After the Louisiana Purchase in 1803, President Thomas Jefferson sent Meriwether Lewis and William Clark out with a group to discover the west. Beginning at the Illinois/Missouri border and ending at the mouth of the Columbia River in Northwest Oregon, Lewis and Clark led the Corps of Discovery on a two-year expedition from 1804-1806. The path they blazed is now protected and governed by the National Park Service. When you follow the trail, which is not entirely suitable for hiking these days, you will come across the town of Dayton, Washington. There you will find a 37-acre park named after the brave expeditionists. At the Lewis and Clark Trail State Park, you can channel your inner explorer and find adventure in a myriad of ways, just like the famous duo did centuries ago.
Located on the Touchet River, visitors are able to partake in water activities such as fishing and swimming. When you cast your line, keep in mind that the Touchet River is a great location to catch rainbow trout. The river is also great for a relaxing float or a more fast-paced ride on a water tube.
Although the entire Lewis and Clark trail isn’t open for hiking, there are about two miles where you can strap on your boots and go for a hike around the massive ponderosa pine trees. In the winter months, you can also strap on a little more than just boots, as there are areas in which you can go cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. On your journey, there is a chance you will find some interesting fossils, including some mammoth fossils, which might have arrived there during the Ice Age floods.
Also located in the park are several areas to play some sports. You can bring a group and head to either the baseball field or volleyball court, or you can bring a racket and play some badminton. When you are ready to relax after getting your heartbeat up, there are also opportunities to build a fire, go bird watching, or see some other wildlife indigenous to the area.
Whether you are looking to get away for a couple hours or a couple days, Lewis and Clark Trail State Park is the place for you and the whole family. You can hike, swim, tube, fish, or relax – the choice is yours. No matter your activity, you are most assuredly going to see the beauty that Lewis and Clark first recorded back in the early 1800s.
Another option you have would be to spend the day at the park and then drive 50 miles southwest to Touchet, WA. It is in Touchet where you will find Cameo Heights Mansion – a Select Registry inn. Conveniently located in Washington wine country and just west of Walla Walla, WA, the Cameo Heights Mansion will “wow” you with its splendor and breathtaking views of the rolling hills. With seven different rooms, all named after a different area of the world, you will be able to find the one that is just right for you.
Photo courtesy Free Guide to Northwest Camping