Pacific Northwest Day Trips: North County Scenic Drive

Journey into the wonders waiting just off the beaten path in North Clark County’s Scenic Tour

CLARK COUNTY — As the days grow longer and sunlight becomes the new normal in the Pacific Northwest, there are wondrous adventures to be had all over the Upper Left.

Welcome to ClarkCountyToday.com’s Day Trip Series of 2019.

We thought there was no better place to start than right here at home with the North Clark County Scenic Tour.

The scenic drive was established several years ago by the Board of County Councilors, and stretches some 70 miles through the northern wilderness of Clark County.

Along the way are over 10 official historic and natural locations, with many more surprises hidden in the pine trees. Each location offers unique activities from picnics, to swimming and hiking, to making apple cider, to wildlife mere feet from your camera.

From all of us at Clark County Today, we hope you have incredible adventures day tripping across the Pacific Northwest, starting right here at home.

Here’s the lowdown on the official scenic drive of Clark County:

1. Daybreak Park and Boat Launch

Daybreak Park’s stretch of the Lewis River. Photo by Mike Schultz
Daybreak Park’s stretch of the Lewis River. Photo by Mike Schultz
  • Over 77-acre park along the East Fork of the Lewis River
  • Located in northwest Battle Ground off NE Daybreak Rd.
  • Restrooms, picnic tables and a playground are included at the park
  • A boat launch and river access for inner-tubing or swimming is also available
  • This park is free to the public and open from 7 a.m. until dusk

2. Lewisville Park

The front entrance to Lewisville Park, which first opened during The Great Depression. Photo by Mike Schultz
The front entrance to Lewisville Park, which first opened during The Great Depression. Photo by Mike Schultz
  • The oldest park in Clark County, established during the Great Depression
  • The park spans 159 acres, with access to the East Fork of the Lewis River
  • The park features picnic tables, large covered shelters, restrooms, horseshoe pits, baseball backstops, tennis courts, a basketball court, playgrounds, and fishing areas
  • Lewisville is often a popular summer destination for inner tubing on a stretch of the Lewis River
  • There is a $3 per car daily parking fee for this park, with the price varying for motorhomes, trailers and motorcycles
  • Nearly three miles of gravel and dirt walking trails
  • The park is open from 7 am to dusk each day

3. Battle Ground Lake State Park

Battle Ground Lake State Park has no immediate bottom, as it is actually a lava tube. Photo by Mike Schultz
Battle Ground Lake State Park has no immediate bottom, as it is actually a lava tube. Photo by Mike Schultz
  • One of the three State parks in Clark County
  • The 275-acre park offers hiking, swimming, fishing, horseback riding, playgrounds, kayaking and canoeing, as well as areas to camp
  • 35 standard campsites are available, with six limited hookup sites, 15 primitive sites, and four cabins
  • Showers and restrooms are also located within the park
  • The lake is stocked with trout and permits fishing all around the perimeter
  • A Discover Pass is needed to enter the park with a vehicle

4. Lucia Falls Park

Lucia Falls actual waterfalls, feature several levels of cascading water, often topped off by leaping fish. Photo by Mike Schultz
Lucia Falls actual waterfalls, feature several levels of cascading water, often topped off by leaping fish. Photo by Mike Schultz
  • A 24-acre park with access and views of Lucia Falls along the East Fork of the Lewis River
  • The park is located in southern Yacolt, off NE Lucia Falls Rd.
  • The park connects to Moulton Falls park by a two and a half mile walking trail
  • Picnic tables and a barbeque are available in the park, but swimming is not allowed due to sensitive fish populations
  • The park is free to the public and is open 7 am to dusk each day

4. Moulton Falls Park

Moulton Falls is one of the most iconic waterfalls in all of Clark County, with its many parts and historic parkland. Photo by Mike Schultz
Moulton Falls is one of the most iconic waterfalls in all of Clark County, with its many parts and historic parkland. Photo by Mike Schultz
  • The park is a 387-acre swath of land covering the intersection of the Lewis River and Big Tree Creek
  • Several waterfalls are visible from the shore and walking bridges
  • Bells Mountain Trail is within the park and stretches over seven miles
  • Moulton Falls’ largest bridge stands some 60 feet above the water, (jumping is not allowed)
  • Swimming is allowed, but it is at your own risk, with no lifeguards on duty
  • The Chelatchie Prairie Railroad excursion train also passes through the park
  • The park is free to the public and open 7 a.m. to dusk

5. North Clark County Historical Museum

The North Clark County Historical Museum in Amboy, was originally a church built in 1910. Photo by Mike Schultz
The North Clark County Historical Museum in Amboy, was originally a church built in 1910. Photo by Mike Schultz
  • Open every Saturday from noon to 4 p.m. and free to the public
  • Housed inside the renovated 1910 Amboy United Brethren Church
  • Explore native american, pioneer and logging exhibits
  • Located off 399th St. in the center of Amboy

6. Cedar Creek Grist Mill and Covered Bridge

The Cedar Creek Grist Mill in North Clark County is the only fully-operational, water-powered mill in Washington state. Photo by Mike Schultz
The Cedar Creek Grist Mill in North Clark County is the only fully-operational, water-powered mill in Washington state. Photo by Mike Schultz
  • Constructed in 1876, the Grist Mill is a full operational museum
  • Water from the Cedar Creek rushing into the mill turns massive belts and pulleys which, inturn, grind mill stones together
  • The mill produces flour, cornmeal and seasonal apple cider
  • Visitors drive through a large covered bridge to get to the mill
  • Hiking trails wrap around the area, going up Cedar Creek
  • The mill is open to the public on weekends, Saturday 1 to 4 p.m. and Sunday 2 to 4 p.m. with free admission, (donations are appreciated)

7. Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge

  • Located along the lower Columbia River, the refuge is a massive 5,300 acres
  • The refuge is split into five sections, with two accessible to the public and the other three sanctuary for wildlife
  • Walking trails and a car-accessible route are included in the refuge
  • The Cathlapotle Plankhouse, built in 2005, serves as a native ameican museum and visitors center regarding the archaeology done in the refuge
  • Many opportunities for photographing wildlife, especially birds, are present
  • The refuge is open 6 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. with a $3 daily entrance fee per vehicle
We'd love to hear your comments!

About The Author

Jacob Granneman is a filmmaker and writer from Clark County. He is a recent graduate of Washington State University’s Edward R. Murrow College, where he studied media production. He has produced documentary stories all over the Pacific Northwest and in Argentina. His passions range from loving people, to cinematography, to going on adventures in the most beautiful place on earth, i.e. his backyard. He lives with his wife in Vancouver, WA.

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