Category Archives: Boring

Ellen Davis Trail (Winter)

This trailhead is located in Vancouver, Washington in Leverich Park.

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The hike starts off on a paved path to a bridge over Burnt Bridge Creek. After the bridge the pavement ends and eventually you’ll wind uphill towards the JD Ross Substation Complex, which is part of the Bonneville Power Administration. Follow the road past the parking lots and a dog park until you get to a neighborhood. When you get in the neighborhood follow the signs (the brown one with the hiker on it) that will point you in the right direction.

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Take the gravel street up to the switchbacks. After the switchbacks you will enter a more wooded area. Follow this trail until you reach St. James Road where you’ll turn around and head back to your car.

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Distance: 5 miles

Elevation: 250 feet

Difficulty: Easy

Pet Friendly: Yes

Good For: All ages

Bathrooms: Yes

Parking Fee: None

Seasons: All

Popular: No

Overall: If we lived in Vancouver we would probably hike this trail again, but since we don’t it’s not worth the drive.

Sandy River Delta (Autumn 2013)

Directions: Take I-84 East to exit 18 and take a right at the stop sign. Follow the road under the freeway to the parking area.

This hike was hard for us to blog about. I (the female half of this blog) thought it was underwhelming and smelled, he thought it was pleasant and had a variety of scenery. But, what we both can agree on is that it’s a great hike for birding.

We started this hike on a service road lined with trees and brush,  that wound around to the Sandy River.  This was one of the more popular areas for dogs that we saw that day.

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Continuing parallel to the Sandy we came across a bird blind. After that we walked along the banks at the mouth of the Sandy.

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We then walked through a meadow of tall grass and trees that faced I-84. The trail through the meadow takes you back the parking area.

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All of the trails are in good condition and easy to follow. There are no maps for the trails but they all lead back to the parking area.

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On our visit there was a lot of construction, which left a lot of the trails blocked and forced us to improvise.

 

Distance: 4 miles (easy)

Elevation: Minimal (easy)

Pet Friendly: Yes

Good For: All ages

Bathrooms: Yes

Parking Fee: None

Seasons: All

Popular: Yes

Warnings: None

Clackamas River Trail (Summer 2013)

The plan for this hike was to make it to Pup Creek Falls. That didn’t happen, we’ll explain why later on in the post.

Directions: To get to the Fish Creek Trailhead take 224 to Estacada. Go through Estacada and turn right at mile post 39 onto Fish Creek Road. The parking area is on the right and the trailhead is on the left.

Sometimes the drive to the hike is just as cool as the hike itself.  This was one of those times. We had a great view of Mt. Hood going through the Damascus area.

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If you like secluded hikes that are quiet almost to the point of being creepy, you’ll love this trail. The trailhead is definitely the source of the creep.  Everything from the broken glass on the ground from previous car break-ins, to the random guy walking around with an axe will make you extra aware of your surroundings.

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The trail itself is kind of a grab-bag, mish-mash of all sorts of trails.  It has ups, downs, rocks, mud, is really skinny with erosion, overgrown, runs along cliffs as well as the river bank, is flat and wide, and there are quite a few fallen trees.  You also go through different types of forest.  At some points there’s tons of ground cover under the trees, while at others it’s almost nonexistent, and other places are almost marshy.

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A constant reminder that you’re not miles from anywhere, deep in the forest, is Highway 224 that follows the Clackamas River the whole way.

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There are a lot of exposed areas on this hike and we happened to pick a unseasonably warm June day. We started the hike late and about halfway in we noticed we were running low on water. We decided that we should stop and head back around the 2.5 or so mile mark  so we didn’t get into a bad situation with no water and low daylight. We ended this hike in the marshy area where there is a small beach. Heading back at this point made for a 5 mile hike.

*Update* We revisited this hike and made it to Pup Creek Falls. To see that post click here.

Distance: 5 miles (moderate)

Elevation: 500 feet (moderate)

Pet Friendly: Yes

Good For: May not be best for young kids and older folks.

Bathrooms: Yes

Parking Fee: NW Forest Pass required

Seasons: All

Popular: No

Warnings: None

Warrior Rock Lighthouse (Spring 2013)

Directions: Take Highway 30 West to Sauvie Island. After crossing the bridge onto the island you should make a quick stop into the convenience store to buy a parking pass. It’s required, and you don’t want to make the 13 mile trip to the trailhead only to turn around for a permit. Continue West on Sauvie Island Road for about two miles and then take a right onto Reeder Road. Follow Reeder Road for 12 miles until you reach the trailhead.

Getting on to the trail is a bit confusing. You’ll ask yourself, “Do I walk through the gate onto someone’s property where cows are roaming free, or do I walk on the beach along the river?” We chose to walk along the beach. Which went well and was almost pleasant for the first .5 mile or so, until the beach disappears under the Columbia River, out of nowhere, and you’re forced up the bank to walk through bushed and find the trail.

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The actual trail is basically a flat ATV trail lined with 7-foot tall grass and trees. Views of the river are few and far between. However, there are plenty of mosquitos and nettles (seriously like 60% of the plants in some places). After about three miles you enter into a weird marshy, meadow thing, that dumps you back out onto the beach by the lighthouse. There are options to eat lunch on the sand or on grassy, rocky areas. The view here isn’t half bad, but doesn’t entirely make up for the walk there.

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*Update* We revisited this hike and found it a lot more pleasant. Check out our new post here.

Distance: 7 miles (moderate)

Elevation: Minimal (easy)

Pet Friendly: Yes

Good For: All ages

Bathrooms: Yes a portable toilet

Parking Fee: $7 Sauvie Island fee

Seasons: All

Popular: No

Warnings: None

Springwater Trail and Johnson Creek Floodplain (Spring 2013)

Directions: Take 205 to the Foster Road exit and go left onto Foster towards 122nd Avenue. Head downhill on 122nd until you reach the Springwater Trail. There is street parking near the trail. You can also do this in reverse and park at the Floodplain on 108th and Foster. It has a big parking area.

This little walk is good for those evenings when you have some free time after work. There is a decent sized parking lot at the Floodplain, at about 107th and Foster, but we chose to start at 122nd and Ramona on the Springwater Trail. All the paths are paved, with one exception, and very accessible to anyone who wants to use them.

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From 122nd there are some marshy areas where you can see ducks and Red Winged Blackbirds. When you cross 111th you’ll see an entrance to Beggars Tick Wildlife Refuge. This area is the one exception, as the paths are not paved. Not sure what it was, but the Mrs. brushed up against something in here that left her with a couple hives on her face. You should also be on the lookout for “camp sites”.

Beyond Beggars Tick the Springwater Trail continues straight towards the Floodplain, and crosses Foster at a signal. You’ll see the Floodplain to your left. You cross a footbridge and continue on a paved path for about .25 mile. There are lots of Killdeer, Geese and Morning Doves, with views of Johnson Creek.

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Distance: 2.5 miles (easy)

Elevation: Minimal (easy)

Pet Friendly: The trail is pet friendly but dogs are not allowed in the floodplain.

Good For: All ages

Bathrooms: No

Parking Fee: None

Seasons: All

Popular: No

Overall: None