Category Archives: Kayaking Adventures

Spring Hikes

Hope everyone is enjoying the new season! Here are some of our favorite spring-time hikes ūüôā


If you’re looking for flowers:

Pittock Mansion

Rowena Crest & Tom McCall Nature Preserve

Lacamas Creek (Camas Lily Field)

Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival


Hikes that open in spring or that should be done before it gets too hot:

Larch Mountain

Painted Hills

Smith Rock



Tunnel Falls

Fairy Falls

Dry Creek Falls

Pool Of The Winds

Falls Creek Falls

Mist Falls



Spring kayaking:

Columbia River Slough

Sturgeon Lake




Best Of 2015!

Here is our list of the top hikes we did in 2015!

Columbia River Gorge (Oregon side): *Tunnel Falls* We¬†love the Eagle Creek Trail and this year we finally made it all the way out to Tunnel Falls. We definitely weren’t disappointed!


Columbia River Gorge (Washington side): *Strawberry Island* This was a nice secluded hike that had amazing views of the Gorge and lots of birds.


Mt. Hood: *Zigzag Canyon* This hike is absolutely beautiful. You get amazing views of Mt. Hood all throughout the hike. We did this hike in late June and the Lupine were in full bloom!


Oregon Coast: *Bayocean Spit* Who doesn’t love a hike that’s right on the beach?


Washington Coast: *North Head Lighthouse* You can actually go up in this lighthouse. The views are great!


Portland Metro/Outer Portland: *Oak Island* This is one of our favorite hikes on Sauvie Island, the place is covered with cows!


Washington: *Lacamas Creek (Camas Lily Fields)* Go here in the spring when the lilies are blooming, it’s very pretty!


Willamette Valley: *Abiqua Falls* This waterfall is becoming more and more popular and we definitely understand why. It’s not the easiest waterfall to reach, but it’s definitely worth the scramble.


Central Oregon: *Smith Rock* We absolutely love this place. There is so much to see you almost need more than one day.


Kayaking: *Scappoose Bay* This was the first place we took our new kayak. There’s lots of places to explore here.


*Overall best hike of 2015*

Painted Hills!

Hands-down the most interesting place we’ve ever been to. The colors are beautiful¬†and the views up at Carroll Rim are amazing! We HIGHLY recommend this hike!

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Honorable Mentions: *Lower Twin Lake, Youngs River Falls, Lost Lake (hike and kayak), Tom McCall Nature Preserve (go in the spring!), and The Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival.*

We’d love to hear what some of your favorite hikes of 2015 were!

Wishing everyone happy hiking in 2106!

Sturgeon Lake- By Kayak (Summer 2015)

Directions: This hike is located on Sauvie Island. Drive over the Sauvie Island Bridge (stop at the Cracker Barrel Grocery for a day use pass). Continue down the road and stay right onto Reeder Road. Drive for a little over a mile and then take a left onto Oak Island Road. After about 3.5 miles on Oak Island Road the road turns to gravel. Continue on the gravel road and take a right onto an unmarked road that’s just past a pond. If you’ve crossed a cattle guard you’ve gone too far. Follow this road until it ends at the parking area for the lake.

There is a boat launch area but no dock. When the water is low there are rocks to stand on to get into your kayak so you wont have to get wet. Otherwise you might have to get a little wet to push off.


Sturgeon Lake is pretty big and it has almost no current so it makes paddling really easy. When we first started out there was almost no wind and the lake was super flat and pretty. The lake is surrounded by farms and attached to other areas on the island. A lot of it is private property so be aware of the signs if you want to get out and wander around. A good place to get out would be around the Oak Island hiking area. You also get great views of Mt. Hood, Mt. Adams and Mt. St. Helens.



The bottom of the lake is very muddy and you sink down pretty quickly, making it not the best place to get out and swim. There is a tide here as well so make sure you’re aware of the depth from time to time so you don’t get stranded.¬†We saw some pretty good size fish jumping a few times and there are lots of birds as well.

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We were dealing with a time crunch so we didn’t get to explore as much of the lake as we would have liked. Overall it’s a nice area with not too many people. Great for anyone interested in birds. There is a small beach near the launch area that offers the only real shade around.

Distance: Varies but easy

Elevation: Flat water

Pet Friendly: Yes

Good For: All ages

Bathrooms: None

Parking Fee: $7 Sauvie Island fee. Make sure to purchase this at the little store that’s right on the main road after crossing the bridge onto the island.

Seasons: April-September

Popular: Can be on weekends and nice days.

Warnings: None

Lost Lake- By Kayak (Summer 2015)

Directions: Take I-84 East to Hood River (exit 62) and take a right. Take another right at 13th and follow signs to Odell and Dee. Then follow signs to Lost Lake.

Lost Lake has quickly become one of our favorite places in Oregon.¬†You can’t beat the view of Mt. Hood, the trail around the lake is great and there are lots of spots to relax near the water.

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When we first got our kayak we immediately wanted to take it to Lost Lake and we finally got the chance. There are signs marking where the public boat launch and parking areas are. We ended up not using the boat launch and just got in along the bank nearby. It was a lot faster and less crowded.

