On the maps and documents of Vancouver, you will find this place officially referred to as "Stewart Glen Burnt Bridge Creek Greenway Park" and I am quite surprised that all that fits within a VirtualTourist title field, but it does.
This small park extends from Fruit Valley Road along Burnt Bridge Creek to Hazel Dell Avenue. It contains a paved bike pathway that continues well east of Interstate 5 and is a reasonably popular recreational trail.
The area along the trail is a wetlands formed by the obstruction of Burnt Bridge Creek, and this area is reasonably popular with some bird species. Bufflehead tend to sit in the open water and dive for food, while wood ducks and wigeon are reasonably common - wigeon mostly in the winter, and wood ducks are not easy to spot that often, but they are here. Heron also hunt in the tall marshy areas, and there are many small song birds in the forest and tall grass.
There are no restrooms in the park, but there is a small information kiosk at the Fruit Valley Road end of the park.
The area has some fairly amazing trilliums in the forest that open in mid-April, and that is also when the song birds are reasonably active as well.
The area just north of the park happens to be the spot where a branch line off the main railway between Seattle and Portland wanders uphill to Battle Ground and Yacolt. This spot is known as Vancouver Junction to railway people, and it just so happens that Vancouver Junction is a location in the VirtualTourist database. Therefore, I have added a travelogue of Flowers and Birds seen on April 17, 2011 to my Vancouver Junction page. This travelogue includes some photos of the trillium, though nothing can really do justice to the peak trillium blooms the forests on the south side of this little park produces.
How to Get Here
Ah, and now there is the question! The grand entrance to the park is really the kiosk at the intersection of Fruit Valley Road and NW Bernie Drive. Parking is only available on the north side of Bernie, however. You will need to either enter from the NW Lincoln Avenue side of things or loop through some of the neighborhood Streets. Interstate 5 to NW 39th Street and go west to Lincoln and north to Bernie works well, and then to exit the area, but it can be difficult turning left onto Fruit Valley Road from Bernie. C-Tran bus route #2 also makes a loop through the area, with a small section of the route on Bernie. The entrance from the neighborhood is difficult to find, as it is located off of Bernie between 60th and 62nd. Bernie makes a deep dip in this area, and you will see a very narrow street on the northeast side of Bernie with a single very wealthy house on it, but overgrown tangle on the other side of the street, and a sign saying "Motorized Vehicles Prohibited - Pedestrian Traffic Only". This is the entrance to the park from the neighborhood, and if you go down this private-looking street you will find at the end of the street a dirt trail that weaves down the hillside to the paved bike trail near the bottom of the hill.
The Alki Road / Hazel Dell Avenue end of the park have very narrow streets, and parking at that end of things is difficult to find.
This large Christian festival is held here (Clark County fairgrounds) during the third weekend in July, from thursday through saturday. In 2004, 29,000 people attended the festival. Famous Christian music groups and preachers perform here. A camping site is located within the premises.
This parkis great, ample room for everyone, and activities as well, several parks inside a park really.
I cannot say enough, you could go for a few days in a row and still not have seen the entire park, it is very big and very nice.
I-5 to Exit 9
N on 10th Ave
E onto 219th St into Battle Ground
N on SR-503 approx. 3 miles to park entrance
In the days when Fort Vancouver was a British frontier post, there was a desire for food of more types than what was available locally. Therefore, orchards and gardens were established.
The oldest living thing dating from those times is this ancient apple tree, which is thought to date from 1826.
Naturally, the name of the park is now Old Apple Tree Park.
Unfortunately, for many years, this park was not easy to get to, as over time the old apple tree was completely surrounded by railroad lines and highway expansion.
Today, it is possible to access the park using the Vancouver Land Bridge trail that goes between the Waterfront Trail and Fort Vancouver. In photo 5 you can see the entry from Old Apple Tree Park to the Land Bridge proper, which includes a gateway designed in a fashion that is to give tribute to the native peoples of the area.
Located a building or two east of the McMenamin's bar and restaurant along Vancouver's Riverfront Trail, a new steel sculpture has emerged as a memorial to the World War II ship yard workers.
