|Floating houses near Sauvie Island|
We set out this morning in rush hour traffic on Interstate 5 through Portland to Sauvie Island. I've always wanted to go to Sauvie Island.
I always thought Sauvie Island was pretty uninhabited and quite small. Boy, was I wrong. Turns out it is Oregon's largest island. It's quite nice really. From the bridge to the trailhead there are twelve miles of farm land, you-pick farms, pumpkin patch farms, cows, lavender farms, and fields upon fields of the most fragrant tiny little flowers that caused me to inhale deeply of their heavenly aroma as we drove by.
Once we reached the trailhead there were 3.5 miles of forest service road to trek to reach the end of the trail. No unauthorized motor vehicles were allowed so we set off on foot, walking through the woods toward our destination - a miniature lighthouse and a secluded sandy beach.
There are actually many nice sandy beaches on the north shore of Sauvie Island but not many people seemed keen on hiking 3.5 miles with all their gear to enjoy the one near the lighthouse. We had the beach to ourselves today.
I wish I had packed a picnic lunch to enjoy. There's a log that runs along the front of the lighthouse facing the river where one can sit and enjoy the breezes and the views of the Columbia River.
We could have continued another half mile to the northernmost tip of the island, to a hidden viewpoint of the city of St Helens across the river, but we decided to make the lighthouse our turn around point.
After enjoying the beach for a bit and letting the dog have a swim (she was thrilled that we included her in our adventure), we retraced our steps to the car and headed home.
Distance: 7 miles round trip
Elevation gain: none
Other hikers: three
Fee: $10 Sauvie Island Wildlife Area Parking Permit at Cracker Barrel Grocery
Favorite part: the lighthouse and discovering there are beaches closer than the Pacific coast
Least favorite part: driving through Portland traffic to get there