I’ll be honest. With the frigid temperatures we’ve been seeing lately, I almost threw in the towel this week. Curling up in a blanket with a hot cup of coffee and a good book seemed way more appealing. But since Snowpocalypse 2019 didn’t hit as hard as I was expecting, I braved the flurries and headed for Camassia Natural Area.
Location: Cross the Arch Bridge to West Linn, go left on Willamette Falls Drive, right on Sunset Avenue, and right on Walnut Street. There is a small parking area and trailhead at the end of the street. I believe you could also access the trail from Windsor Terrace and the parking lot at West Linn High School.
Distance: If you stick to the loop, it’s about 1.4 miles. There are a couple side trails that go up to Windsor Terrace, the High School, and a higher, rocky area. These are all short detours and you’ll have to retrace your steps to get back to the loop.
Pros: The boardwalk and bark chip trail is perfect for walking in any weather, even light snow. Close to Canby. Rocky terrain reminiscent of the Scottish Highlands. Volunteers appear to be taking really good care of this park; no trash and you can tell people have been pulling out invasive ivy.
Cons: You can hear I-205 because the park is literally on top of I-205. No dogs; the natural area is meant to protect ground-nesting birds and other sensitive wildlife.
Camassia is not a challenging hike by any means. It’s a casual stroll, with pretty scenery right in our backyard. I definitely intend to go back in the spring, when the camas flower (where the park gets its name) blooms.