Hike Distance: 8.7 miles Yearly Hike Distance: 215.2 miles
Elevation Gain: 434 feet Yearly Elevation Gain: 27463 feet
Today my hiking friend, Marshall, and I went out to explore the Vancouver Lake area and Frenchmen’s Bar trail. He hasn’t been here before so that made it more exciting and I took the time to show him the places that I frequented.
We parked in an area close to the boating club, which doesn’t require a Clark County Parks permit. We then walked north through the Vancouver Lake trail system. We visited the lake shore, and also explored the North Lake Trail. The water level at Vancouver Lake was rather high, so we couldn’t see all of my favorite spots. 😦
Along the North Lake Trail we bumped into three guys, that were friendly enough, and exchanged a few words with them. We had heard someone fire a gun earlier, and it turned out that one of them was carrying an assault style rifle that shot .22 caliber bullets. We even found the casing for the bullet on the trail. I should have called 911, as shooting in a county park is illegal, but they were on their way out and I didn’t know what vehicle they were driving, and we were moving away from them. Also, I wasn’t the one that saw the rifle. A sad day when you can’t feel safe in a county park. 😦
After finishing up the trails in Vancouver Lake Park, we took the Frenchmen’s Bar trail to Blurock Landing. This is about half way to the Frenchmen’s Bar Park. We strolled along the beach and enjoyed the sun, which finally came out and warmed the air. Again, the Columbia River water level was high and we couldn’t take the shoreline around and into Frenchmen’s Bar Park.
We then headed back towards our cars and took a final detour along a southbound trail that parallels Lower River Road. This is an area where people stopped to walk their dogs. We didn’t walk the entire length of the trail and opted to turn around. Before ending our hike, we took one last look across Vancouver Lake and enjoyed the fresh air. The only volcano we saw today was the tip of Mt. Hood. Clouds covered the Washington Cascades, and covered Mt. St. Helens and Mt. Adams.
We had a great time and were very fortunate to have such a nice day, before the rain rolls in tomorrow.