Bird watching at Steigerwald Lake National Wildlife Refuge

Date: February 6, 2009
Distance: 3.2 miles
Elevation Gain: flat
Time: 1:30
Difficulty: Easy
Weather: cool and cloudy

I couldn't find any official maps of the trail, probably because it's so new. This is a photo of the sign at the trail head.

My Route: The portion of the trail shown in red on the map is currently closed for the winter.
I walked the length of the trail shown in yellow, then turned left onto the dike trail and walked to the Columbia River Overlook before returning as I came.

After an errand in east Vancouver and an urge to get outside I took an impromptu walk in Stiegerwald Lake National Wildlife Refuge. It's such a nice peaceful place to spend an afternoon.

I enjoy bird watching, but I have a lot to learn when it comes to identifying birds. This time I didn't have binoculars and a guidebook with me, so I'm not certain of everything I saw. Along the dike trail I spotted a nest with two bald eagles! Additionally another very large juvenile bald eagle (I couldn't identify it, but some other bird watchers told me what it was, it was so big I might have even guessed it to be a golden eagle) perched in a tree along the dike trail. Also had a cool moment with an unidentified bird (perhaps a hawk of some kind) swooping over the lake and the grassland very near me.
Bald eagle at nest.

The trail is wide and flat and easy to walk on, allowing you to scan the sky and trees for birds without too much worry about tripping and it's wheelchair accessible. The art installations are not yet installed.

No dogs, bikes, running or jogging are allowed on this trail out of respect for the wildlife who live here.

Wildlife sitings: 3 bald eagles, some kind of beautiful thrush or dove, lots of ducks and geese and other birds I couldn't identify.

Trail Head:

View PDX Day Hiker in a larger map Restrooms at the trail head.
What I said about these trails before: Walks in Steigerwald Lake National Wildlife Refuge
Other resources for this and other nearby hikes:
Steigerwald Lake National Wildlife Refuge
Columbia River Gorge Stewards
Columbia River Images

Have you been on this or a nearby trail? Please share your experience.

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