Local Area Attractions
Mt. St. Helens
Longview/North Mount St Helens KOA is at the gateway to visiting the many natural and beautiful sites along Spirit Lake Memorial Highway (SR 504). This paved State Route carries you to countless viewpoints that offer fantastic panoramic scenes for photography and lasting memories. Nature is viewed at its best during your roadway journey to the end of the gradual climb to Johnston Ridge Visitor Center and newly finished Amphitheater. There are four other visitor centers along SR 504, all of these contain different educational information, activities, and are each an enlightening stopping points. http://www.fs.fed.us/gpnf/volcanocams/msh/
Silver Lake Visitor Center
Silver Lake Visitor Center is located at 5 miles east of Interstate 5 on Sprit Lake Memorial Highway. The visitor’s center, opened in 1987, hosts more than 300,000 visitors a year. “Inside, visitors may enjoy a variety of interpretive displays that set the scene for all the visitor centers at Mount St. Helens. There are comprehensive presentations on the cultural and historical significance of the area, a chronology of events leading up to the volcanic blast on May 18, 1980, local geology, and the re-growth and recovery of the area in the years since the eruption. Displays include several interactive exhibits, life-size manikins, a large, step-in model of the volcano and a working seismograph. Theater programs are offered twice an hour.
Outdoors, visitors can explore Silver Lake via a mile-long trail, including boardwalks over wetlands where a variety of migratory waterfowl may be viewed at different times of the year.” (quoted from website: http://www.parks.wa.gov/stewardship/mountsthelens )
Silver Lake, Washington
From our campgrounds, Silver Lake is about a 10 minute drive. Silver Lake is located next to Spirit Lake Memorial Highway. It has somewhere between 1650 and 2,996 surface acres depending on the amount on water in the lake which varies and 4 miles of shoreline. Average depth is 5 feet.
The lake features largemouth bass. Silver Lake also contains cutthroat & rainbow trout, catfish, and panfish. There are many sites to fish right from the shore. http://www.westernbass.com/washington/featured/view.html?id=0000152 Another great fishing spot is: Driving Directions:
From I-5 take exit 49, go east on SR 504 7.2 miles, turn right on Kerr Road, go 0.5 miles to access. Public fishing, boat access, and fishing dock. http://wdfw.wa.gov/lands/water_access/30069
“We are very near opening, waiting for final permits to be issued! Seeking adventure? Come to our fifty- acre island where you will be enveloped by the immense trees and serene setting under the shadow of Mount St. Helens. Ride our zip lines, rent a canoe, fish, or just relax in the sun. “ http://www.thetreehouseisland.com/ziplines.html
7 Wonders Museum
4749 Spirit Lake Highway
Silverlake, WA. 98645
Directions: Located 9.5 miles East of
Interstate-5 (In SW Washington State).
Take Exit #49, go East on SR 504 (Spirit
Lake Highway) heading towards Toutle, WA.
Hoffstadt Bluffs Visitor Center
Hoffstadt Bluffs Visitor Center, 15000 Spirit Lake Highway has the first “panoramic views of Mt St Helens on SR 504. Not only fantastic views of the mountain and possibly seeing the local elk herd grazing; you can enjoy a truly delicious meal from their “Fire Mountain Grill”. Also, Helicopter Tours ( http://www.mtsthelensinfo.com/helicopter_tours ) can be booked onsite. A paved path outside the lodge-like facility leads you through the “memorial grove”. This tribute was planted in memory of the 57 people who were known to have perished in the May 18, 1980 volcanic eruption. http://www.hoffstadtbluffs.com
Bigfoot has been reported being sighted many times in the Pacific Northwest. Bigfoot has been described as a “large, hairy, bipedal humanoid. The ongoing controversy is what makes coming to our area appealing to those who seek to confirm his/her existence. “Scientists” adhere to the thought of this elusive creature being part of the folklore stemming from the Native American Indian’s historical storytelling. Sasquatch is the name these indigenous peoples passed from generation to generation, making this an enduring legend to continue until some lucky KOA camper confirms their existence. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bigfoot)
The Forest Learning Center
The Forest Learning Center is at the 33 mile marker. This visitor center is well worth the stop to interact with the various learning exhibits aimed at educating children and adults about the volcano’s blast that caused devastating effects on the countryside and now the rebound growth of plants and the return of wildlife to the area. In 2007 the Forest Learning Center was voted “the best exhibits on the highway”. http://www.mountsthelens.com/Forest-Learning-Center.html
Johnston Ridge Observatory and Amphitheater
Vancouver! Vancouver! This is it! Those were the last words of U.S. Geological Survey scientist David Johnston, moments before he was swallowed up by the mountain’s catastrophic blast. Johnston Ridge Observatory gained its name from this person who perished in the Volcano’s eruption.
