to write this post. My hope is that people can learn from my mistakes just as much as from the positive experiences. I set off at 6:30am to avoid the predicted high temps. The early start brought me to a coyote sauntering along the logging road. As I descended a switchback IContinue reading “Unsettling Encounter with a Young Elk”

Family walk from Ruley Trailhead

Rosey and I took little Sophia to the Ruley Trailhead for a 5-mile walk. The area has been transformed since the new trailhead was built, with restroom facilities, a bike-repair station, and both historical and natural history information. It’s a nice place to connect yourself to the history of the land and how it gotContinue reading “Family walk from Ruley Trailhead”

Cool Geology along Crown Zellerbach Trail

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”

Loooong hike with Sophia on Banks-Vernonia Trail

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”

Morning stroll around Salmonberry Reservoir

I took a quick look at the Salmonberry Reservoir this morning. The small lake is part of the St. Helens Tree Farm property owned by the City of St. Helens. The property is gated less than a half-mile before the reservoir, which allows a quiet walk in along an easy gravel road. Varied Thrush wereContinue reading “Morning stroll around Salmonberry Reservoir”

CZ Trail: Scappoose to Chapman Landing

Most of Columbia County is forested hills aligned with the foothills of the Coast Range to the west. But there’s a portion of the county along the Columbia River, especially around Scappoose, made up of wetland flats aligned with the ecology of the Willamette Valley to the south. Those wetlands can be experienced on theContinue reading “CZ Trail: Scappoose to Chapman Landing”

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”