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Located in the middle of the Columbia River, Strawberry Island features a number of hiking trails that go to various viewpoints around the island. At least one of these points is known to have been used by the Lewis & Clark expedition.
The island has a few trees on it, but mostly it is open grassland. Therefore, if it is a cloudless day it will be very hot here on the island. Come prepared for the heat.
The trails are gravel in places, and in other places simply packed dirt, or mowed grass.
Restrooms are located at the east end of the city ball fields, or on the south side of the island near the turn around for the paved road that comes from the west side of the island.
The trails here are quite an intricate network, but none of the distances are really that far, and it is after all an island. Therefore, you can't really get that lost here. Most trail intersections have signs indicating which direction to go.
It is also possible to navigate the trail system using local land marks, as Beacon Rock and other large landmarks are very close to the island and quite visible from most locations.
A number of benches have been built at various locations, so you don't have to worry about where to sit to have lunch or rest your legs.
The trails on the island are a partnership between the city of North Bonneville, the US Army Corps of Engineers, and the US Forest Service. The web site below is for the city of North Bonneville, who is probably your best bet in terms of who to contact about these trails. However, the city trail system of North Bonneville that is featured on their web site does NOT include the Strawberry Island trails. The two are separate trail systems.
I have also created a travelogue of photos from the island trail system so that you can have a more complete view of the island and its trails.
Updated Sep 24, 2009
There are two Bonneville dams. One you reach from the Oregon side and one from the Washington side. We visited from the Washington side. Despite the fact that the Chinook Salmon were running it was a quiet day, with few people. The dam on the Washington side was the second one of the two built and is larger. We were a little late for the free dam tour, but having seen them elsewhere it was enough to look at the giant turbines from the viewing gallery.
More what we were hoping to see was the fish ladders. We spent quite abit of time watching the fish fight the current and jump up the ladders. Then we went in to the viewing area and were able to watch them continue on their way up the river. There is a biologist who sits and counts every single fish passing by and accumulates totals of the different species. The day we were there in Sept 15,000 Chinook passed by. The fish who find their way up the Washington fish ladders continue on their way up the river. Those who find their way to the Oregon side are caught in the hatchery there.
Written Aug 8, 2009