Henry Hagg Lake was created in the mid-1970s with the construction of the Scoggins Dam. The lake is a terrific resource for all kinds of summer recreation. Scoggins Valley Park is a collection of parks and picnic areas along the north, south, east and west shores, a 15-mile hiking and biking trail circles the lake, and there is an 18-hole disc golf course, but it's the reservoir itself that brings the crowds.
The lake’s broad appeal has to do with its versatility. Roughly half the lake is protected as a no-wake zone, meaning the powerboats and powered personal watercraft must observe a 5 mph speed limit when in the north portion of the lake. While the lake is large enough to accommodate plenty of watercraft, this protection ensures a safe space for non-motored watercraft. Two boat ramps correspond to the two halves of the lake, and while boats of any type can use either ramp, the separation goes a long way toward creating a satisfying resource for all varieties of boaters.
For this adventure, we launched stand-up paddle boards from Area A on the southwest side of the lake and paddled north along the west bank to the north shore, then south to Area C on the east bank, then across the lake to return to our launch. This was roughly 4 miles, and one could easily make a loop that was longer or shorter depending on the conditions and personal appetites. Though most of our paddle was in the main body of the lake, there are several arms or coves to explore if you have the time. These are also excellent options when the wind picks up, as you can be floating calmly in glassy water as you watch the gusts rush and course through the center of the lake. You’ll have no trouble finding a private stretch of lakeshore for a break, and the banks are nicely varied between cleared, grassy fields and dense, mixed forest. The lake is an excellent environment for wildlife: we entered one cove just after a river otter had come through, and we saw osprey and great blue herons throughout the day.
For park information or to make reservations at any of the group facilities, call 503.846.8715.