#2 in the Northwest book, August 15th, 2009; Easy – 2.9 miles round trip, no elevation gain
Another beautiful August weekend, another trip out to Sauvie Island. On this hike were Becky, Meg, Ben, Will, Lucy in the Kelty pack, and Mike.
This hike begins at another small parking lot, and after slathering ourselves with insect repellent (we had learned our lesson the week before), we embarked. The trail skirts the border between two farm fields, and the view is fantastic in both directions.
The Adventure Portion of this hike took place in the middle. The book states that after about 1.4 miles of hiking, there is a fork in the trail leading 300 yards to a “picnickably grassy” area on the shore of Sturgeon Lake. We must have missed the turn, because the faint trail we followed was overgrown with 6-foot grasses, and we had to stamp those same grasses down into a two-foot-thick living picnic blanket ten yards from a dropoff into the narrows. The effort was well worth it; food always tastes better when surrounded by beauty, and our place was beautiful.
We returned to the trail, and slowly made our way back to the car, stopping every 30 yards or so to snack from the trailside blackberry bushes – keeping them from taking over is everyone’s job. This was a great hike for the kids; Will (who had just turned 3) walked nearly the entire length on his own, an impressive feat for someone with legs half the length of yours or mine.
Notes: a Sauvie Island Wildlife Area parking permit is needed, you can pick yours up at the Cracker Barrel grocery store at the entrance to the island. This trail is open April 16 to September 30, and the picnic area is vulnerable to flooding. Be prepared for mosquitos and blackberry bushes and stinging nettles. There were camera-phone pictures taken on this hike, however they were lost when we upgraded phones this past fall.