Tag Archives: Sauvie Island

Sturgeon Lake (By Kayak) (Summer)

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.

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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.

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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: —

Elevation: —

Difficulty: Easy

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.

Overall: Nice easy place to kayak. Great for wildlife viewing.

Oak Island (Spring)

Directions: This hike is located on Sauvie Island. Drive over the Sauvie Island Bridge and take a left (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 until you end at a parking area for Oak Island. Please be aware that the last quarter mile of this drive has a lot of cows that are sometimes in the road.

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From the trailhead pass through a gate and head down a wide ATV road passing a large blue sign marking the Oak Island Nature Trail. There is a short trail off to the left that takes you to an open field but not much else. Continue down the trail until you come to a fork starting the loop. You can go either way, we chose to go straight (left) and do the loop clock-wise. From the fork you will start to notice all the cows. We saw easily 30 cows just roaming around the field and even on the trail. It was pretty funny and definitely different then most hikes! Just please remember to be respectful of their space and not bug them 🙂

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The loop starts along a wide flat grass trail with views of Sturgeon lake on your left and lots of oak trees to your right. After a while you’ll come to a metal gate that you cross through and continue on through trees with tall grasses to your left along the lake. There are some side trails here that take you to the edge of Sturgeon Lake. Soon the trail starts to curve and make the turn back towards the parking area. For about a mile the trail is just tall grass lined with trees on both sides. This part is a little boring but ends pretty quickly. Next, you will enter a more open area with huge oak trees and views of large fields. After passing through the oak trees you will be back at the fork that ends the loop. Head left back down the ATV road to get to the parking area.

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We were able to see lots of animals on this hike which was really fun! We saw two young coyotes, LOTS of cows, and many birds!

 

Distance: 3 miles

Elevation: 10 feet

Difficulty: Easy

Pet Friendly: Yes

Good For: All ages

Bathrooms: Portable toilet at the trailhead.

Parking Fee: $7 Sauvie Island day use fee. Purchase this at the Cracker Barrel Grocery after crossing the bridge onto the island.

Seasons: April- September

Popular: Can be on nice weekends

Overall: It was great seeing all the different animals. The trail can be a bit boring in places.

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