If you live near Vancouver, Washington, you can ride all winter long on several excellent trails in your backyard. Here's a quick look at four of my favorites:
Whipple Creek Park
Whipple Creek Park used to be a muddy, slippery mess in winter, but thanks to the tireless efforts of a dedicated cadre of volunteers, the trails at Whipple Creek have been graveled. Now you can enjoy all-weather riding through beautiful woods.
The dike along the Columbia River in Washougal is a delightful place to ride in winter. You have the river on one side of the trail and the Steigerwald Wildlife Refuge on the other. Birds and other wildlife are plentiful, and on clear days you’ll have a view of Mt. Hood. The gravel road along the top of the dike is shared with hikers and bikes, but the sightlines are very long, so you can easily see other trail users coming.
Moulton Falls Trail
The Moulton Falls Trail starts at the Hantwick Road Trailhead off NE Lucia Falls Road near Battle Ground. This 5-mile (round trip) forested trail runs to Moulton Falls Park on an old roadbed. You’ll be paralleling the East Fork Lewis River as it tumbles over boulders and flows through deep green pools. While the first 0.8 mile of the trail is paved, the rest is compacted gravel that provides good winter footing.
Battle Ground Lake State Park