One of the more interesting images in the statue features is a wooden laundry basket, as might be seen at the time in many locations, with a pile of clothing inside, and a welding helmet dropped on top of it.
Some of the emblems written into the statue are fairly obvious. For example, the house and the boat are the two working locations of the women who worked in the ship yards. The moviehoue is a considerably more obscure reference. The movie playing is "Mrs Miniver" which did in fact enter the market in 1942. The inspiration for the film, however, were a much more complete set of columns in The Times, starting in 1937. These were essentially about everyday life, though as World War II started, the war entered everyday life in a larger and larger way. Winston Churchill is quoted as saying when the book form collection of the column was released, it was worth six divisions of war effort.
In the years leading up to the bicentennial of the Lewis & Clark expedition, there were a number of improvement projects that were proposed along the Columbia River in order to give people access to historic locations and to memorialize those who came before us (both Europeans and Native Americans).
Various groups were involved in a commissioning of artist Maya Lin for seven of those projects, of which this was one. The set of seven is called the Confluence Project (see web site below).
Fort Vancouver had long ago been cut off from the river that once provided it with vital transportation and its very reason for existing. One major highway including extensive ramp material for a major junction, plus a very busy railroad line, plus a much smaller road, made life very interesting in terms of designing and constructing this series of ramps, bridge, tunnel and walkway.
Among the unique features of the structure, the "land bridge" concept includes the planting of plants along the bridge, including over the traffic lanes. The result is a merciful muffling of traffic noise that goes under the bridge. The idea was to give the impression of the land linking the fort and the river again.
While it was not completed in time for the 2005 anniversary of the Lewis & Clark expedition due to its complexity, it is as of today complete. It provides its intended purpose for connecting Fort Vancouver and the Vancouver waterfront trail in excellent at graceful fashion (graceful for a monumental concrete structure anyway) and as a plus provides much improved access to Old Apple Tree Park.
Several small plazas along the bridge allow for viewing Fort Vancouver from a unique perspective, and as a place for historical educational signs.
Located along the Vancouver riverfront trail, this statue is somewhat hidden by a condominium building and tall bushes and grasses. She was a leader of the people living along the Columbia River in this area approximately in 1800, but unfortunately there is not a large amount of information available about her. There are some who think that she was a "medicine woman", while there are others who seem to think that she may have been some other spiritual or tribal political figure.
Further clouding the information is that her memorial stone has enough lichen and moss growing on it to make the letters hard to read.
Her statue looks out over the Columbia River towards the southwest, in the direction of the Interstate 5 bridge. She is sitting on a few rocks that have been placed on the site to provide a somewhat natural setting to the location.
The area where the statue is located has several benches and is a small plaza of its own, but is hidden from the river by several large plants near the statue.
The Vancouver, Washington area (and thus Portland, Oregon) is full of amazing hiking opportunities.
1. Siouxon Creek Trail: Located just on the south side of Mt. St. Helens near Yale Lake. Lush old growth forest, many creeks, waterfalls. An all around beautiful place, just inside the western edge of the Gifford Pinchot National Forest. Also a great place for mountain biking. (shown in pic)
2. Angels Rest Trail: In the Columbia River Gorge, about 30 minutes east of Portland/Vancouver. Trail takes you to a rocky outcrop high up (over 1000 feet) on the wall of the Gorge. Views west and east are amazing, especially on a clear day.
3. Dog Mountain Trail: About 45 minutes east of Vancouver on highway 14. A tough hike but very VERY rewarding at the end. High upon the top of Dog Mountain you can see very far. Barges look like ants navigating the river below. Go in the spring and catch the stunning wild flowers in action. They literally carpet the whole upper portion of the mountain. Simply amazing.
Ester Short Park was the property of the first Americans to file a land claim in the area. Located at West 8th and Columbia streets it contains the 1867 Slocum House (A 'Rhode Island' style home now used as a community theater.)
This is a photo of the house, on the corner of the park.
The Hidden family who were in the brick business, built Providence Academy (the first permanent Catholic School in the Northwest was erected in Vancouver in 1873 under the direction of Mother Joseph. It was built with 300,000 handmade bricks!
I will try to find more information on this fascinating lady's life.