Cottonwood Beach & Columbia River Dike & Steigerwald NWR Hike

Hike Distance: 7.4 miles      Yearly Hike Distance: 123.8 miles

Elevation Gain: 536 feet      Yearly Elevation Gain: 15129 feet

I really needed to get out to a new area and thought this was a good opportunity to go to Cottonwood Beach and the Steigerwald Wildlife Refuge.  It was one of those really nice days with some nice clouds and plenty of picture taking opportunities.  I first visited Cottonwood Beach and walked along its entirety.  I absolutely loved the sun and clouds reflecting off the Columbia River, and took plenty of pictures.  I lingered here for a while, and there was plenty of solitude despite the nice weather.

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I then walked along most of the length of the dike, eastward, and just enjoyed the lazy pace I kept.  There were many people walking, and riding bikes, along the dike.  Not much solitude but plenty of nice views.  There’s a bit too many buildings along the dike but you leave them behind as you go further east.  I didn’t walk the entire length of the dike as I didn’t want to push the stress on my back, as level road-like walks can aggravate it.

Turning around, I headed back west towards my car and took a side trail that lead into Steigerwald NWR.  My main purpose was to visit Steigerwald Lake and take pictures of it.  I could faintly see Mt. Hood behind the lake and it barely came out in the photos.  I also spent some time just viewing the boisterous ducks swimming in the lake.  It was really quite the relaxing location, and I would have loved a recliner to take a nap. haha

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There were quite a few bird watchers near the Steigerwald NWR area.  Some even stopped to point out some of the birds they saw.  One man pointed out a Pileated Woodpecker hiding in large tree.  This is a great place to meet and talk with people about the wildlife.

At the last moment I decided to turn and visit Cottonwood Beach one last time.  Lucky me, the setting sun gave me some stellar reflections across the water.  I so love reflections off the water as they’re timeless.  I imagine that it looked similar to this before people were here.  Sigh.  I had a great time and knew I made the correct decision to visit today!

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