If you live anywhere near Hood River, you need to go here now:
This is Lost Lake, which is about 20 miles outside of Hood River. It is the kind of place you would never find unless you knew where you were going, and it truly is a gorgeous place. The view of Mt. Hood is pretty much unparalleled, and the water is clear and cool. The entire lake is surrounded by true old growth forest, full of Cedar and Hemlock. The smell of cedar is slight and musky, and if you close your eyes you can hear only birds, wind and bugs. Pretty amazing for being less than 80 miles from downtown Portland.
There is no motorized watercraft allowed on the tiny lake, so it makes a nice place to swim or paddleboat. The shore is also pretty flat and the water is shallow for five feet out, so you can splash around and walk in the cold water without worry.
There are a few trails in the area. We chose the Lost Lake trail that goes around the lake. It is a 3.2 mile loop, and only gains 100 feet in elevation the entire way. It is well marked, generally flat and there are huckleberry bushes and mushrooms galore to check out.
I can't tell you how much fun we had here. We took a picnic, ate right on the lake and splashed away in the water. We went on a Friday, and the weather and crowds were perfect. I can imagine this place is super busy on nice weekends, so I am glad we chose a week day. My lousy photo skills do not do the lake and mountain view justice, and I can only imagine what amazing shots Kalurah could have taken. But I will post one more of my favorites, so you can enjoy the scenery.
Difficulty (scale of 1-10): 1
Watch out from old roots and limbs sticking out of the ground that will trip toddlers
Toddler Friendly: 8