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Vicinity Location:
Gibbons Creek Wildlife Trail is about 17 miles East of Portland, OR, on the north shore of the Columbia River.

Directions:
From Portland,
Take I-205 north across the Columbia River. Get into the right lane while crossing the river and take exit 27 for Washington State Route Hwy 14 East towards Camas. Take SR-14 East for 12.3 miles and pass Washougal, Washington. Just past Milepost 18, turn right at the entrance to Steigerwald Lake and the Gibbons Creek Wildlife Art Trailhead.

No permits are required to park at this trailhead.

Park Rules and Regulations:
Park Hours are 6 a.m. to dusk.
No animals allowed. No bikes, no running or jogging on the trails.

Toilets are available at the parking lot.

Length and Elevation:
2.25 miles roundtrip. Elevation gain and loss totals 20 Feet.

Trail:
Gibbons Creek Wildlife Art Trail with connections to Steigerwald Lake Trail.

Trail Maps:
Topo Map, Download Garmin .gpx file

Review: September 28, 2009.
On Sunday, June 14, 2009, the Gibbons Creek Wildlife Art Trail opened to the public. This 2.25-mile trail connects to the existing Steigerwald Lake Trail, which is along the southern boundary of the refuge on the Columbia River dike. Along the trail, enjoy the wildlife and migratory birds as you walk past Cottonwood groves, fields, marshes, creeks, and lakes.

Start from waypoint TRGCT at the large gravel parking area and walk south. This trail has hardly any tree cover, which is a consideration on hot summer days. The trail is a wide, hard-packed gravel path and has views of the surrounding countryside.

The path goes past a large patch of cattails and a meadow of rustling grass. The trail passes just below a dike and crosses Gibbons Creek. There is a basalt bench to sit on and look out to Steigerwald Lake where the trail crosses the creek.

The trail winds through the meadow and passes through a stand of cottonwood trees. The gravel path goes a bit farther and reaches a trail junction. Take the trail to the right and cross the bridge and pass through the cottonwood grove to another footbridge over a marshy area. The marshy area opens to the shores of a Scaup Pond, a small lake to the east. There are several basalt rock benches along the trails to sit on and watch the birds.

Continue along the path through the fields for about .5 mile, passing by Red Tail Lake. The next junction is a connection with the Steigerwald Trail. Make a left and walk along a slough of the Columbia River to the next junction .5 mile east. There are views of Mt. Hood, but the base of Mt. Hood is blocked by the hills just across the river. There are good views across the river to Oregon and dogs and bicycles are allowed on this section of the trail.

Turn left on the gravel trail about .6 mile back to the first bridge and trail junction, passing along a small stream and pond which are mostly hidden by grass and brush. From here it is an easy walk back along the path to the trailhead.

This is a perfect first hike for small children because of the level paths and well graded trails. There are railings to protect youngsters from falling off the trail into the water. This being at the west end of the Columbia River Gorge, the winds here can blow at 40 miles per hour from the east. When the weather is cold, the wind will make for a short visit at the refuge.

There is an excellent probability of seeing birds in the nearby lakes but be sure to bring binoculars or a spotting scope because the lakes aren’t right next to the trail.

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