Lacamas Lake Heritage Trail and Lacamas Park: My Hometown Place to Ride
This trail system appeals to off-roaders from the Portland, OR / Vancouver, WA metro areas merely by its proximity to these urban centers. In fact, it is an oasis in the middle of Camas, a small but growing urban and suburban area east of Vancouver, WA, and it is nice to see that this green space has been so well preserved. It is like Camas' version of Forest Park and without venturing a mile or two on one of these trails, one might not know that such a serene and beautiful place exists right within town.
Located within a couple of miles of my home as well as about 80 percent of the rest of Camas, it consists of the 3.5 mile Lacamas Lake Heritage Trail and the Lacamas Park Trail system with about 6 miles of varied riding conditions. They are connected by a short public road bike lane ride and are a perfect after-work ride or can be a great quick-fix for the off-road addiction if a large scale weekender is not possible.
It has so much variety for any skill level that it is recommended by the LBS to patrons who are interested in trying one of their rental/demo models. For the casual rider or weekend warrior, the 3/4 mile single-track section along Lacamas Creek can pose quite a challenge, especially if things are a little wet and slimy. There are fast and swoopy sections of double-track, jumps, climbs, thickets of alder, maples, cedar and fir trees, scrub oak, waterfalls, wildlife, and many, many great views.
As a preserve area, there are trail-side rest areas with nature lesson placards and benches. The trail boarders expensive real estate and a golf course at one end and takes you into a seemingly remote forest area at the other where the sound of automobiles on nearby city streets and roads remind you that you are still in town.
LINK to my video done with a Oregon Scientific ATC 2-K helmet cam
Trail Description and Ride Suggestions
Here are links to the two maps for this system:
Lacamas Park Trails
Ten miles of trails are made up of mostly shared-use double track. There are about 1.5 miles of single track, of which, .75 miles follows Lacamas creek and provides the best challenge and some of the best setting. The Heritage Trail alone can be ridden as a 7 mile out-and-back while the Lacamas Park trails provide numerous loop possibilities. This is an urban multi-use system and gets very crowded between the hours of 4:00 and 6:00 PM. On a ride recently, I inadvertently road into the middle of a high school cross-country track meet.
I typically ride a combination of the two for a varied ride of about 10 miles with the loop part done in a counter-clockwise direction. This allows for the best downhill ride through the technical single track and a smooth combo of trails and roads back up to the starting elevation. If one is ambitious and up for a little exploring, a couple of loops can be done along with the Heritage Trail for a 12-13 mile ride.
Finding It, Parking and Red TapeFor parking at Camas Heritage Park:
From Camas, travel north on State Route 500/Garfield St.
At top of hill, turn right on SR 500/Everett.
Turn left onto NE Lake Rd.
Follow Lake Rd. approx 1/4 mile and turn into parking lot on right.
There are 5 other parking lots available to access this system. Three are listed on the Lacamas Park map. I like to park at Camas Heritage, ride Lake Road back to Everett, cross Everett and turn left and an immediate right into Lacamas Park, starting my ride with a Round Lake loop or two. After the loop portion, an out-and-back along the Heritage Trail round out my bike workout.
No permits are required for parking or use but please exercise trail etiquette by yielding to foot traffic.