The Newly Reopened Woodard Bay Natural Resources Conservation Area

I got out and explored the Woodard Bay NRCA today and finally got to hike down to the pier area. I’ve been a few times to the Upper Overlook Trail (which closes March-August) but never to the opposite side of Woodard Bay because they were previously doing repairs there. The hike is only about two miles out and back but the Loop Trail goes through some pretty forested areas. The Loop Trail and the dirt road that parallel it both end at the Chapman Bay Pier, where timber companies use to unload logs for transport up the Puget Sound until about the 1980s. Up until February of this year, the state was removing sections of the old pier and sprucing up the place. It looks beautiful and is great for picnicking and for family hikes. I added some photos of it to my post. If you do go, definitely take the Loop Trail, ideally on the way out there. The road, which is closed to all both authorized NRCA employees, is handicapped accessible. Also, you’ll need a Washington State Discover Pass to park at the trailhead.

I know I’m behind a few trail review posts but hopefully this will tide you over until next week. I started this blog as part of a class assignment and decided to keep it going because it was fun and let me share some of my hikes. That said, blogging on a regular basis is a lot of work! Hats off to those writers who keep it going without fail. Anyways, my semester ends this week so next I can catch up with posts about Mima Mounds, Hugo Peak, and the beautiful Flapjack Lakes hike I did a few weekends ago. Until then, Happy Hiking!

Some Great Hikes in the Columbia River Gorge Area

I came across this article yesterday on the “Five best hikes on Washington side of Columbia River Gorge” and thought it did a good job of identifying some interesting sounding trails in the Columbia River Gorge region. While I haven’t been hiking in the Columbia River Gorge yet, I’ve determined that I must visit it this summer. If you’re looking for other hikes in that area, check out this article from The Oregonian’s Travels with Terry about the best wildflower hiking in the Columbia River Gorge area.

Climbing Mt. St. Helens? Do your prep work first

I came across this recent article about preparing for and hiking Mt St Helens and it offers an accurate description. I climbed Mt St Helens via Monitor Ridge Trail last October. It was an amazing experience and one of the more challenging hikes I’ve ever done (especially since I was hauling a nine-month-old baby!). That being said, I wish I knew about the permitting system in advance and what to expect. I purchased my permits in early summer, around May or early June, and was lucky to get permits for mid October.
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