Lewis and Clark's Columbia River
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Lewis & Clark's Columbia River - "200 Years Later"
"River 'S" ... Ridgefield NWR, Washington"
Includes ... River "S" Unit, Ridgefield NWR ... Auto Tour ... Kiwa Trail ... Bird Blind ... Rest Lake ... Bower Slough ...
Image, 2014, Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, click to enlarge
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American Bittern, Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, Ridgefield, Washington. River "S" Unit. Image taken September 10, 2014.


Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge ...
The Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge is located on the shore of the Lower Columbia River, 10 miles downstream from Portland, Oregon, and Vancouver, Washington, with the headquarters being located in Ridgefield, Washington. The Refuge was established in 1965 in response to a need to establish winter habitat for the dusky Canada goose whose nesting areas in Alaska were severly impacted by the violent earthquake of 1964. The refuge covers over 5,000 acres of flood plain habitat, seasonal and permanent wetlands, and agricultural lands. The Lewis and Clark expedition came through this area twice, viewing camping near Post Office Lake on November 4, 1805, and setting up camp in a meadow near a Cathlapotle village on March 29, 1806.
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River "S" Unit, Ridgefield NWR ...
The River "S" Unit of the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge is probably the most popular Unit in the Refuge, attracting thousands of visitors on it's "Auto Tour". During the summer months a 1.2-mile long "Kiwa Trail" hiking route is open and all-year there is a wildlife viewing blind open. The River "S" Unit also is the only Unit of the Refuge with designated waterfowl hunting areas (by permit only).

Views ...

Image, 2006, Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, click to enlarge
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Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, Washington. River "S" Unit. Image taken November 25, 2006.
Image, 2011, Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, click to enlarge
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Across Rest Lake, River "S" Unit, Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, Washington. Image taken December 11, 2011.
Image, 2006, Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, click to enlarge
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River "S" Unit, Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, Washington. Image taken November 25, 2006.
Image, 2006, Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, click to enlarge
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Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, Washington. River "S" Unit. Image taken December 30, 2006.
Image, 2006, Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, click to enlarge
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Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, Washington. River "S" Unit. Image taken December 30, 2006.
Image, 2006, Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, click to enlarge
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Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, Washington. River "S" Unit. Image taken December 30, 2006.
Image, 2006, Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, click to enlarge
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Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, Washington. River "S" Unit. Image taken December 30, 2006.
Image, 2012, Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, click to enlarge
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Red-tailed Hawk, Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, Washington, River "S" Unit. Image taken December 14, 2012.
Image, 2012, Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, click to enlarge
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Bald Eagle, Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, Washington, River "S" Unit. Image taken February 2, 2012.
Image, 2011, Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, click to enlarge
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Canada Goose family, Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, Washington, River "S" Unit. Image taken May 3, 2011.
Image, 2011, Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, click to enlarge
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Sandhill Cranes, Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, Washington, River "S" Unit. Image taken November 15, 2011.
Image, 2011, Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, click to enlarge
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Tundra Swan, Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, Washington, River "S" Unit. Image taken February 1, 2011.
Image, 2015, Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, click to enlarge
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Great Egret, Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, Ridgefield, Washington. River "S" Unit. Image taken August 8, 2015.
Image, 2012, Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, click to enlarge
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Great Blue Heron, Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, Washington, River "S" Unit. Image taken February 2, 2012.
Image, 2011, Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, click to enlarge
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Ring-necked Duck, Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, Washington, River "S" Unit. Image taken February 22, 2011.
Image, 2011, Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, click to enlarge
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Cinnamon Teal, male, Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, Washington, River "S" Unit. Image taken May 3, 2011.
Image, 2013, Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, click to enlarge
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Yellow Warbler, Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, Ridgefield, Washington. River "S" Unit. Image taken May 28, 2013.


Around the River "S" Unit

  • Auto Tour ...
  • Bower Slough ...
  • Kiwa Trail ...
  • Rest Lake ...

Auto Tour ...
The River "S" Unit of the Ridgefield NWR has a 4.2 mile auto tour route which circles Rest Lake. The auto tour is an excellent way to see the Refuge.

Image, 2007, Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, click to enlarge
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Touring cars, Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, Washington. River "S" Unit. Image taken March 29, 2007.
Image, 2006, Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, click to enlarge
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"Your car is your blind", Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, Washington. River "S" Unit. Image taken December 30, 2006.
Image, 2013, Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, click to enlarge
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Canada Geese, Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, Ridgefield, Washington. River "S" Unit. Image taken February 10, 2013.
Image, 2011, Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, click to enlarge
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American Kestral, Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, Washington, River "S" Unit. Image taken February 1, 2011.


Bower Slough ...
Bower Slough runs mostly north/south and is located on the western side of the River "S" Unit. The Auto Tour road has the Slough on it's right for over a mile. Bower Slough was named after an early settler, James Bower.

The 1863 Cadastral Survey (Tax Survey) map for T4N R1W shows James Bowers owning 320.61 acres of Section 35, along the Columbia River and the head of Bachelor Island Slough (Claim No.45, D.C. 121).

The Clark County Plat map of 1888, found on "Rootsweb.com", has today's Rest Lake (located on the River "S" Unit of the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge) labeled as "Fales Lake". A slough runs from Campbell's Lake, through the J. Bowers DLC to "Fales Lake", and then north from "Fales Lake" to "Bachelors Slough".


