7 miles round trip
No elevation gain
Open except during floods
At the tip of Oregon’s largest island, this woodsy hike along the Columbia River leads to a miniature lighthouse and a secluded, sandy beach. Because the route is within the Sauvie Island Wildlife Area, you can expect to spot great blue herons, geese, or even a bald eagle—particularly in winter. It’s also fun to watch ocean-going freighters steam past, and at the end of the island there’s a view across to the picturesque old town of St. Helens. High water sometimes closes the trail here in May—and can hatch mosquitoes in June.
Sauvie Island was once the winter home of the Multnomah Indians, who subsisted mainly on fish and on the potato-like roots of the water-loving wapato (arrowhead plant)—a staple they shared with Lewis and Clark in 1805. In the 1830s a French-Canadian named Laurent Sauve converted much of the island to a dairy farm to supply Fort Vancouver. The southern end of the island was diked against floods in 1941 and now produces an enormous variety of vegetable and berry crops. The northern half of Sauvie Island is managed for wildlife and recreation. Overnight camping and unleashed dogs are prohibited.
To reach the starting point of the hike …
Walk through a fence opening …
Hikers who wish to return on a slightly different route …