Lucia Falls Park
27781 Lucia Falls Road
Lucia Falls Park along with Moulton Falls Park offer 325 acres of older growth forest, three separate waterfalls and miles of trails. The whole area is open for free to the public and offers picnicking, hiking and horse access, though no swimming is allowed at Lucia Falls, in order to protect fish habitat. Lucia Falls is truly stunning and I recommend letting your inner child go way out on the rocks to play at the edge of the East Fork of the Lewis River, checking out tiny tadpole pools and making the trip over the soaring footbridge. There is a one-mile loop trail at Lucia Falls, as well as a 2.5-mile trail to Moulton Falls Park. The nine-mile Bells trail, which also starts here, will eventually link up with the Rock Creek Campground to the South.
Yacolt Mountain Farm and Nursery
20217 N.E. Yacolt Mountain Road
I hope unbiased journalism really is dead, because I need to tell you something: Yacolt Mountain Farm and Nursery is awesome. A young couple, Dan and Caroline Swansey, left their positions as farm managers in California, and moved to the Pacific Northwest, which had captured their hearts. With the help of Caroline’s family, they purchased acreage on Yacolt Mountain Road, and through their own toil have turned it into a diverse, small-scale horse-powered farm. Yes, they farm using only horses and their own backs. They grow organic produce, which they sell by the share to members and at farmers markets, and raise sheep, goats, chickens and pigs for various uses. The horses are the heart of the operation and lovingly cared for.
Also check out: Finnmark Farms (Goat Barn and Milk Parlor). If you’ve purchased delicious raw goat milk at a shop in Clark County, chances are it comes from Finnmark Farms in Yacolt, one of a small number of local goat farms that have recently opened. You can also buy direct from the farm with prior arrangement. finnmarkfarms.com 360-949-5008
Cedar Creek Grist Mill
Cedar Creek Road
OK, so maybe you have never thought, “I really want to drive 40 miles and spend my Saturday afternoon at a historic grain mill.” But listen, if you live in the Pacific Northwest, I know you have thought “I really want to drive 40 miles and spend my Saturday in the middle of a beautiful forest on a trail next to a river.” That is why people move here in droves. The Cedar Creek Grist Mill really is a lovely way to spend an afternoon. Pop inside the water-powered mill for a tour and maybe some fresh milled grain, climb up into the rafters to peer down into the turbine and then take some picturesque photos outside the covered deck next to the flume. But best of all, walk over the historic covered bridge and down the short trail to its end at water’s edge, stopping for a picnic along the way. It’s quite a serene spot in Clark County, and a National Historic Site to boot.
Pomeroy Living History Farm
20902 N.E. Lucia Falls Road
History, as they say, is always in the making. And it is no exception at this interactive educational farm that showcases farming techniques from the early 20th century, and is host to some of the most popular events in rural Clark County. The farm has several weekends where it is open to the public for events such as May’s very popular Herb, Vegetable and Sustainable living fair, and October’s Pumpkin Lane. For the very last time on June 8 and 9, Pomeroy will host its historic Steam Logging weekend, showcasing early logging and farming techniques. But as all things change, the educational aspect of Pomeroy Farms is making way for more private events such as weddings, and will not be open as much to the public come 2014. However, very popular formal teas are offered periodically, and they are a great way to access the farm.