Vancouver Lake & Frenchmen’s Bar Trail Hike

Hike Distance: 7.1 miles      Yearly Hike Distance: 1503.6 miles

Elevation Gain: 287 feet      Yearly Elevation Gain: 197432 feet

I normally come to this area alone, and during the week, but my wife and I decided to visit here during the weekend.  We primarily walked along the Frenchmen’s Bar trail, which is also within the Vancouver Lake Park.  In addition, we also hiked the 1.5 mile long North Lake Trail, which is relatively new.  The North Lake Trail is completely forested but at the end there is an intersection that can lead to the lake or the road.  Both the lake and road were on the agenda today, and the views were amazing!

It’s been so nice to have cooler weather and the hikes are definitely more pleasant in these temperatures.  The trail system was somewhat crowded, as you’d expect on a nice weekend, but that didn’t bother us.  You’ll probably be seeing many more pictures from this area since it’s close to home and very accessible in the winter.

Whipple Creek and Fairgrounds Parks Hike

Hike Distance: 9.0 miles      Yearly Hike Distance: 1496.5 miles

Elevation Gain: 1067 feet      Yearly Elevation Gain: 197145 feet

A bit of a rough week for me and I was glad to be able to get out and hike.  I wanted to hike a decent distance but didn’t want to drive very far.  While Whipple Creek Park has plenty of trails it is difficult to get long distances here.  I decided to add the Fairgrounds Park hike in order to gain that extra distance.  It turns out that through a slightly convoluted set of connector trails it is possible to gain an extra 3+ miles (out and back) when hiking both parks.

From the parking lot I headed through Whipple Creek Park to the connector trail that will get me to Fairgrounds Park.  I passed next to a stable and to a street crossing at NW 11th Avenue.  I had to walk about 100 feet along 11th avenue to get to a fence opening that leads to a path across a natural area.  I was surprised to see a couple of Praying Mantises in the open field in this area, and stopped to take some pictures.  After a few tenths of a mile I entered a very nice forested area.  Winding through the forested area trail I finally exited into the Fairgrounds Park asphalted trail.

There is a small loop trail around this park, and it passes an excellent children’s play area.  I talked with a father for several minutes about the trail system around here, since he was curious about it, and had just moved here from Portland.  After completing the loop I headed back the way I came and made it back to Whipple Creek Park.

Once I arrived back at Whipple Creek Park I proceeded to hike around the periphery in a clockwise direction.  The trails weren’t crowded but I did see some people on horseback and there was also one group of runners that passed by.  It was such a nice cool day and pleasant under the canopy.  I’m sure glad I chose to come here today!


Forest Road Hike on My 61st Birthday

Hike Distance: 8.3 miles      Yearly Hike Distance: 1487.5 miles

Elevation Gain: 785 feet      Yearly Elevation Gain: 196078 feet

It seemed like it would rain from the start of the hike but it never happened, until after we finished the hike.  Another great aspect of this hike was that the temperature was cool and it made the hike very pleasant.

We opted to do a loop hike, and it turned out to be very pleasant.  We’ve done this hike before and love some of the water features along this section.  It was so interesting to have met a gentleman in a truck twice during this hike.  Both times we had very nice conversations and he was very knowledgeable about this area as he’s lived here for a very long time.

We’d also heard two gun shots during our hike and it was obvious they were close by.  After the two shots we never heard any gun shots again.  That said, we quickly exited the area just to keep safe!

A very nice birthday spent in the outdoors, around the forest I love so much and with my loving wife! 🙂