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PDX Runs: Washougal Dike Trail

A mild spring day presents the perfect opportunity to venture north across the river and east to the Washougal dike trail.

About a 20-minute drive from Portland, the dike separates downtown Washougal, WA, and its industrial area from the wide expanse of the Columbia River.

Not a “wilderness” experience by any means, but the views from the dike—upriver to the towering walls of the gorge and Mt. Hood, north to the foothills of the Washington Cascades, across the river to the numerous marshy islands along its fringe—will make your trip worthwhile.

The dike surface is a forgiving crushed gravel, and every quarter mile is marked with wooden posts along its approximately 3-1/2 mile length.

Interpretive panels at irregular intervals tell the story of local Native American tribes, Lewis and Clark, and how the river has changed over the years with development. Dogs are allowed on-leash, and trailhead restrooms plus the zero elevation gain can contribute to a nice family outing, too.

Access: From Portland, take I-5 or I-205 north to Washington, then east on WA 14 to Washougal. Exit the highway (right) at Washougal River Road to a small parking area called Steamboat Landing.

-Phil Orlowski