A day trip to Lewis and Clark

February 27, 2013
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The boat ramp across the street from Lewis and Clark State Park, with easy access to the Sandy River. 

Historic US Route 30 boasts many beautiful destinations; on the western side is one of my all-time favorite parks, Lewis and Clark State Park. It is also located on the Sandy River near where it empties out into the Columbia River and is therefore a popular summer destination for swimming and other outdoor activities.

Oregon Grape.

The park includes a hiking trail that winds up the cliffs to Broughton’s Bluff which “serves as a geological boundary between the foothills of the Cascade Mountain Range and the neighboring Willamette Valley to the west.” I have yet to complete the trail, though I have ventured some way up both ends of the trail; I plan to this summer and am looking forward to what promises to be lovely scenery.

Lewis and Clark Botanical trail.

There is also the “Lewis and Clark Botanical Trail” which loops around from the parking lot through a tree shaded picnic area to the back of the dog exercise area. One entrance to the trail can be found there before meeting up with the other trail entrance and returning to the parking lot. On the Botanical Trail, there are signs posted throughout giving information about the park’s namesakes and what they encountered, including native plants and what the natives used them for (with very explicit warning “not to ingest any plant you are not certain is safe”). There are also plaques in front of various native plants naming and describing them; but with all the leaves gone it was somewhat hard to tell exactly which twig belonged to which sign.

Even though the day was overcast, like a lot of days in the northwest I suppose, the parking lot was half full; and at the boat ramp across the street, three anglers prepared to push off into the Sandy River.  Though I will most likely visit the park many times before I actually get the chance to complete the trail I am looking forward to the view from Broughton’s Bluff.