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.
- 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
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.
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.