At the gateway to the Columbia River Gorge, this 1,049-acre refuge has a level 2.75-mile hiking path
- Historic Sites and Museums
- Outdoor Recreation
- Arts & Entertainment
- Family Fun
- Pet Friendly
- The Waterfront
- Free Things To Do
- The Region
- Getting Here
- Visitor Center
- Community Profile
- 10 Reasons To Visit
- Trip Ideas
- Request Travel Magazine
- Newsletter Signup
- Contact Us
Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge
Find your nature escape at the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, located less than 20 miles north of Vancouver USA. Whether you are an avid bird watcher, a Native American history enthusiast, or simply enjoy being outdoors, the more than 5,200 acres of marshes, lakes, and grassland offers a variety of activities.
Drive the scenic route on the River ‘S’ Unit Auto Tour—a one-way, 4.2-mile loop on graveled road that is open every day to vehicles during daylight hours. Find the audio track online or at the Visitor’s Station. Hikers can meander off on the Kiwa Seasonal Trail, or head across town to the Carty Unit where you can hike the two-mile Oaks to Wetlands Trail, open year-round. Once there, you can also visit the Cathlapotle Plankhouse and walk the brand-new seasonal Carty Lake Trail. A kayak and canoe water route borders the refuge for a relaxing wildlife paddle. Rent your choice of floating vessel and put in at Alder Creek Kayak's Ridgefield Kayak.
From May to October, take a pit stop at the Cathlapotle Plankhouse to find tangible links to the original stewards of the area—the Chinookan Peoples of the Lower Columbia River. Educational and cultural events are held at the house throughout the year; open to the public on weekends from spring to fall. Other events at the refuge include the annual Birdfest & Bluegrass in early October and naturalist-led birding hikes. One-hundred and eighty species of birds—including Canada Geese, Sandhill Cranes, Great Blue Herons, swans, Turkey Vultures, shore and song birds, and a variety of waterfowl—all migrate through the wetlands, stopping to rest and feed. Throughout the year, get a glimpse of coyotes, bald eagles, Columbian white-tailed deer, weasels, turtles, and more.
For more information, visit the Friends of Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge website.
Birding and Beyond
Explore more popular areas around the region for birding and wildlife watching.
On March 31, 1806, Meriwether Lewis and William Clark established a camp at Cottonwood Beach while
This 312-acre park is a fishing paradise, with a nice mixture of bass, bluegill and perch in the
This 234-acre regional park stretches for 2.5 miles along the west shore of Vancouver Lake. With 35