Image, 2011,Bower Slough, Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, click to enlarge
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Bower Slough, Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, Washington. Image taken August 28, 2011.


Kiwa Trail ...
During the summer months a 1.2-mile long "Kiwa Trail" hiking route is open where visitors can walk past several lakes, marshes, and woods, observing a variety of birds.

Rest Lake ...
The auto-tour route in the River "S" unit of the Ridgefield NWR circles a lake which on the Refuge is known as "Rest Lake". However, the official name for this lake is "Hathaway Lake". Hundreds of Tundra Swans and numerous other waterfowl spend their winter on Rest Lake.
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Image, 2007, Rest Lake, Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, click to enlarge
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Rest Lake, Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, Washington. Image taken November 23, 2007.
Image, 2009, Rest Lake, Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, click to enlarge
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Dusky Canada Goose, Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, Washington. Image taken November 4, 2009.

Skip to my Refuge website ...


From the Journals of Lewis and Clark ...

Clark, November 5, 1805 ...
Rained all the after part of last night, rain continues this morning, I [s]lept but verry little last night [Post Office Lake, Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge] for the noise Kept dureing the whole of the night by the Swans, Geese, white & Grey Brant Ducks &c. on a Small Sand Island [one of the islands of the Ridgefield Refuge] close under the Lard. Side; they were emensely noumerous, and their noise horid- we Set out <at about Sun rise> early here the river is not more than 3/4 of a mile in width, passed a Small Prarie on the Stard. Side [quite possibly the location of today's Campbell Lake] passed 2 houses about 1/2 a mile from each other on the Lard. Side a Canoe came from the upper house, with 3 men in its mearly to view us, passed an Isld. Covered with tall trees & green briers [Bachelor Island] Seperated from the Stard. Shore by a narrow Chanel [Lake River or Bachelor Island Slough] at 9 [8?] miles I observed on the Chanel [Lake River or Bachelor Island Slough] which passes on the Stard Side of this Island [Bachelor Island] a Short distance above its lower point is Situated a large village [Cathlapotle Village, near where Lewis and Clark camped on March 29, 1806, a place now known as Wapato Portage], the front of which occupies nearly 1/4 of a mile fronting the Chanel, and closely Connected, I counted 14 houses in front here the river widens to about 1 1/2 miles. ...    about 1 1/2 miles below this village on the Lard Side behind a rockey Sharp point [Warrior Point, Sauvie Island], we passed a Chanel 1/4 of a mile wide [Multnomah Channel] which I take to be the one the Indian Canoe entered yesterday from the lower point of Immage Canoe Island [Hayden Island, at this point Lewis and Clark had not discovered Hayden Island and Sauvie Island were two separate islands]     a Some low clifts of rocks below this Chanel [St. Helens, Oregon], a large Island Close under the Stard Side opposit [Lewis River floodplain, home of Woodland, Washington, possibly more of an "island" in 1805 ???], and 2 Small Islands, below [today's Burke and Martin Islands], here we met 2 canoes from below,- below those Islands a range of high hills form the Stard. Bank of the river [Martin Bluff], the Shore bold and rockey, Covered with a thick groth of Pine     an extensive low Island [Deer Island], Seperated from the Lard side by a narrow Chanel, on this Island we Stoped to Dine I walked out found it open & covered with <Small> grass interspersed with Small ponds, in which was great numbr. of foul, the remains of an old village on the lower part of this Island, I saw Several deer ...     below the lower point of this Island [Deer Island] a range of high hills which runs S. E. forms the Lard. bank of the river the Shores bold and rockey & hills Covered with pine, [Lewis and Clark are passing Goble, Oregon, and the area around the Trojan Nuclear Power Facility     The high hills leave the river on the Stard. Side a high bottom between the hill & river [Kalama, Washington]. We met 4 Canoes of Indians from below, in which there is 26 Indians, one of those Canoes is large, and ornimented with Images on the bow & Stern. That in the Bow the likeness of a Bear, and in Stern the picture of a man- we landed on the Lard. Side & camped [near Prescott Beach, Oregon] a little below the mouth of a creek [Kalama River] on the Stard. Side a little below the mouth of which is an Old Village which is now abandaned-;     here the river is about one and a half miles wide. and deep, The high Hills which run in a N W. & S E. derection form both banks of the river the Shore boald and rockey, the hills rise gradually & are Covered with a thick groth of pine &c. The valley [Columbian Valley] which is from above the mouth of Quick Sand River [Sandy River] to this place may be computed at 60 miles wide on a Derect line, & extends a great Distanc to the right & left rich thickly Covered with tall timber, with a fiew Small Praries bordering on the river and on the Islands; Some fiew Standing Ponds & Several Small Streams of running water on either Side of the river; This is certainly a fertill and a handsom valley, at this time Crouded with Indians. The day proved Cloudy with rain the greater part of it, we are all wet cold and disagreeable- I saw but little appearance of frost in this valley which we call <Wap-pa-too Columbia> from the root or plants growing Spontaniously in this valley only ...     We made 32 miles to day by estimation-





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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 Ridgefield NWR page.

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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October 2016