Frenchman's Bar Trail


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Frenchman's Bar Trail Facts

States: Washington
Counties: Clark
Length: 3.9 miles
Trail end points: Columbia River at NW Old Lower River Rd. and NW Erwin O. Reiger Memorial Highway near Vancouver Lake
Trail surfaces: Asphalt
Trail category: Greenway/Non-RT
ID: 7336446
Trail activities: Bike, Inline Skating, Wheelchair Accessible, Walking

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Frenchman's Bar Trail Description

Frenchman's Bar Trail could not be in a prettier place nestled between the Columbia River and Vancouver Lake on the northwestern outskirts of Vancouver. The paved trail of nearly 4 miles loops around the southern half of Shillapoo Wildlife Recreation Area and offers views of Mount St. Helens, Mount Hood, Mount Adams, and Mount Rainer. Stop and enjoy the scenery at the picnic areas in Frenchman's Bar Regional Park on the trail's west end or Vancouver Lake Regional Park on its eastern side.

Parking and Trail Access

Plentiful parking is available in Frenchman's Bar Park (9612 NW Lower River Road) and Vancouver Lake Park (6801 NW Lower River Road).

Frenchman's Bar Trail Reviews

I rode this trail for the first time last evening. I was surprised by the popularity of Frenchman's Bar Trail - not for the trail but the beaches, which makes parking crowded. There were just a few riders on the trail. There is parking at Vancouver Lake Park, near the middle of the trail, which appears to used manly for the beach, and at the northern termination again used for the beach. I found one small parking spot just before entering the park that had only one car. The trail is completely flat which makes it great for hiking and biking. The middle section goes along a slough and the rest through fields.

The best place to park is Vancouver Lake Park; it's free and situated at one end of the skatable portion of the trail. Don't bother with the trail north of Vancouver Lake Park, it's rough asphalt for a short stretch and then turns into gravel.

The trail to Frenchman's Bar Park is wide and smooth, great for skating. It gets rough on the segment along Frenchman's Bar, but the scenery makes it worth it. There are water fountains at Frenchman's Bar Park.

I jog this asphalt trail three times a week. The level terrain is easier on my 64-year-old knees. If needed, there are restrooms at each end of the trail as marked on the map. With some creativity and including a bit of road (with wide and well-marked shoulders) jogging you can do your half-marathons. During your time on the trail you will see Vancouver Lake, Columbia River, Mount St Helens, Mount Hood, Mount Adams, Mount Rainer (weather permitting)along with birds of prey and waterfowl.

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