On the last weekend of winter, we decided to stretch our legs and do a hike through history near the little town of Husum on the White Salmon River, north of the Columbia River Gorge. A short dirt road to the east led to the beginning of the Weldon Wagon Road Trail.
The 2 1/2 mile wagon road was created in the early 1900′s to haul apples from the upper tablelands to the White Salmon River for transportation to markets.
After leaving the valley bottom the old wagon road quickly ascended to an open, white oak savannah environment with scattered Ponderosa pines. Purple grass widows, yellow buttercups, purple Columbia desert parsley and pale-pink prairie stars were popping up along the trail. In sunny areas golden balsamroot shoots were pushing out of the damp soil.
Soon the trail entered the woods, finally reaching a dirt road with a few houses in the near vicinity. There was some old rusted farm equipment at the end of the trail that entertained us for a while.
Soon we began the return to the trailhead. All in all the hike was five miles in length with 1,200 feet of elevation gain. I
t was a fun outing with the opportunity to explore history, get exercise, spot late-winter wildflowers and see beautiful scenery.