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Gibbons Creek Wildlife Art Trail

Steigerwald Lake National Wildlife Refuge

Portland Metro Area, Washington

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Gibbons Creek Wildlife Art Trail

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  • The entrance to Steigerwald Lake National Wildlife Refuge.- Gibbons Creek Wildlife Art Trail
  • Vault toilets in the parking area.- Gibbons Creek Wildlife Art Trail
  • Sculptures offer consolation if you are there and birds are not.- Gibbons Creek Wildlife Art Trail
  • Looking over the healthy habitat at Steigerwald Lake.- Gibbons Creek Wildlife Art Trail
  • The wide, packed trail is accessible.  No jogging or biking, however.- Gibbons Creek Wildlife Art Trail
  • Steigerwald Lake National Wildlife Refuge with Mount Hood (11,250') in the distance.- Gibbons Creek Wildlife Art Trail
  • The trail has several educational stops along the way.- Gibbons Creek Wildlife Art Trail
  • - Gibbons Creek Wildlife Art Trail
  • Healthy wetlands at Steigerwald Lake National Wildlife Refuge.- Gibbons Creek Wildlife Art Trail
  • Unfortunately, the silhouette in this photo is one of the refuge's scuptures.- Gibbons Creek Wildlife Art Trail
  • The Steigerwald Trail intersects with the Columbia Dike Trail that leads west to Captain William Clark Park.- Gibbons Creek Wildlife Art Trail
  • Purple plover habitat.- Gibbons Creek Wildlife Art Trail
  • - Gibbons Creek Wildlife Art Trail
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Close to Portland. Great birdwatching. Easy, accessible trail. Free.
Cons: 
Little shade or tree cover on the trail.
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Region:
Portland Metro Area, WA
Congestion: 
Moderate
Pets allowed: 
No
Parking Pass: 
Not Required
Preferable Season(s):
Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall
Total Distance: 
3.10 mi (4.99 km)
Trail type: 
Loop
Trailhead Elevation: 
2.00 ft (0.61 m)
Current Local Weather:
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Hike Description

Hike Description

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Though relatively compact as far as wildlife refuges go, the 1,049-acre Steigerwald Lake National Wildlife Refuge receives an extraordinary amount of wildlife traffic.  The same sea-level passage through the Cascades that the Columbia River offers to shipping traffic also qualifies the basin as an excellent migratory path.  Add to this the refuge’s proximity to the coast and to protected habitat such as Reed Island State Park, and the humble preserve suddenly becomes quite an important nexus for resident and migratory bird life.

The refuge consists of floodplain and wetland habitat that was historically Columbia River turf during seasonally high flows.  Currently the area is a mix of dense stands of cottonwoods and open expanses of native grasses and ponds through which winds a walking trail.  The trail itself consists of compacted gravel and is very accessible for wildlife watchers of all abilities.  You will also find interpretive stations and assorted sculptures interspersed throughout the loop.  Over all of this presides the dominant figure of Mount Hood, capping the sense of the refuge’s specifically Northwest location.

The Steigerwald Lake Trail leads towards the Columbia River Dike Trail, where you’ll gain views of Reed Island State Park and the refuge’s unique purple plover habitat.  Turn left and walk upstream to continue the loop back around the lake and to return to your car.  Alternately, if you are looking for a longer walk or have set a shuttle, turn right and walk downstream along the Reed Island Channel to Captain William Clark State Park at Cottonwood Beach.

Updates, Tips + Comments

Updates, Tips + Comments

Field Guide + Trail Map

Field Guide + Trail Map

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Location + Directions

Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(26 within a 30 mile radius)

Nearby Adventures

(182 within a 30 mile radius)

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