An Early Summer Day at Ridgefield NWR


Early in July I journeyed to the Carty Unit of the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge. There were lots of young kids enjoying the Refuge, thanks to nice weather on a Saturday afternoon.

After crossing over a newly-constructed arched foot bridge above a set of railroad tracks, I walked north to a cedar plankhouse. It was built in 2005 as a representative of the 14 plankhouses observed by Lewis & Clark in a nearby Indian village.

This was the beginning of the Oaks to Wetlands Trail, a well-marked 2-mile path passing several lakes.

The large lakes along the trail had mostly turned to meadows. The large populations of migratory waterfowl that would have been seen in the winter were gone, many to Alaska.

Eventually the trail emerged on a butte overlooking much of the area.

As I walked back to the trailhead, I reflected on the nice job the US Fish and Wildlife Service and volunteers do to keep the Refuge in such fine condition.

Arrow-leaf Wapato

Wapato

Best Bakery around (Estacada)

Best Bakery around (Estacada)

Tall Oregon Grape

Tall Oregon Grape

Large pond near the Plankhouse

Large pond along the trail

Vetch

Vetch

Ripe Blackberry

Ripe Blackberry

Common Mullein

Common Mullein

Spiraea

Spiraea

 

 

 

 

 

Categories: Portland Area HikesTags: , , , ,

4 comments

  1. Thanks for reminding me about this place. Was this 2-mile trail a loop or an out-and-back?

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    • It’s a lollipop loop to the north by Boot Lake.

      You can add another 3 1/2 miles to the outing by heading west over Gee Creek to the spot of Lewis and Clark’s campsite and then exploring the meadows to the north.

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  2. I so enjoyed this hike with you today, John. Beautiful wildflowers and berries and scenic vistas. Fun to be in the woods where Lewis and Clark explored….

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