This easy paddle along Lake River to the confluence with the Columbia River is a once in a lifetime experience. You will paddle along the border of the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge which is rich in wildlife and cultural history, osprey and bald eagles abound. The Lewis and Clark campsite and the Cathlapotle PlankHouse are about 1.9 miles downstream, across from Bachelor Slough.
The paddle is a 5-mile, two-hour, loop from the Public Boat Launch in Ridgefield. The entire 5-miles is part of the 32-mile Lewis River-Vancouver Lake Water Trail. The Water Trail includes Vancouver Lake, the full extent of Lake River, a section of the Columbia River along the west side of Bachelor Island, the Bachelor Island Slough and the confluences of the Lewis and Lake Rivers, upriver on the East Fork of the Lewis River to La Center and upriver on the North Fork of the Lewis River to Woodland. A Paddling Guide is available for information about the entire trail.
What boats will be on the paddle? You may bring your own kayak, canoe or stand-up paddleboard. Or, kayaks and paddleboards are available at a discounted rate from Ridgefield Kayak. Reservations in advance are strongly advised. They do sell out. You may also reserve a seat on a 30-foot big canoe hosted by Lower Columbia Estuary Partnership or the 30-foot Chinook Canoe. The large canoes will have guides and interpreters, but some passengers will be required to paddle.
Is registration required? Yes. Everyone who is paddling – in your own boat, a rental or in a big canoe, is required to register. Registration is only $5. You may register on Eventbrite or on the day of the event. The first 200 registered paddlers will receive a goodie bag with coupons, information about the event and a stainless steel Big Paddle water bottle.