To continue or weekly summer hiking, we chose the Ridgefield Wildlife Park in Ridgefield, Washington. Bonus points to any of you out there who know where Ridgefield is.....
The trailhead is located about 14 miles north of the Oregon border on I-5, just past Vancouver. The small town of Ridgefield is west of the freeway, and it took us about 20 minutes to drive there. An auto tour loop winds the entire way around the refuge, and you travel in about two miles to the trailhead. The "hike" is 1.5 miles long, in loop form, with no elevation gain. This translates to EASY, even for me, and is really more like a nature walk than a hike. There are tons of birds, snakes, frogs, turtles and blackberries that are fun to eat.
Since toddlers are not the most quiet traveling companions, we didn't really see much more than a few ducks and a Great Blue Heron. Margot seemed to like the cattails, but then we got a little paranoid and decided she shouldn't be carrying around a potentially protected plant in a wildlife refuge. (Insert sheepish shoulder shrug here. Sorry! It was already picked, we promise!!)
I would say if you like looking at birds and have a set of binoculars, then maybe you could consider going here. For us, it was kind of a wash. There were several landmines to avoid, in the forms of owl pellets, coyote poo and goose poo, so that was a little gross. There isn't much shade, so we got a little hot near the end. It was quiet, and deserted. Margot did like climbing around on the fences and bridges, but other than that she whined a LOT and seemed a bit bored.
Well, they can't all be winners.....
At least we did get the opportunity to add another adorable family self portrait to the mix. I hope everyone had a great weekend and had fun!
Difficulty (scale of 1-10): 0
Seriously, I didn't even sweat. And I carried Margot part of the way.
Toddler Friendly: 7
Fun: 1 (and that is generous)