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Oaks to Wetlands Trail

Location Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, Carty Unit, near Ridgefield, WA
State(s) Washington
Counties Clark
Length 2.00 Miles / 3.22 Km Loop Trail? Yes
Allowed Uses Fishing
Pedestrian - Walking/Hiking/Running
Wildlife Observation
Agency U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Entry Fee? Yes Parking Fee? No




Visitors to the refuge can enjoy viewing a wide variety of wildlife within a short drive north of the Portland/Vancouver metropolitan area. This trail provides an opportunity to experience a spectacular natural area that is on the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail. Explorers Lewis and Clark visited the village of Cathlapotle and counted 14 cedar houses and 900 inhabitants. This village site is protected as an archaelogical site on the refuge, and has been recognized nationally with the first National Historic Preservation award.

The rich cultural and natural history of the refuge that the famed explorers experienced is still evident along the trail. Special features visible on the trail are Carty Lake, Lake River, Wapato portage, basalt outcropping historic mining site, and a replica cedar plankhouse.

Habitat types include wetlands, riparian, and oak and fir forest types. Each fall the Refuge comes alive with thousands of ducks, geese, swans, and migrating songbirds. The Oaks to Wetlands Trail offers a place for people to keep in touch with their wild neighbors, and to appreciate the beauty and splendor of the types of natural area that once occured in abundance along the lower Columbia River.


Visitor Information

Date Opens: 1/1 - Date Closes: 12/31

Time Opens: Dawn - Time Closes: Dusk


From Vancouver, WA take Exit #14 from I-5 and head west to Ridgefield on Pioneer St./Hwy 501. Continue straight at the roundabout into town. Turn right on Main Avenue at the blinking red light. The Refuge entrance is approximately one mile down the road on the left hand side.


Additional Information

Width: 20 inches.

Primary Surface: Crushed Rock

Secondary Surface: None

Average Grade: 5%

Elevation Low Point: 5

Elevation High Point: 35

Year Designated: 2005

Date Last Updated: 01/18/2012


Contact Information

Trail Management:
Eric Anderson
28908 NW Main Ave.
Ridgefield , WA 98642
(360) 887-4106


Related Webpages and Documents

Title Type Link
Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge trail page Website View/Download



Do you see a problem with this trail data? Contact either the trail manager (listed above) or email


NOTE: The information on this web site and/or in this database is provided for the convenience of the public, trail managers, organizations, elected officials, etc. Neither the National Park Service, the USDA Forest Service, nor American Trails can guarantee that the information is accurate. Trail users are urged to inquire locally about weather, trail conditions, trail characteristics, fees, and regulations! The information on this web site and/or in this database should not be interpreted as representing the opinions or policies of the U.S. Government, and any mention of trade names, commercial products, or businesses does not constitute their endorsement by the U.S. Government.




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