Oaks to Wetlands Trail

Visitors enjoy bird watching and special features seen by Lewis and Clark during their expedition, including Carty Lake, Lake River, Wapato portage, a basalt outcropping historic mining site, and a replica cedar plankhouse. Habitat types include wetlands, riparian, and oak and fir forests.

Type: Nature trail with natural and cultural features Length: 2.00 miles
Loop Trail? Yes
Allowed Uses: Fishing
Pedestrian - Walking/Hiking/Running
Wildlife Observation
Agency: U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Entry Fee? $3.00
Parking Fee? No

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Location: Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, Carty Unit, near Ridgefield, WA

States: Washington
Counties: Clark
Latitude: 45.831   Longitude: -122.7466

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.


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.

Additional Details

Width: 20 inches.
Primary Surface: Crushed Rock
Secondary Surface: None
Average Grade: 5%
Elevation Low Point: 5
Elevation High Point: 35
Year Designated: 2005

Supporting Webpages and Documents

Website: Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge trail page

Contact Information

For more information and current conditions, contact the trail manager (listed below). For questions, suggestions, and corrections to information listed on the website, contact American Trails.

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



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