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Lewis & Clark's Columbia River - "200 Years Later"
"Gibbons Creek Wildlife Art Trail, Steigerwald Lake NWR, Washington"
Includes ... Gibbons Creek Wildlife Art Trail ... Gibbons Creek ... Steigerwald Lake NWR ...
Image, 2009, Steigerwald Lake NWR, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Sign, Gibbons Creek Wildlife Art Trail, Steigerwald Lake NWR, Washington. Image taken August 2, 2009.


Gibbons Creek Wildlife Art Trail ...
Nearly three miles of trail are located within the Steigerwald Lake National Wildlife Refuge. As of 2010 the "art" along the Gibbons Creek Wildlife Art Trail was still being added.

Columbia River Dike Trail ...
The Gibbons Creek Wildlife Art Trail intersects the Columbia River Dike Trail at two points.
[More]

Image, 2016, Columbia River, Steigerwald Lake NWR, click to enlarge
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Columbia River Dike Trail (left) at Steigerwald Lake NWR (right), Washougal, Washington. Image taken March 18, 2016.

Along the Trail

  • Paint Palatte ...
  • "Listen to Wildlife Lyrics" ...
  • Doors ...
  • The Trail is Open !!! ...
  • "The Refuge sets the table for wildlife" ...
  • "New Beginnings" ...
  • "Cutout Tree" ...
  • Stone Bench and Sign Post ...
  • "Bittern" ...
  • Bronze Snake, Newt, and "Big Bug" ...
  • Bugs on Gibbons Creek Bridge ...
  • Bike Racks ...
  • Nature's Canvas ...


Paint Palette ...
The paint palette is located on a rock at the beginning of the Gibbons Creek Wildlife Art Trail, next to the parking lot.

"Nature's canvas is full of amazing colors,
textures, and shapes. As you walk the trail,
look closer-natural and manmade art is
waiting to be discovered.
     What do they mean to you?"

Image, 2011, Steigerwald Lake NWR, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Paint Palette, Steigerwald Lake NWR, Washington. Located on a rock at the beginning of the Gibbons Creek trail, next to the parking lot. Image taken February 10, 2011.


"Listen to Wildlife Lyrics" ...
Located along the first boardwalk closest to the parking lot. This area was burned in a fire in _____. The boardwalk was replaced with a gravel path.

Image, 2010, Steigerwald Lake NWR, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
"Listen to Wildlife Lyrics", Willow Flycatcher, Steigerwald Lake NWR, Washington. Before fire. Image taken October 19, 2010.
Image, 2016, Steigerwald Lake NWR, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
"Listen to Wildlife Lyrics", Yellow Warbler, Steigerwald Lake NWR, Washington. After fire. Image taken March 18, 2016.
Image, 2016, Steigerwald Lake NWR, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
"Welcome to our Home", Steigerwald Lake NWR, Washington. After fire. This now gravel path was initially a boardwalk. Image taken March 18, 2016.


Doors ...
The northern trail of the Gibbons Creek Wildlife Art Trail closes for the winter. Beginning in 2010 the "Keep Out" signs were DOORS !!!!!

Image, 2010, Steigerwald Lake NWR, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Door, Steigerwald Lake NWR, Washington. Western door along the northern trail. Image taken October 19, 2010.
Image, 2010, Steigerwald Lake NWR, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Door, Steigerwald Lake NWR, Washington. Eastern door along the northern trail, where the trail connects to the dike trail. Image taken October 19, 2010.
Image, 2010, Steigerwald Lake NWR, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Closeup, door, Steigerwald Lake NWR, Washington. Western door along the northern trail. Image taken October 19, 2010.


The Trail is Open !!! ...

Image, 2011, Steigerwald Lake NWR, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
The Trail is OPEN !!! ... Steigerwald Lake NWR, Washington. Western door along the northern trail. Image taken May 18, 2011.


"The Refuge sets the table for wildlife" ...

Image, 2011, Steigerwald Lake NWR, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
"The Refuge sets the table for wildlife", Steigerwald Lake NWR, Washington. Along the northern trail. Image taken May 18, 2011.
Image, 2011, Steigerwald Lake NWR, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
"The Refuge sets the table for wildlife", Steigerwald Lake NWR, Washington. Along the northern trail. Image taken May 18, 2011.
Image, 2011, Steigerwald Lake NWR, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
"The Refuge sets the table for wildlife", Steigerwald Lake NWR, Washington. Along the northern trail. Image taken May 18, 2011.
Image, 2011, Steigerwald Lake NWR, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
"The Refuge sets the table for wildlife", Steigerwald Lake NWR, Washington. Along the northern trail. Image taken May 18, 2011.


"New Beginnings" ...

