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On the Trail
This 4-mile, family-friendly loop hike begins at a baseball diamond in North Bonneville and takes you into the middle of the Columbia River near its narrowest point. Views are stunning, and terrain varies from a hilltop viewpoint to the island’s downstream point, where at low water in late summer you can wade over to Ives Island.
Permits & Pets
This site is managed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and city of North Bonneville. Dogs are required to be on a leash.
- From the parking area, one option is to walk straight, climbing to the meadows at the peak of Hamilton Island, which Lewis and Clark called Strawberry Island for its many native strawberry plants. Sit on the bench here and enjoy the scene. Sky views are wonderful, framed by the Gorge walls. Here also are fantastic views of the Cascade Landslide complex and the cliffs at Table Mountain, Red Bluffs, and Greenleaf Peak that were left behind when land slid.
- A right turn from the trailhead leads to the perimeter trail, which runs out to the island’s downstream point. Hamilton Creek is on the right. Once passing the point, look for places to cross over to Ives Island during late summer. It will be either a wade or a dry crossing, depending on river levels.
- Hamilton Island is much higher than its natural configuration. When Bonneville Dam’s second powerhouse was built in the 1970s, rock excavated from the site was deposited here. Along with the increase in elevation, the island became a peninsula after some of the fill connected it to the Washington shore.
- From the island’s point, walk around the perimeter, now on the Columbia River side; eventually climb up to the top and then down back to the start, or continue the loop around the island. This map offers a visual of the island’s trails.
- Please always stay on the trail and clean your boots before and after you hike. Hikers are a common vector for spreading invasive seeds.
- There are no restrooms.
Explore North Bonneville’s Discovery Trail system of flat, paved trails that run from slough to creek to neighborhood. Find a map here, and don’t miss the Greenleaf Trail: It runs by Greenleaf Slough, a former channel of the Columbia, and next to the Cascade Cemetery on Cascade Drive. The town of Cascades was washed away in the great floods of 1894, but the former town site can be explored in the Fort Cascades Loop. In the cemetery is a headstone marked, “Ankutty Tillikum Musem—Here Sleep the Ancient People,” dedicated to the native people of the area and those reinterred due to the building of the dams.
Other Hikes at or Near This Trailhead
From SR 14, turn south onto Bonneville Drive at the Chevron station (between SR 14’s mileposts 37 and 38). At the first intersection, turn right onto Cascade Drive. In 0.4 mile, turn left onto Portage Drive. Follow it to its dead end at a baseball field. Park in the lot here, at the trailhead for the Strawberry Island Trail. There are no restrooms. Note: An alternate name for Strawberry Island is Hamilton Island; this is the name shown on Google Maps.