With leaves changing color one last time before finally falling off the branch, fall is a great time to take in the beauty North Clark County has to offer. With that in mind, the Clark County Scenic tour was created.
While Clark County continues to grow, especially in the hubs of Vancouver and Camas, there is still plenty of small-town flavor to be found here. The 70-mile tour weaves its way through several smaller Clark County towns, including Battle Ground, Yacolt, La Center, and Ridgefield.
Although there are no specific starting or ending points, the tour will feature pastoral meadows, densely wooded areas and views of rivers large and small. The sometimes winding road will also take you by several places to get out and stretch your legs.
The Ridgefield Wildlife Refuge is one of those stops. With over 5,150 acres of marshes, grasslands, and woodland, the Refuge has a 4.2-mile car route as well as a 1.2 mile walking trail. A great variety of birds can be seen – and heard here, but larger animals, such as deer, coyote, beavers and rabbits can also make an appearance.
Going north from there, Mud Lake Park is the next potential stopping area before getting to Paradise Point State Park. The park has over 6,000 feet of shoreline and is often used for camping, boating, fishing and swimming. There are restrooms, hiking trails and picnic areas as well.
Continuing North, past the La Center Bottoms and skirting the Columbia River, you will come to the Cedar Creek Grist Mill and covered bridge. Here you can see a working mill still in action, producing flour, corn meal, and, in late October, apple cider.
The tour is heading east now and will then turn slightly south before coming to the North Clark Historical Museum. Past that is the Chelatchie Prairie Railroad station. The railroad is 33-miles long and winds around the Yacolt area. If you plan it right, make reservations for the Halloween, Christmas Tree, and the Steam Winter Finale.
From there, you begin to head back towards Vancouver with still six parks to see! Moulton Falls, Lucia Falls, Battle Ground, Lewisville, Daybreak and Whipple Creek Parks all have hiking trails that let you get out and walk a bit. All of these parks, excluding Whipple Creek, also have available restrooms.
And you may need them! The tour can be a full day excursion, depending on how many stops you make and for how long. But what better way to spend a crisp fall day than taking in all North Clark County has to offer?