As best as possible, this museum covers under one roof everything from the geology through the First Nations, industrial history up to the present day.
Certain items that are too large to fit in the museum (such as a Spokane Portland and Seattle railroad locomotive) are located outside the museum on the grounds.
Parts of the museum have huge windows, that look out onto the very geology and topography that the museum covers.
Dominating part of the interior is a huge "fish wheel" - the device that proved so effective at capturing fish that it was eventually banned because of fish shortages after its introduction.
The First Nations artworks and culture also feature prominently in the museum.
The art gallery that is part of the museum tends to show works from local artists.
Special events are hosted at the museum, including things like historic motor vehicle shows, a Stevenson Community Sale, and special speakers and lectures.
Admission prices (September of 2012) are $10, and the museum is open every day from 10 to 5.
%Trail from Downtown The Mill Pond Trail from downtown Stevenson keeps going after it goes through the Rock Creek Park area, and eventually ends at the museum grounds without having to cross any major roads after leaving downtown Stevenson.
Beautiful accomodations! At Christmas they have live entertainment, Ginger Bread houses, Hot...more
40 N E Second St
Good for: Solo
Simple hotel....clean accomodations. I think it's the only other place in town to stay besides the...more
46592 Hwy 14, Stevenson, Washington, 98648, United States
Having your own car is very helpful when visiting the Columbia River Gorge, as many areas are not easily accessible by any other way.
However, that said, there are ways of getting to Stevenson without having to drive here, if that is desired or required.
Two times every non-holiday weekday, and three times on most Fridays, regular bus services operate through Stevenson, connecting the city of Carson (just east of Stevenson) with Vancouver C-Tran bus service at the Fisher's Landing transit center. As of this writing (2012) the standard fare is $1, making this by far the cheapest of any method to get to Stevenson from the Portland - Vancouver area.
There is no service at all on weekends, many holidays, and the Friday after Christmas.
Operating once per day per direction, there is also the Amtrak Empire Builder from Chicago to Portland (the train splits in Spokane, with most of the train going to Seattle while a few cars come south to Portland). The station is in downtown Stevenson. The eastbound train leaves Portland in the early evening, and the train headed to Portland goes through mid-morning. Unless there is major track trouble, the train operates every day. The Chicago to Portland train is subject to heavy delays at times due to the length of the trip and possibility of grade crossing collisions, which are all to frequent in the USA.
This trail wanders through the edges of Rock Creek Park and the fairgrounds. It connects downtown Stevenson with the park by way of a fairly utilitarian pedestrian bridge, wanders the course of the land next to the old Mill Pond, and then parallels the road on the north side of the park going west to the Gorge Museum and the area near Skamainia Lodge.
There are only a few benches and picnic tables near the trail, but there are a number of interpretive signs giving the local history of the area and some information about the birds that use the water of the pond. Most of the birds are wintering water birds, but the pond is also used by migrating shore birds, and such things as post-breeding mergansers.
The trail is paved and while a little rough in spots is certainly easier to navigate than some alternatives.
Going west, the trail runs beside a road, but even in summer this road is not as busy as a major throughfare. There is traffic, but it isn't as if it were highway 14.
How to Get Here: From downtown Stevenson, you will want to head towards the southwestern side of downtown, close to the pond that is formed by the fill on which the railroad and Highway 14 are built. Before crossing the bridge, you will come to 2nd Avenue / Rock Creek Drive. Go north on this. You will find the downtown entrance to this is located approximately 500 feet / 200 meters from the intersection with Highway 14. There is a well-marked crosswalk for this road that connects the sidewalk on the east side of the road with the trail, which starts on the west side, but the west side of the road has no sidewalk which connects it with downtown.
See Photo 5 to see how the trail entrance looks from the downtown end, close to the 2nd curve of 2nd Street Extension / Rock Creek Road.
From Rock Creek Park / County Fairgrounds, head towards the pond from any location. You will eventually find the paved trail and bridge.
From the far southwest side of town, such as near the Columbia Gorge Interpretive Center or the Skamania Lodge, walk towards Rock Creek Drive and you will find that there is a fairly nice sidewalk along the river side of this road. Following this sidewalk towards downtown Stevenson will eventually connect to this trail as you approach Rock Creek Park and the "Mill Pond".
Located a little northwest of downtown, this park features a decent sized playground, a number of recreational facilities, and the county fairgrounds.
There is a large pond on the western edge of the park, which provides home to a number of bird species, especially in the winter months.
Picnic tables are scattered through the park, and there is a paved walkway along the edge of the pond that has a few benches along it, as well as a number of interpretive signs. This walkway reaches west as far as the Skamania Lodge area and the Columbia Gorge Museum.
A fairly large kinematic sculpture is located on the south side of one of the large recreation buildings.
When there are no events going, this park is reasonably quiet, and despite Highway 14 being very close to the park it is far enough away that the traffic noise is reasonably muted.
The park also has a camping area, as well as is the site of a small community gardening effort.
How to Get Here: Highway 14 going east: turn left onto Rock Creek Drive, go past the Museum and the Skamania Lodge. When you see Rock Cove on the right side, prepare to turn right into the park. From highway 14 going west, turn right onto the 2nd Avenue extension at the very south end of town, which is actually called Rock Creek Drive. You will soon see the entrance to the park on the left.
If walking from downtown, it is possible to enter the park using the pedestrian bridge and walkway that starts aobut 500 feet from the intersection between highway 14 and Rock Creek Drive.
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