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Hike of the Month: Lacamas Heritage Trail

The end of a lake surrounded by mossy forest under clear winter skies

Keep your eyes peeled for deer, squirrels, rabbits, and birds. | Photo by PDXtoday staff

Table of Contents

Portlanders love to hike — it’s just a fact. We’ll lace up our boots + hit the trail, come hill or high water. So we’re setting out on a new adventure: Every month, the PDXtoday team will feature a local hike that we think you should try. We are literally putting boots on the ground and giving you a firsthand account of each trail we recommend.

To kick things off, we went looking for an adventure that falls into the “easy” category, both in terms of winter conditions + fitness level. We landed on the Lacamas Heritage Trail just over the river in Camas, Washington.

Quick facts

  • Starting point: 45.63645, -122.46006 (or Heritage Park, if starting at the south end)
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Distance: 7.1 miles
  • Route type: Out + back
  • Elevation gain: 239 ft.
  • Trail surface: Gravel + some pavement
  • Wheelchair accessible: Yes
  • Open: All year
  • Dog friendly: Yes
a trailhead sign

The Lacamas Heritage Trail sign at the north end of the path. | Photo by PDXtoday staff

Brief overview

The Lacamas Heritage Trail is a wide, flat, partially-paved trail that follows one side of Lacamas Lake. It’s an out-and-back route that is popular with joggers, walkers, and cyclists. You can also use it to connect to other hikes in the area, like the Round Lake Loop + the Lacamas Creek Loop. You’ll see wildlife, part of a golf course, residential areas, and views of Mount Hood on a clear day.

Why you should try it

January is often cold + wet, which can make for some muddy hiking. We were impressed with how dry the trail conditions were, especially since the path runs along the shady side of the lake. Spotting wetlands bird species and naming native plants, like skunk cabbage and Oregon grape, kept us busy as we walked. Be sure to swing by Acorn & the Oak right across the lake when you’re done — it’s a whimsical little flower shop that also serves dinner and drinks.

a paved trail flanked by pine trees on a sunny day

Part of the Lacamas Heritage Trail is paved, but it’s mostly gravel. | Photo by PDXtoday staff

Pro tips

Bring bug spray depending on what time of year you go. Check online before letting your dog jump in the water as toxic algae blooms are frequently reported at Lacamas Lake. There are public restrooms at both ends of the trail. The parking lot at the north end of the trail fills up quickly, so we recommend parking at Heritage Park and starting at the south end.

Let us know

Did you try this hike? Do you know of one we should check out? Send us your thoughts + recommendations.

A park bench sits just off of a gravel hiking trail alongside a lake on a sunny winter day.

There are many benches along the Lacamas Heritage Trail. | Photo by PDXtoday staff

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