One of my favorite walks is along Vancouver’s Waterfront Renaissance Trail. This 14-foot-wide, shared-use concrete trail follows the north bank of the Columbia River east from the downtown area near I-5 to Wintler Park. The trail is about 5 miles long. For those of us who are not marathon or cross-country walkers, it’s naturally broken up into shorter segments that run anywhere from 1-2 miles each.
One such segment starts in Marine Park and heads east. The first 1/4 mile or so takes you through a lush green forested area with lots of cottonwood trees and thick stands of blackberry bushes. Then the trail breaks out into the open and swings south to follow the shoreline another 3/4 of a mile to the jetty at Tidewater Cover.
Total walking distance is just over 2 miles round trip. The views along the river are terrific, especially from the end of the jetty! On a clear day, you can get some exceptional shots of Mt Hood. And there are benches set at regular intervals along the way for those who want to stop and rest. Or maybe just do some people-watching.
Marine Park is located at SE Marine Park Way and SE Columbia Way in Vancouver, WA. Directions: From I-5, take state Highway 14 to Exit 1, bearing right. Turn left at the Columbia Shores intersection onto SE Columbia Way and continue east about 3 miles. Marine Park will be on your right. Ample parking available.