Image, 2011, Steigerwald Lake NWR, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
"New Beginnings", Steigerwald Lake NWR, Washington. Along the northern trail. Image taken May 18, 2011.
Image, 2011, Steigerwald Lake NWR, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
"New Beginnings", Steigerwald Lake NWR, Washington. Along the northern trail. Image taken May 18, 2011.
Image, 2011, Steigerwald Lake NWR, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
"New Beginnings", Steigerwald Lake NWR, Washington. Along the northern trail. Image taken May 18, 2011.


"Cutout Tree" ...

Image, 2011, Steigerwald Lake NWR, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
"Cutout Tree", Steigerwald Lake NWR, Washington. Along the northern trail. Image taken May 18, 2011.
Image, 2011, Steigerwald Lake NWR, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Cutout tree, Steigerwald Lake NWR, Washington. Along the northern trail. Image taken May 18, 2011.
Image, 2011, Steigerwald Lake NWR, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Cutout tree, Steigerwald Lake NWR, Washington. Along the northern trail. Image taken May 18, 2011.
Image, 2011, Steigerwald Lake NWR, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Cutout tree, Steigerwald Lake NWR, Washington. Along the northern trail. Image taken May 18, 2011.


Stone Bench and Sign Post ...
A stone bench overlooks Redtail Lake. Now a sign post lets Refuge walkers know that Canada is 1,500 miles and Alaska is 2,500 north, Mexico is 1,500 miles and South American is 6,500 miles south, the Great Basin is 1,500 miles east, and the Pacific Coast is 90 miles west. One side of the banner shows Spring and Summer birds, and the other side shows Fall and Winter birds.

Image, 2010, Steigerwald Lake NWR, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Steigerwald Lake NWR, Washington. Image taken October 19, 2010.
Image, 2010, Steigerwald Lake NWR, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Steigerwald Lake NWR, Washington. Image taken October 19, 2010.
Image, 2010, Steigerwald Lake NWR, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Steigerwald Lake NWR, Washington. Image taken October 19, 2010.


"Bittern" ...

Image, 2015, Steigerwald Lake NWR, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
"Bittern", Steigerwald Lake NWR, Washington. Image taken May 14, 2015.


Bronze Snake, Newt, and "Big Bug" ...

Image, 2012, Steigerwald Lake NWR, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Bronze Snake and Newt, Steigerwald Lake NWR, Washington. Image taken April 2, 2012.
Image, 2012, Steigerwald Lake NWR, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Bronze "Big Bug" in tree, Steigerwald Lake NWR, Washington. Image taken April 8, 2012.


Bugs on Gibbons Creek Bridge ...

Image, 2012, Steigerwald Lake NWR, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Bettens Silverstreak Caddisfly, Steigerwald Lake NWR, Washington. On the bridge over Gibbons Creek. Image taken March 6, 2012.
Image, 2012, Steigerwald Lake NWR, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Black-winged Damselfly, Steigerwald Lake NWR, Washington. On the bridge over Gibbons Creek. Image taken March 6, 2012.
Image, 2012, Steigerwald Lake NWR, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
California Stonefly, Steigerwald Lake NWR, Washington. On the bridge over Gibbons Creek. Image taken March 6, 2012.
Image, 2012, Steigerwald Lake NWR, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Common Water Strider, Steigerwald Lake NWR, Washington. On the bridge over Gibbons Creek. Image taken March 6, 2012.
Image, 2012, Steigerwald Lake NWR, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Snowy Tree Cricket, Steigerwald Lake NWR, Washington. On the bridge over Gibbons Creek. Image taken March 6, 2012.
Image, 2012, Steigerwald Lake NWR, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Water Boatman, Steigerwald Lake NWR, Washington. On the bridge over Gibbons Creek. Image taken March 6, 2012.


Bike Racks ...
Unusual looking bike racks were being installed on the day this web author visited the Refuge. Great Blue Herons had been installed on the south side of the parking lot. Canada Geese (according to the workmen, personally they look more like ducks to me) were being installed on the western trailhead next to the dike.

Image, 2010, Steigerwald Lake NWR, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Installing "geese" bike racks, Steigerwald Lake NWR, Washington. Image taken October 19, 2010.
Image, 2016, Steigerwald Lake NWR, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Bike racks, Steigerwald Lake NWR, Washington. Image taken March 18, 2016.
Image, 2010, Steigerwald Lake NWR, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Great Blue Heron bike racks, Steigerwald Lake NWR, Washington. Image taken October 19, 2010.
Image, 2010, Steigerwald Lake NWR, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Great Blue Heron bike rack, Steigerwald Lake NWR, Washington. Image taken October 19, 2010.


Nature's Canvas ...
"Nature's Canvas" is located at the southwest corner of Steigerwald Lake NWR, where the Art Trail meets the Columbia River Dike Trail.

"Nature's canvas is full of
amazing colors, textures,
and shapes. As you walk
the trail, look closer
natural and manmade
art is waiting
to be discovered.
     What do they mean to you?"