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We paddled around most of the lake and then stuck around the areas with the best view of the mountain so we could fish with a view. Motorized boats aren’t allowed on the water which is nice,¬†¬†you don’t have to worry about a speed boat flying by and potentially soaking you. It’s also a lot quieter without all the motor noise. You can rent paddle boards, kayaks, canoes, and boats at the lodge so there was a good amount of people on the water but it never felt overly crowded or annoying. We didn’t catch any fish, but we did get a lot of relaxing and mountain viewing in!


If you have extra time take a hike around the lake, the trail is great.

Be sure to stop at the Apple Valley Country Store on your way home, the huckleberry milkshakes are delicious!

Distance: —

Elevation: Flat water

Pet Friendly: Yes

Good For: All ages

Bathrooms: Yes

Parking Fee: $8 entrance fee.

Seasons: Late spring to fall.

Popular: Very

Warnings: None

Columbia River Slough Kayak- Airport Way Launch Site (Spring 2015)

Directions: Take I-84 East to the 181st Street exit. Head north and the road soon turns into Airport Way. Follow Airport Way until you reach the parking area on the left. It’s not a marked parking area and kinda sneaks up on you so be sure to keep an eye out (the cross street is roughly 166th)

From the parking area head down the gravel trail to the metal dock. You can go a couple ways here and we chose to head left toward the headwaters.

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Starting out you will head under an overpass and soon come to the Big 4 Corners (it’s signed). Stay right and continue paddling through the tree lined slough. The slough is relatively deep but full of grass and lily pads.¬†In the beginning you’ll mostly be paddling through wooded areas with the chance to see a lot of Herons and small birds. About a mile in it’ll open up to more grassy areas where there are Osprey and Red-tailed Hawks. We also saw an Egret which was great. Keep your eyes peeled for small turtles as well.

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In the more open areas there are some pretty Wild Iris as well as some other flowers. We paddled out for a little over 2 miles. We turned around when it started to become more and more industrial. You will start to notice more businesses and start seeing the railroad tracks. Turning back here made for a nice 4-4.25 miles outing.

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This is a great option for people who are wanting to see wildlife. There were numerous birds along the slough. It may not be the most scenic but it’s still pretty. Another positive would be that it’s not very busy, we¬†only came across maybe 3 or 4 people.


Distance: About 4 miles (easy)

Elevation: Flat water

Pet Friendly: Yes

Good For: All ages

Bathrooms: No

Parking Fee: None

Seasons: All

Popular: No

Warnings: The area around here is a bit sketchy

Scappoose Bay- Kayak (Spring 2015)

For our first adventure in our new kayak we decided to try out Scappoose Bay. It has many different areas to explore and we definitely didn’t get to it all in one day.

Directions: Take Highway 30 through the town of Scappoose. Take a right onto Bennett Road and cross the tracks. After crossing the tracks take a left on Old Portland Road. Follow this road until you see signs for Scappoose Bay Marine Park on your right.


You can paddle around the bay and see the cows and geese that are all along the shore. There are lots of sloughs and little inlets to explore that are very calm and easy to paddle. Some of these can have very low water levels though.


There is also the Multnomah Channel and access to Sturgeon Lake on Sauvie Island. As well as access to the Columbia River.


We mostly hung around the bay and went down a few sloughs. The bay is full of different types of birds including many Herons and Eagles. We also saw turtles and a good amount of fish. The water was very calm making for a nice relaxing four hours out on the water to birdwatch.



Distance: Varies

Elevation: Flat water

Pet Friendly: Yes

Good For: All ages

Bathrooms: Yes

Parking Fee: $3 parking fee (pay with bills or card, it ate our coins)

Seasons: All

Popular: Yes

Warnings: None

Bachelor Slough Kayak (Spring 2015)

The weather last weekend was perfect so we decided to get out and do a little kayaking.


We went up to Ridgefield, Washington and kayaked around Bachelor Slough in the Ridgefield Wildlife Refuge. It was a great spot for birding and just a nice relaxing paddle. We were out on the water for about three hours and managed to see many birds (Cliff Swallow nests are pictured below), as well as other wildlife.

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If you’re looking for a great place to rent kayaks, Ridgefield Kayak is a great option. They were very nice and the kayaks and gear were in great shape. They also do kayak tours and lessons.


Distance: Varies

Elevation: Flat water

Pet Friendly: Yes

Good For: All ages

Bathrooms: No

Parking Fee: None

Seasons: All

Popular: Yes on weekends

Warnings: None

Cape Meares Lake- Kayak (Winter 2015)

Directions: From the town of Tillamook drive South on Main Avenue to 4th Street. Take a right after the Wells Fargo Bank and then take a right onto Stillwell Avenue. Go left onto OR-131/3rd St. and then take a right onto Bayocean Road. Follow this road for several miles until you come to a sandy area where you can put your kayak in.

We did this kayak tour through Kayak Tillamook and it was great. If you are wanting to kayak with a group or just get more information about the area this is a great company to do a tour with.

The lake itself is great! We saw many different water birds and a large beaver lodge. It was a pretty windy day which is typical for the coast in February, but there was numerous areas that we could paddle into and get a break from the wind.

Cape Meares Lake is a nice beginner area or if you are wanting an easy paddle for wildlife viewing.

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Distance: As much or as little of the lake as you want- the lake isn’t huge.

Elevation: Falt water

Pet Friendly: Sure if you’re pet likes to hang in the kayak with you.

Good For: All ages

Bathrooms: None

Parking Fee: None

Seasons: All

Popular: Can be on nice weekends

Warnings: None