Battle Ground Lake Loop Hike
From Portland Hikers Field Guide
- Start point: Battle Ground Lake Trailhead
- End point: Battle Ground Lake
- Trail Log: Trail Log
- Hike Type: Loop
- Distance: 0.9 miles
- Elevation gain: 20 feet
- Difficulty: Easy
- Seasons: Year Round
- Family Friendly: Yes
- Backpackable: No
- Crowded: Yes
This is an easy afternoon getaway for Vancouver residents, but it's not far from Portland either.
From the parking lot, walk either of the paved paths passed the little food shack and the restrooms. In 1/10 of a mile, you'll reach the shore of the lake at a large improved swimming area. This is a very heavily used park area. You'll see blankets on the grass and frisbees in the air. Turn right on the sidewalk and walk passed another restroom building. The wide trail heads north for another 1/10 of a mile to a sign reading "Lower Lake Trail". Turn left here and head around the lake on this trail.
In some ways, Battle Ground Lake has an oddly untouched look to it, for a place so heavily used. You'll probably see quite a few people in your brief tour, and in the summer, the swimming area will be packed with screaming kids. Still, as you stroll around the lake, usually a few inches above water level, it's possible to remove yourself from the rat race. It's also pretty easy to take photographs that look a lot more remote than they really are.
There are a lot of fallen trees at the edge of the lake. These provide habitat for bass and ducks, as well as adding a lot to the beauty of the scene. On the west side of the lake, you'll pass moss covered boulders of lava that point out the violently volcanic origin of the lake. There are a couple of benches looking out on lake views and numerous places to stick your feet or your fishing gear in the water. After 0.6 miles, there's a trail junction with the "Upper Rim Trail" which provides access to the rest of the trail system, as well as the improved camping areas. 0.8 miles will bring you back to the swimming area and the quick jaunt up the hill to your car.
- Maps: Hike Finder
Regulations or restrictions, etc
- There are currently no fees to hike or park.
- Fees are charged for camping or boating.
- Children under 4 are not allowed to swim in the lake.
- Search Trip Reports for Battle Ground Lake
Related Discussions / Q&A
- Search Trail Q&A for Battle Ground Lake
Guidebooks that cover this hike
- Washington Hikes by Scott Leonard
- Pacific Northwest Hiking by Scott Leonard & Megan McMorris
- Stevefromdodge (creator)