Rollin' On The Washougal River

Activities: 

I head out on a Sunday morning in late June to get in some recreational rolling on one of my favorite trails - the Washougal River Greenway Trail. It's in the small city of Camas - a short trip from my home in Portland over the Columbia and east on Highway 14 — well worth the drive.

The familiar aroma of the Georgia Pacific paper mill tells me I've arrived. I make a quick stop on 4th Ave in downtown to grab a bite at Cafe Natalia - I always go for the Russian meat crepes.

Fueled up, I'm ready to roll. The trail is just east - about ten blocks down 3rd Street.

I grab my vintage orange mini-skateboard and head down the trail to the boardwalk through the wetland. Woops! With the rainy spring, the water is still a bit high. Can't go over it, can't go around it, gotta go through it. I kick off my sneekers and socks and roll up my pants. This method isn't for everyone, but it's a warm day and putting my bare feet in the water brings me back to being a young tadpole-hunter. I notice the sign noting the sensitive habitat, so I tread lightly.

After making it through the short section of flooded boardwalk, I'm out on dry land again and can see the bridge up ahead. Great views up and downstream - the perfect place to loiter! It's also a great launching point, as the hill helps me quickly pick up speed and get cruising.

I skate along the smooth trail, making stops along the way to listen to the birds chirping and gaze over the river. I pass by several ponds, pass by some others enjoying the morning on the trail, and even spot a few herons hanging out on the banks. It's too cloudy for turtles to be out though.

Near the end of the trail, I come to some gorgeous stands of old oak trees. It's rare to find such impressive specimens of the Oregon White Oak, as oak prairie habitat in the Pacific Northwest has been vastly reduced by development.

Time to head back, though I'm sure to take my time and enjoy the ride. When I reach the bridge near the begining of the trail, the sun has decided to come out and put on a show. It's getting warm - wow kind of feels like summer. Dipping my feet back into the water at the boardwalk is even more enjoyable this time around, and the dragonflies are buzzing all around - making for a magical ending to a great ride.

 

Photo: 
The Washougal River from the bridge.
The trailhead on Crown Road.
The trail begins with a bit of an incline.
Woops, the boardwalk is flooded.
The best thing to do was to keep on going.
Tread lightly through this sensitive habitat.
The boardwalk is only wet for about a hundred feet. Then it dries up.
Approaching the bridge over the river.
A pretty hefty crossing.
Into the woods.
The trail is so smooth - perfect for rolling!
Stop to smell the katkins - cotton from the poplar trees litters the ground in June.
One of the ponds along the way.
Cruising! Be mindful of others;)
The river was so calm - really nice reflections.
Zooming along!
A great spot to watch for Great Blue Herons and other birds.
Habitat restoration in progress - young trees get protection from the vermin.
A beautiful stand of Oregon White Oak trees.
Nice picnic spot too.
Meep meep!
Ah, the sun showed up - perfect ending to a nice ride.

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