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.
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
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!