Directions from Portland: Drive to Vancouver, WA on I-5 and take the Mill Plain exit.
You need a $3 entrance fee or Clark County annual pass. There should be plenty of parking arriving in the morning.
Bathrooms at the main parking lot.
Length and Elevation:
2.4 miles roundtrip. Elevation at the trailhead is 25 ft. Highest Point on the trail is 25 ft. There is 50 ft elevation gain and 50 feet loss in elevation roundtrip.
Vancouver Lake Trail, Vancouver Lake North Trail.
There are no geocaches along this trail.
To hike this shady trail turn left from the main parking lot and follow the paved trail to the start of the Vancouver Lake North Trail.
Expect to encounter a large amount of goose dropping if walking on the grass and sand by the lake.
To hike this shady trail turn left from the main parking lot and walk north on the paved trail for about 1,200 feet to the signed trailhead. There is a bench to sit on at the beginning of the trail. The trail is nicely graveled with a few cottonwood roots bursting through the underlying landscape fabric.
Stroll the winding trail through the cottonwood and oak trees. In summer the cottonwood seeds create an eerie feeling which looks almost like a layer of spider webs along many parts of the trail. See this unique natural phenomenon before the next wind or rain storm obliterates it.
There are several plants blooming with Jewelweed being the showiest. Jewelweed is one of the few plants where dry seed pods explode to the touch. Try to find some seed pods to poke when you go.
The trail reaches a “T” with the fork to the right turning into a user trail that leads to a gravel lakeshore in summer. In winter and spring this section is submerged. The branch to the left crosses on a sturdy bridge spanning a slough with thousands of Arrowroot plants growing in the muddy stream course. You can continue on and walk back on the road and hook back into the trail but we preferred to return on the shady gravel trail then the paved trail back to the parking lot.
This is a great trail for a hot day and is good for dogs and kids. The restrooms have flush toilets. Thanks to WTA and Chinook Trail Association for building this trail.
Enjoy the photos!!