A return to Whipple Creek

Here’s the stone mill on the Stone Mill Loop of Whipple Creek Park. We took this picture last fall, when there were still a few fall colors.

Lately, I haven’t posted much because our default winter hikes are to parks that we know will have good, cleared paths and that I have already documented on this blog. However, lately it has been dry, so we felt it was a good time to return to Whipple Creek Park. I realized I hadn’t posted on the Stone Mill Loop (for some reason called the Grist Mill Loop on AllTrails and other hiking websites), because on our first venture into the park, we didn’t try that loop. This post is a hike we took following several of the loops in the park, including Stone Mill.

It was a cool day in the park, which is beautifully wooded, but the paths were clear and in good condition. This is a popular park for horse riders. We saw several groups of horses as well as joggers and people walking their dogs. The paths are dirt or cinder and are well kept. Some seasonal paths, which we have not tried yet, are only open to hikers except in the summer.

Stone Mill Loop and other trails

Whipple Creek Park, Ridgefield, Washington

Difficulty: Middling

Panting stops: 4 or 5

Distance: 3.6 miles

Elevation changes: 403 feet

We parked at the north park entrance off 21st Avenue and walked down the North-South Connector to North Ridge Way. We took the north side of the Cedar Loop, which we hadn’t done before, returning to North Ridge Way and cutting away to go to the South Ridge Loop. Both sides of that loop look about the same length, but we hadn’t done the inner loop before, so we took that. When we returned to the North-South Connector, we went south to the Stone Mill Loop and took it all the way around to Everson’s Cutoff, which we hadn’t taken before. So, we took that.

This trail has some fairly steep ups and downs, but even if you are in poor shape, they are short enough to be challenging but doable. The first time I came to the park last spring, some of the hills looked daunting, and I had to stop a lot. The good thing about hiking, however, is that the more you do it, the easier it is. This time, I only stopped two or three times.

How to get there

From Vancouver

From I-5, take the exit for Clark County Event Center at NE 179th Street. Go west on 179th St. to 21st Avenue, where you will see a sign for the park, and turn left. The road dead-ends at the park.

From Battle Ground

Take Washington 502 west to NE 10th Avenue. Turn left. Drive down to NE 179th Street. Go west on 179th St. to 21st Avenue, where you will see a sign for the park, and turn left. The road dead-ends at the park.

Parking and facilities

At the north parking lot, there is parking for about 10 cars and five or six horse trailers. There were four trailers there when we arrived. Cars should park in the area closest to the park. The area behind it is for horse trailers. There is a porta-potty at that entrance as well as mounting blocks for the riders.

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