Which parks are the best in Vancouver WA?
Even though the city of Vancouver WA is often overshadowed by its Oregon neighbor to the south and its shared name to the North, the city has a rich history. Older than both Portland and Vancouver, BC, early settlers knew that there was something attractive about this region and settled it first. With a temperate climate, several fresh water sources nearby, and abundant wildlife, Vancouver WA was and is a prime place to live. After nearly 200 years, much of what brought pioneers to the area is kept intact through local parks. There are several parks in and around the city limits, each of which has a specific focus. Salmon Creek Regional Park is great for hiking, Dakota Dog Park is perfect for canine lovers, and Vancouver Lake is prime for water activities.
Love to sightsee? Try Salmon Creek Regional Park in Vancouver WA!
Nestled off NE 117th St in North Vancouver WA near Klineline Pond, there’s several environments to walk through and enjoy. Take a dip and go for a swim in the pond, or enjoy a long walk in the 368-acre green space. There’s something for everyone at Salmon Creek Regional Park!
See the wildlife at the hiking trails
The Salmon Creek Greenway Trail is a 3-mile trail that runs from the Klineline Pond parking lot and extends to NW 36th Ave in Felida. There are several access points at various points of the trail such as near the Vancouver Girls Softball Association’s softball fields off of NE Hazel Dell Ave. While there’s a good amount of wildlife still around, the city is working hard to restore the property back to its former glory. With several restoration projects in progress including invasive plant removal, grounds maintenance, and planting, the trail is only going to continue to improve!
Cool off at Klineline Pond
Klineline Pond is a popular swimming area in the summer, but there’s plenty of water to go around! As the only location in Vancouver WA and all of Clark County with an on-duty lifeguard from July through Labor Day as well as a roped off section, it’s a safe place to take a dip in the natural waters during the summer. Kids afraid of the unmarked problem, but still want to get wet? No problem! There’s also a splash pad with several interactive sprinklers. These get regularly cleaned and refilled by an expert like a plumbing contractor.
Have a four-legged friend? Dakota Dog Park in Vancouver WA is leash-free!
Dogs love to run around and have fun. Unfortunately, many dogs that live in small yards don’t get much opportunity to run around like they’d love to do. That’s where Dakota Dog Park comes in. As part of Pacific Community Park, this large doggie playground has plenty of room to run and socialize!
Play fetch in this 8-acre park!
This impressive dog park has a large, open, central area so even the largest of dogs can run around to their heart’s desire. Play fetch or frisbee, or let them play with other neighborhood dogs. With 8 acres fenced off with a double gate for the protection of the dogs, there’s little chance of a doggie escape plan; and most don’t want to leave anyway!
Have a shy guy? There’s something for them too!
Not all dogs love high-energy areas. And some of them or so small there’s the chance that the little Chihuahua’s could get trampled by a sprinting German Shepherd! Dakota Dog Park planned ahead and includes a second-in park gated section for shy and smaller dogs. This laid-back area has plenty of room for the little pups to run around or stay by the sidelines if they prefer, or to meet and play with others their own size.
Just want to go for a walk?
Then stick to the gravel trail! Encircling the main play area, the gravel trail goes through a wooded, forest area and back around the inner perimeter of the park. On the trail are doggie drinking fountains and cleaning stations, as well as cleanup bags and garbage cans. It’s a great way to try some off-leash training or for dogs that prefer to stay close to their owners.
Enjoy water activities at Vancouver Lake!
As Clark County’s “beach” area, Vancouver Lake has a combination of sand and plenty of water for swimming and much more. With plenty of picnic tables around, bring a cooler with some cold sandwiches or pick up a local pizza and enjoy the outdoors.
Compete at the park’s beach volleyball courts
During the summer months, typically from mid May to mid September, the park features two permanent beach volleyball courts. Schedule a company retreat or compete against your friends to spike the competition into the sand while the kids play on the playground equipment. With 24 barbecue grill stations, cook hot dogs and burgers for everyone–and steak for the tournament champions!
You won’t find more open swimming anywhere in Vancouver WA! While the park boasts an impressive 35 acres, most of that is the water itself. While this an excellent area for strong swimmers, amateurs should take precautions because there are no lifeguards on duty. Because of this, Clark County offers a swimming guide for Vancouver Lake and other unmonitored stations to maximize the safety of those that want to go for a swim.
Try canoeing, windsurfing, and much more at Vancouver Lake
As the regular meeting spot of the Vancouver Lake Rowing Club, canoes and kayaks are a regular site on the lake. If you don’t care for vigorous rowing, take it slow and relax on an inflatable island. And with an enormous lake, there’s plenty of room for everyone to do what they want and still have their own private little area.