Please Note: The 8-mile stretch on Road 41 and 4109 is very rough with potholes, boulders, stream channels, and wash-boarding. A mid to high-clearance car is necessary.
Driving DirectionsSilver Star Trailhead - Ed's Trail: Go North on I-5 from Vancouver, take Exit #9, and take highway 502 for 7.7 miles to Battle Ground. Or from I-205 from Vancouver take highway 500 East (exit #30B) to Battle Ground which turns into 503 North. 502 (Main St.) and 503 (Lewisville Hwy) intersect in Battle Ground near a mini-mall with a Safeway. Go north (straight) on 503 for about 5.6 miles. Turn right on Rock Creek Road and go about 8.5 miles continuing past Lucia Falls and Moulton Falls. Turn right on Sunset Falls Road just past Moulton Falls. Continue east for about 7.3 miles. There's a sign saying "Sunset C. G.". Turn right on Road 41 which goes through Sunset Campground, over the East Fork Lewis River, and then goes left. Set your odometer. At 3.4 miles, turn right on Road 4109 (sharp hairpin turn). At 4.7 miles, go left at an unmarked 4-way junction, still on Road 4109. Approximately 3 miles uphill the road, you will arrive at the trailhead. NOTE: The 8 mile stretch on Road 41 and 4109 is on a rough road with potholes, boulders, stream channels, and washboarding. A mid to high-clearance car is necessary.
Lyle Cherry Orchard’s trailhead is located approximately one mile from the Gorge town of Lyle and is home to the “Lyle” sign that sits above the community. Since this preserve was opened to the public the Lyle Cherry Orchard has provided the community with an accessible natural space right in their back yard. The sunny and dry preserve is the perfect hiking spot to visit during the rainier fall days in the western gorge. Visitors from the Gorge and beyond recreate on Lyle Cherry Orchard and in turn support the local economy.
Photo: View of town of Lyle from Lyle Cherry Orchard (Debbie Asakawa)
The property where Lyle Cherry Orchard Preserve lies currently was once grazing land for cattle and as the name suggests the eastern part of the preserve held a cherry orchard. The orchard and its trees were well abandoned by the time Nancy Russell purchased the property piece by piece in the 1990’s and later donated it to Friends in 2009. Nancy purchased the property when it came up for sale because it was within key viewing areas on the Oregon side of the Gorge and would have most likely become subdivided for development.
The land is also home to remnants of Lyle Convict Road, a demonstration road built by Sam Hill to convince Washington legislators to fund a Columbia River Highway. When Washington showed no interest in Sam’s project, he invited the entire Oregon legislature to his Maryhill estate to see his "Good Roads" work and Oregon quickly agreed to build on their side of the river what is today the Historic Columbia River Highway.
The trail at Lyle Cherry Orchard was started in when Friends' founder Nancy Russell purchased the property and has been open to the public and maintained Friends and its land trust ever since. In 2019, Washington Trails Association started work to reroute some parts of the trail and add new trail to explore for the benefit of Gorge residents.
In 2013, the land trust and volunteers removed a dilapidated house and outbuildings on the southwestern end of the property. Countless hours were spent removing building materials, old vehicles, garbage, and debris. In 2015 volunteers removed over 1,700 feet of fencing material on the property to allow for the free movement of wildlife across the landscape. Without the help of Friends volunteers and Gorge community members, projects like this would not be possible.
Photos: Before and after cleanup at Lyle Cherry Orchard (Friends' archive)