Trails

Ash Trees - Lyn Topinka_512x219

Feel as though you have escaped the city as you stretch your legs through forest of ash, fir, cedar and oak.  Open your lungs and mind as you stroll along wetland trails and watch wildlife soar the open water, fields, and sky.  The following trails are very different in terrain, habitat, and location on the refuge.  See these trail profiles for maps, directions, and seasonal closures before you visit.

  • Oaks to Wetlands Trail

    Open Year-round, daily

    The Oaks to Wetlands trail is located on the Carty Unit of the Refuge. This trail is open year-round during daylight hours and has several internal loops offering hiking distances of less than a mile to over 2 miles. The trail starts out as a graveled and then paved walk past the Plankhouse and along a small lake.  Then the trail crosses uneven terrain as it transects oak woodlands, fir forests, and basalt outcroppings.

    The northern loop section of the trail will continue to be worked on, with the help of Washington Trails Association throughout November and December to create a more permanent trail that addresses erosion and habitat needs while enhancing the visitor experience. Stay tuned. 

  • Kiwa Trail

    Seasonal Closure in place; closed Until May 1, 2020 (subject to weekends only until bridge work is completed)

    The Kiwa Trail on the River 'S' Unit can be reached by following the Auto Tour Route past the observation blind. The Kiwa Trial is open from May 1 to September 30 during daylight hours. The trail offers a generally level grade and is constructed of compacted gravel and boardwalks. The trail is well suited for wheelchairs, wheeled walkers, and baby strollers.

  • Carty Lake Trail

    Seasonal Closure in place; Carty Lake Trail is open May 1 - Sept 30.

    In partnership with the Port and City of Ridgefield, the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge is excited to continue to expand their trail system to connect people to nature from popular community spaces. 

    The Carty Lake Trail entrance at the Port of Ridgefield, is now open. This new trail system will offer Port visitors a free path to the Lake River overlook. Beyond that a fee-entry seasonal trail (the Carty Lake trail) will take the public to the Cathlapotle Plankhouse, the Oaks to Wetlands Trail System, and the Refuge Office, with a daily entrance fee of $3/ per car. Additionally, the Refuge welcomes the community to walk the Carty Lake Trail starting from the Main Avenue entrance as a 2.2 mile total out-and-back experience when open, May 1 - Sept 30.

    Walkers will eventually have the opportunity to connect back into town through a currently unfinished section of year-round trail on Main Avenue that is projected to open in 2020. The final product will be a 5 mile loop trail system through the Refuge, City and Port, with wildlife and habitat views as well as that small community feel that Ridgefield prides itself with.