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Paradise Point Loop Hike

From Oregon Hikers Field Guide

On the shore of the East Fork Lewis River, Paradise Point State Park (bobcat)
Wetland footbridge, Paradise Point State Park (bobcat)
Beaver gnawings, Paradise Point State Park (bobcat)
Waterfall, Paradise Point State Park (bobcat)
The loop hike around Paradise Point State Park (not a GPS track) (bobcat) Courtesy: Google Maps
  • Start point: Paradise Point TrailheadRoad.JPG
  • End point: Paradise Park Falls
  • Trail Log:
  • Hike Type: Loop
  • Distance: 1.8 miles
  • High point: 170 feet
  • Elevation gain: 240 feet
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Seasons: Year round
  • Family Friendly: Yes
  • Backpackable: No
  • Crowded: No

Contents

Hike Description

Paradise Point State Park stretches south from a sharp, 180-degree bend in the East Fork Lewis River just east of its confluence with the Lewis River. The park protects a narrow riparian corridor backed against a steep slope. The catch is that this bend also carries a massive freeway bridge for I-5 and its accompanying 24/7 roar. This is a popular spot for fishermen, however, and somewhat surprisingly, there is both conventional and walk-in primitive camping available. The trail system is also not a smooth, manicured pathway but a set of narrow tracks through swampy river bottom and slope forest. Indeed, the former may be under water for part of the year, so you may not be able to make the loop - that will depend on river levels. There are a few botanical ID markers scattered about. Perhaps not a destination in itself, this is a good stopover point for a little leg stretch when doing the freeway drive as long as you are armed with a Discover Pass. It also makes a good combination with the La Center Bottoms Hike.

From the parking area, hike along the grassy sward with its picnic tables. The East Fork Lewis River is to your left and the noisy freeway bridge is behind you. A stepped trail heads uphill at the end of the grassy area and switchbacks in woods of Douglas-fir, grand fir, big-leaf maple, yew, cottonwood, sword fern and ivy. The trail drops, rises, and drops to river level on this steep hillside. Head up again immediately. There’s a use trail to the right leading to the park road just above. Descend to a steep, oak-shaded bank above the river and a deep pool. The trail drops steeply down to the shoreline here and hugs it to reach a reed canary grass wetland. (At times, this area may be flooded). Watch for herons and cormorants on the river. Cross a wooden footbridge with a red osier dogwood-lined wetland to the right. Tall grand firs, cedars and Douglas-firs form a backdrop. Look for beaver activity in this area. Cross another footbridge with a second wetland pool to the right. Beaver trails lead from the river to the wetland. Here you reach a portion of the trail that may be drowned by the river late fall through spring. You may have to do a short bushwhack through the willows and dogwoods to pick up the trail again as it rises up the slope at a rock outcropping and an Impatiens ID sign.

The trail rises with a creek down to the left. At a junction, keep left and cross a footbridge to head up to a viewing platform with a vista of a small 20-foot waterfall, which may not be much to see in the summer. A trail leads to the bottom of the waterfall itself, but this is blocked by a No Entry sign at the park boundary. Back to the junction, go left up steps and hit a wide level trail that heads through glades of cedar, Douglas-fir, big-leaf maple, and grand fir. Keep left at an old road track and pass several secluded walk-in campsites which, on this downslope, are also sheltered from most of the freeway noise. The trail rises gently and then levels in the main campground area. Walk past a gate and at the RV holding tank disposal area, find a trail that drops down to a muddy road track in the hillside forest (Going right would take you back to the waterfall). Go left and along the edge of a soggy open space (The park’s septic tanks are below this) and up past a gate to reach the park road. Walk down the road. Around a bend, reach a 100-yard long erosion control fence that is designed to block people from making use trails down the steep slope. Thus, continue down the road to the parking area.

Maps

Regulations or restrictions, etc

  • $10 day-use pass or annual Discover Pass required
  • Park open 8 a.m. to dusk
  • Dogs on leash
  • Campground, restrooms, picnic area
  • Trail along the river can be very wet or totally submerged.

Trip Reports

Related Discussions / Q&A

Guidebooks that cover this hike

  • Day Hiking: Columbia River Gorge by Craig Romano
  • Washington State Parks: A Complete Recreation Guide by Marge & Ted Mueller

More Links


Contributors

Oregon Hikers Field Guide is built as a collaborative effort by its user community. While we make every effort to fact-check, information found here should be considered anecdotal. You should cross-check against other references before planning a hike. Trail routing and conditions are subject to change. Please contact us if you notice errors on this page.

Hiking is a potentially risky activity, and the entire risk for users of this field guide is assumed by the user, and in no event shall Trailkeepers of Oregon be liable for any injury or damages suffered as a result of relying on content in this field guide. All content posted on the field guide becomes the property of Trailkeepers of Oregon, and may not be used without permission.