Tuesday, December 27, 2005

NW ~ Stewart Glen

Date visited: December 14, 2005
Agency: Vancouver-Clark Parks and Recreation
Path Surface: Paved
Elevation gain/loss: Gently rolling small hills
Distance: 3 miles round trip
Ratings: Setting ++++ Calorie-burning for Stewart Glen Portion ++
Directions: I-5 to 78th St. in Vancouver. Turn west 1.3 miles to Fruit Valley Rd. (Sign says Lakeshore Rd.) Turn left .4 mile, turn left onto Bernie Dr and immediately turn left into small gravel parking lot.

Take a pleasant walk along a tree-covered hillside overlooking the flood plain of Burnt Bridge Creek. Because of its proximity to Vancouver Lake, many waterfowl drift over to the pond at the beginning of this trail.

From the parking lot, walk down the railroad tie steps to the wide paved trail. Pause to enjoy the pond created by the back-up of Burnt Bridge Creek, where today widgeons, mallards, bufflehead, and gadwalls congregated in the small portion of the pond not covered by a thin sheen of ice. Turn right and enjoy the gentle roll of the path, watching out for some roots that have lifted the asphalt near the beginning of the trail. Alder and oak stand by. Occasional dirt paths shoot off from the main trail, permitting access to the water and to the upper hillside.

At .5 mile, cedars and doug fir crowd in. At .7 mile, the path emerges from the trees and meanders through the reed canary grass to meet up with the creek. Look for an old pear orchard. All too soon, the path ends at Hazel Dell Ave after crossing two other streets.

To continue, however, turn right on Hazel Dell Ave and walk .2 mile farther to pick up the path again on the east side of Hazel Dell Ave. (Look for the yellow posts in the path). This portion of the path will connect you to the Ellen Davis Trail and Discovery Trail on the east side of I-5, with opportunities for many more miles!
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