Columbia River Heritage Trail


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Columbia River Heritage Trail Facts

States: Oregon
Counties: Morrow
Length: 3 miles
Trail end points: Boardman Marina Park and Marine Drive NE
Trail surfaces: Asphalt
Trail category: Greenway/Non-RT
ID: 6818123
Trail activities: Bike, Inline Skating, Fishing, Wheelchair Accessible, Walking

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Columbia River Heritage Trail Description

The Columbia River Heritage Trail parallels the scenic waterway in the rural community of Boardman in northeastern Oregon. The trail's 3-mile off-road portion is described here, though trail-goers can extend their journey another 9 miles by taking on-road bike lanes and routes into town and to nearby Irrigon. Future plans include expanding the trail east to Umatilla and west to Gilliam County, for a total of 25 miles.

A nice place to begin your journey is Boardman Marina Park on the trail's western end, where you can find parking, restrooms, picnic tables and athletic fields. As you continue east, you'll pass Sail Board Beach, a great place to stop and look for pelicans, herons and egrets near the river. Birdwatchers may also want to visit nearby Umatilla National Wildlife Refuge, whose wetlands, woodlands and other natural areas are critical habitats for many types of birds.

Next, you'll arrive at the trail's most unique landmark: the Captain Al James Tug, a historic boat that is permanently dry-docked. From there, a short loop takes you by the Port of Morrow Agri-Business Complex and then back to the tugboat for your return journey.

Parking and Trail Access

Parking can be found at Boardman Marina Park (#1 West Marina Drive) and at the Captain Al James Tug Monument, off Marine Drive NE.

Columbia River Heritage Trail Reviews

An absolute stunning view along the mighty Columbia river. Great for the whole family including pets.

Love the location! Right on the river! Along the path is a wonderful hotel with great food that makes a perfect stopping point. Also the marina park for the kids to play at makes exercising with children easy!

9. 2011


TrailBear in Boardman?

Where is that?

TrailBear had never heard of Boardman, OR – and he has lived many years in the NorthWet. That was until, researching bike trails that TrailLink had not discovered, he found a reference. A bit of digging and he had a map. Something called the Columbia River Heritage Trail – and anchored by a marina and RV park in Boardman. Any camping along the Columbia is worth a look if the Migration takes us that way.

OK, Boardman is near Umatilla. He certainly knew Umatilla. Think: ordnance depot and chemical depot. Think: disposing of nerve gas ordnance and other nasty things Listen: If that siren wails, better find UpWind and head there at speed. Break records. They’ve had an Ooops at Umatilla. (Actually, they have done a good job at a difficult task and are about done.)



The CRHT is a bit of this and a bit of that. And, yes, Lewis and Clark slept here. Where did they not? They slept all along the river. The best Lewis and Clark Slept Here is up in Clarkston, WA. They point out that L & C Slept There – on the opposite bank, much to the regret of the Clarkston Chamber of Commerce. If only they had known.

The core is a 3 mile asphalt bike trail along the Columbia River from the southern edge of the Port of Morrow industrial zone on the east to the end of the marina grounds on the west. It is anchored by the RV park.

This is a charming river ride with good vistas. The eastern loop is anchored by a sandy beach park with ample parking and restrooms. The loop back from this point takes you along the river to the hotel and conference center, then over to rejoin the trail.

You are soon pedaling through the Boardman Marina and RV Park – which is a rather nice facility. Even has wi-fi. TB loves wi-fi. It has many shade trees. TB loves shade trees. We were here after the Autumn Equinox – when Fall Arrives with cool weather. Right.

Most years we are blown eastward by rain storms. This year we were in the Brain Fry Zone. The whole Columbia Basin was hot. Idaho was hot. Utah was hot. Nevada was hot and sweaty. All TB wanted to do was lay in the shade of a tree, watch the river and fan himself. Instead he was out scouting the trail – parts of it.

Ride though the park and you come to the fish cleaning station at the outer parking lot. From here you work across the marina to a section beyond. It is a nice little ride around a point and back by the ball field. No biggie, but it has charm and some nice views.

This concludes the Class I park of the CRHT. If you go back to the bridge over the rail lines, take that into town. There is a mixture of Class II and Class I down Main St. to SW Wilson Lane. Here the trail turns west. There is a bit of trail, then you are on the road. The question is: Why?

If you are going to do the roads, go the other way (eastward from the marina) through the industrial park on a good road and wide shoulder – the Columbia River Highway – to The Bomb Docks of Irrigon.

That got your attention, didn’t it? What lad, regardless of age, could resist a visit to the Bomb Docks? Sorry, they used to ship bombs and such from the Depot here, but no more. Not even a factory store where you could pick up a second on a 500# GP bomb or artillery shell.

TrailBear manfully resisted the siren call of the Bomb Docks. Too damned hot. He found shade and a book. Perhaps next season. In the cool of fall. With global warming, that may be mid October. November?

Ride on!

Looking for the A/C

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