The 50+ Forever Young Hikers have released their hiking schedule for the upcoming summer months and are looking for active individuals to join in. They only ask that all hikers are able to walk a mile within 20 minutes, and require hikers to attend an orientation before registering for any hikes.
The orientation is an hour of classroom time and a 3 to 4 mile hike from the Marshall Center to the McMenamins/Beaches restaurant area on the Columbia River waterfront. The hike will fulfill the easy hiking requirements for new hikers. After someone completes orientation, a barcode will be added to their customer account so they can register for moderate or difficult hikes. The group asks that people remember to bring a bottle of water and wear the correct clothes and shoes for hiking.
Upcoming easy Monday hikes
The group’s easy Monday hikes are on the second and fourth Monday of each month, leaving by van from the Luepke Center, 1009 E McLoughlin Blvd., Vancouver. The group asks that individuals meet at the center 15 minutes prior to departure. Hikers must be able to hold a 20-minute mile pace. Most of the easy Monday hikes consist of 4 to 6 miles with elevation gains around 300 feet. It’s up to each hiker to bring their lunch, snacks, and money for beverage and snack stops. A pre-registration fee of $16 for resident or $19 non-resident is required on all hikes five days prior to the hike; it can be paid by calling (360) 487-71000 or (360) 487-7001.
On May 27, the group will be going to Oxbow Park in Oregon, a 1,200-acre natural area located along the scenic Sandy River Gorge. Members can enjoy a hike through patches of old growth forest and beautiful meadows alongside the Sandy River.
On June 10, the group will be going to the Skamania Lodge loop trail system on a hike that passes through the forest and crosses Foster Creek twice with a footbridge, then joins the Lake Loop Trail at Lilly Pad. Along the hike, one can see all kinds of wildlife including birds, frogs, turtles, and deer.
On June 24, the group will be going to the Forest Grove Historic Loop in Oregon. The hike will go through a part of historic forest Grove, before reaching old college Hall, the oldest building for continuous education in the Pacific Northwest located on the Pacific University Campus.
On July 8 the group will be going to the Oaks Bottom Refuge in Oregon. It’s a known place to observe migrating birds and local amphibians. The easy hike is minutes from metropolitan Portland.
On July 22 the group will be hiking from Washington Park to the Rose Garden. Washington Park in Portland is full of monuments, parklands, gardens, old reservoirs and has a stretch of natural forest. The loop will start at the monuments and take the group through the landscape of the old zoo, to the Wildwood Trail, into part of the Hoyt Arboretum, the Portland Japanese Gardens and finally end at the Rose Test Garden.
On August 12, the group will be going to Whipple Creek Regional Park in Ridgefield. Whipple Creek Park is a 300-acre forest, near the Clark County Fairgrounds and has the remnants of an old grist mill to explore.
On August 26, the group will be going to the Ridgefield Wildlife Refuge. The area is home to many birds and other forms of wildlife.
Monday all-day hikes
All day hikes are made for hikers with experience, and the van will be leaving the Luepke Center at 8:30 a.m. The group asks that hikers arrive 15 minutes before departure, and hikers are responsible to bring their lunch, snacks, and money for beverage and snack stops. There is a pre-registration required five days before the hike, costing $20 for residents, and $22 for non-residents. It can be paid by calling (360) 487-7100 or (360) 487-7001.
On May 27, the group will be going from Dry Creek to Bourbon Creek in Washington. This is a difficult hike being eight miles long, with a 300-foot elevation gain. On the hike members will see old-growth Douglas firs, maple trees, alder trees, cottonwoods, footbridges and a dense undergrowth of salmonberry.
On June 3, the group will go to Dog Mountain in Washington. This is an expert hike, being seven miles long with a 2,800-foot elevation gain. The steep trail has a great view of the Columbia River Gorge and seasonal wildflowers make this vigorous hike worth the effort. There is poison oak along the way, so long pants are recommended.
On June 17, the group will be going to Blue Lake in Washington. This is a moderate hike, being 6.6 miles long with a 700-foot elevation gain.
On June 24, the group will be going from Johnston Ridge to Harry Ridge in Washington. This is a difficult hike lasting 8 miles and reaching a 1,000-foot elevation.
On July 15, the group will be going to Upper Cape Horn in Washington. This is a moderate hike lasting 6-7 miles, with a 1,350-foot elevation gain that includes views of Hamilton Mountain, Beacon Rock, and the Columbia River.