Image, 2016, Steigerwald Lake NWR, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
"Nature's Canvas", Steigerwald Lake NWR, Washington. Image taken March 18, 2016.
Image, 2016, Steigerwald Lake NWR, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
"Nature's Canvas", Steigerwald Lake NWR, Washington. Image taken March 18, 2016.


From the Journals of Lewis and Clark ...

Clark, November 3, 1805 ...
The Fog So thick [typical of the Pacific Northwest in the fall and spring] this morning that we could not See a man 50 Steps off, this fog detained us untill 10 oClock at which time we Set out [from their camp at Rooster Rock], ...    I walked on the Sand beech Lard. Side, opposit the canoes as they passed allong. The under groth rushes, vines &c. in the bottoms too thick to pass through, at 3 miles I arrived at the enterance of a river [Sandy River] which appeared to Scatter over a Sand bar, the bottom of which I could See quite across and did not appear to be 4 Inches deep in any part; I attempted to wade this Stream and to my astonishment found the bottom a quick Sand, and impassable- I called to the Canoes to put to Shore, I got into the Canoe and landed below the mouth, & Capt Lewis and my Self walked up this river about 1 miles to examine this river which we found to be a verry Considerable Stream Dischargeing its waters through 2 Chanels which forms an Island [Sandy River Delta, which has had various names throughout history] of about 3 miles in length on the river and 1 miles wide, composed of Corse Sand which is thrown out of this quick Sand river Compressing the waters of the Columbia and throwing the whole Current of its waters against its Northern banks, within a Chanel of a mile wide, Several Small Islands 1 mile up this river, This Stream has much the appearance of the River Platt: roleing its quick Sands into the bottoms with great velocity after which it is divided into 2 Chanels by a large Sand bar before mentioned, the narrowest part of this River is 120 yards-on the Opposit Side of the Columbia a <large Creek> falls in [Washougal River]     above this Creek on the Same Side is a Small prarie [location of Washougal, Washington, Cottonwood Beach, now the home of Captain William Clark Park, and the Steigerwald Lake National Wildlife Refuge]. extensive low country on each Side thickly timbered [low area upstream of Cottonwood Beach and Captain William Clark Park is the Steigerwald Lake National Wildlife Refuge].

The Quick Sand river [Sandy River] appears to pass through the low countrey at the foot of those high range of mountains in a Southerly direction,- The large Creeks which fall into the Columbia on the Stard. Side [Washougal River] rise in the Same range of mountains to the N. N. E. and pass through Some ridgey land- A Mountain which we Suppose to be Mt. Hood [Mount Hood, Oregon] is S. 85 E about 47 miles distant from the mouth of quick sand river [Sandy River]     This mtn. is Covered with Snow and in the range of mountains which we have passed through and is of a Conical form but rugid- after takeing dinner at the mouth of this river [Sandy River]  we proceeded on passed the head of a Island [Lady Island] near the lard Side [???] back of which on the Same Side and near the head a large Creek falls in [Washougal River, today the town of Camas, Washington, lies between Lady Island and the Washougal River], and nearly opposit & 3 miles below the upper mouth of quick Sand river is the lower mouth, [for?] This Island [Lady Island] is 3 1/2 miles long, has rocks at the upper point, Some timber on the borders of this Island in the middle open and ponney. Some rugid rocks in the middle of the Stream opposit this Island.   <proceeded in> to Center of a large Island in the middle of the river which we call Dimond Isld. [Government Island] from its appearance, here we met 15 Indn men in 2 canoes from below, they informed us they Saw 3 vestles below &c. &c. we landed on the North Side of this Dimond Island and Encamped [on the north side of Government Island, perhaps opposite Fishers Landing],     Capt. L walked out with his gun on the Island, Sent out hunters & fowlers- below quick Sand River [Sandy River] the Countrey is low rich and thickly timbered on each Side of the river  [on the Oregon side this area is the eastern end of the Columbia Slough, located on the floodplain of the Willamette River with the Columbia River],   the Islands open & Some ponds river wide and emence numbers of fowls flying in every direction Such as Swan, geese, Brants, Cranes, Stalks, white guls, comerants & plevers &c. also great numbers of Sea Otter in the river [Harbor Seals] -     a Canoe arrived from the village below the last rapid ...     Capt Lewis borrowed a Small Canoe of those Indians & 4 men took her across to a Small lake in the Isld. [Government Island] ...    ...  :  note the mountain we Saw from near the forks proves to be Mount Hood [Mount Hood, Oregon]





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*River Miles [RM] are approximate, in statute miles, and were determined from USGS topo maps, obtained from NOAA nautical charts, or obtained from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers website, 2003

Sources:    See Steigerwald Lake NWR page for sources.

All Lewis and Clark quotations from Gary Moulton editions of the Lewis and Clark Journals, University of Nebraska Press, all attempts have been made to type the quotations exactly as in the Moulton editions, however typing errors introduced by this web author cannot be ruled out; location interpretation from variety of sources, including this website author.
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February 2017