Sunday, March 21, 2010

Steigerwald National Wildlife Refuge

Located on the Columbia River, near the town of Washougal, Washington, the 1,049-acre Steigerwald Lake National Wildlife Refuge consists of historic riverine floodplain habitat, semi-permanent wetlands, cottonwood-dominated riparian corridors, pastures, and remnant stands of Oregon white oak.

The refuge lies partly within the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area, and has been designated as the location for a "Gateway to the Gorge" visitor center. No funding for the Gateway/visitor center has been secured, however, construction is underway on smaller scale visitor facilities. Coming soon, Steigerwald Lake Refuge will offer parking, kiosks, trails, restrooms, and other visitor amenities.

I wasn't sure how much time that we would have as a family this weekend so when Joel got home Friday afternoon we headed outdoors. We had some beautiful weather this week, the sun was shining and we were getting close to the 70's. Everyone around town was riding bikes and wearing shorts. I had seen and pulled into the parking lot of Steigerwald National Wildlife Refuge but we hadn't yet walked the new trails. This is a beautiful place and a work in progress. They recently completed a couple of trails, the parking area, restrooms and a small kiosk but from what I've researched there is more to come for this beautiful area. The refuge is open from 7am to 7pm, no dogs, no jogging and no bikes allowed. It was a short hike, about 1.1 miles to the dike trail that runs along the banks of the Columbia River. We decided to hike out to the dike and back that evening. A few fun pictures (of course) from the hike...

It was windy and since the sun was starting to set I made the boys bundle up just a little bit. This is what Oliver decided to wear. He is my silly boy.

Mt. Hood loomed over us the entire hike.

My Noah, he wants to grow his hair out again.

The entire area looked like this, it was beautiful.

Impressive snag.

Bridge that crosses over Gibbons Creek.

Sun setting view of Gibbons Creek

More water in the wetlands on the other side of the creek. I'm not really sure if all of it is considered Steigerwald Lake or if it's just one side or the other of the creek.

Another bridge, somehow I had managed to get ahead of the boys. That does not happen very often at all, I usually have pictures of their backsides.

Oliver conned Joel into a shoulder ride then proceeded to steer him by turning, okay yanking, his head in the direction he wanted to go.

They weren't kidding when they said the gates close at 7pm. We had to use the call box then wait for the Washougal police to show up and let us out. We were one of 4 vehicles waiting.


Amy said...

Hey you got a new car???

Johnson Family said...

No, we were actually in our truck, third in line waiting for the officer to show up and let us out. :)

Queen of Qwerk said...

Couple of darn cute boys you have there!!