Portland's Northern NeighborJust across from where the Columbia River makes its southernmost swing on its way to the Pacific is the place where I have spent all but four years of my 46. Various municipalities of Clark County have been home to generations of my family for over 80 years. The only reason I have ever lived outside this little corner of paradise was to attend school in Seattle, still in the PNW. I guess I like it here.
While one of fastest growing and more heavily populated areas with numbers nearing a half million people, this part of Washington State abounds in natural beauty, temperate climate, and outdoor possibilities. These have drawn people and settlements here for thousands of years and even though increasing human pressure has diminished the natural quality, people of Clark County are determined to slow and even reverse this trend. Various riparian restoration projects are underway on many of the counties waterways while salmon are being re-introduced to one tributary called Salmon Creek.
Careful and deliberate cooperation between state agencies and various trail user groups, including mountain biking, has led to improved trail quality and experiences for all groups while minimizing and even reducing the impact of trail development and use on the surrounding environment. Such efforts are progressing the possibilities that more and more individuals will be able to enjoy the outdoor heritage of Clark County. The four main mountain biking trails of Bells Mountain, Lacamas, Cold Creek/Larch Mountain and the Tarbell Loop have certainly benefited from such efforts.
It's Hard to Miss Clark CountySituated right on the I-5 Corridor and in the shadow of Portland just to the south, Clark County is the first thing you see as you come into Washington across the Glenn Jackson and I-5 Bridges and the last thing you will see as you leave via those same spans. State Route 14/Evergreen Highway is the major east/west route through the county.
Camping/LodgingAs part of a major metro area, motel/hotel lodging possibilities are too numerous to mention.
If camping is your thing, the Washington Department of Natural Resources (DNR) operate two non-fee campgrounds right in the heart of the Yacolt Burn trails of Bells Mountain/Cold Creek/Larch Mountain/Tarbell Loop. These are the Cold Creek and Rock Creek Campgrounds.
Helpful External LinksHere are the map links:
Lacamas Heritage Trail
Lacamas Park Trails
Yacolt Burn Forest
The DNR LINK for recreation and campground information.