The Johnston Ridge Observatory is the closest visitor center to the volcano; it is at the end of Spirit Lake Highway. Inside the visitor center, exhibits self-guide you through Mount St. Helens' geologic events; reading the eyewitness accounts of the eruption and its aftermath highlight the human story. The educational movie at Johnston Ridge is a “must see”. We will not give away the ending, but most guests upon their return have to come into the office with expressions such as: “totally awesome”, “nature at its best”, and how it is a fitting end to the Johnston Ridge experience.
Castle Rock, Washington
Castle Rock, situated between the Cowlitz River and I-5 which is in southwest Washington State. Castle Rock is 123 miles south of Seattle and 63 miles north of Portland, Oregon. I-5 Exit #48 serves as the southern entrance to downtown, while Exit #49 provides access to northern downtown and uptown Castle Rock.
Castle Rock provides a variety of activities for locals and visitors alike. The Downtown district provides numerous shops, restaurants, antique stores, a hardware store, and a grocery store. Uptown, you'll find service stations, and even more great restaurants. Other activities include: Castle Rock's award-winning Riverfront Trail provides walking, jogging, and biking along the scenic Cowlitz River. Also, the Castle Rock Exhibit Hall and Visitor’s Center, located in a large white building on Front Avenue, features exhibits that convey the impact of the Mount St. Helens eruption on the area. As a historical museum there are displays on logging and rivers as well as Mount St. Helens. Exhibits include a working replica of a sawmill and a steam tractor. Other exhibits include logging equipment and historical photographs.
If a visitor just wants to enjoy Kelso, the community features the Three Rivers Mall with its major department stores, specialty boutique shops and food service. Downtown Kelso features gift stores, antique shops, an award winning bakery/deli and a unique theater pub.
There are plenty of outdoor activities in Kelso. Golf at the Three Rivers Golf Course, dubbed the “Driest Course in the Pacific Northwest”, is played on the dredge spoils from the 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens. The course is reasonably priced and challenging. Visitors can fish in the Cowlitz or surrounding rivers. Most area streams are well regarded by serious anglers. Kelso is known as the “Smelt Capital of the World,” an indication that the wily smelt have filled the river more times than not.
Kelso’s multi-Modal Transportation Center is based in the historic Kelso Train Station and is served by Amtrak rail, national and regional bus service, shuttle vans, taxis and rental cars. Originally built by the Northern Pacific Railroad in 1912, the stately brick building underwent extensive remodeling in the early 90’s, after the City of Kelso launched an aggressive plan to refurbish it. The extensive renovation included the addition of a clock tower and was completed in 1994.
Longview is a modern city, whose roots can be traced back to Kansas City, Missouri and Robert Alexander (R.A.) Long, president of the Long-Bell Timber Company. Long, with other company leaders, committed to building a large lumber mill along the Columbia River. The large work force needed to operate it was not available to the area, so Long decided to build a city to accommodate the estimated 14,000 it would take to man the mill.
Longview was dedicated in July 1923. In February 1924, it was incorporated and a municipal government was established. Today, Longview is a thriving community continually growing in size and diversity. R.A. Long envisioned a scenic, peaceful central hub that would be the nucleus of business and travel routes throughout the city. Today, this vision has become reality in the Civic Center, providing access to many city services. The Civic Center is home to R.A. Long Park, the Post Office, Longview Public Library and City Hall. Other attractions include Lake Sacajawea, historic downtown Longview and the Columbia Theater for the Performing Arts, Mint Valley Golf Course, and many diverse stores for all of your needs. Here is a link to the City of Longview's Home Web Page.
“Longview, Washington, is one of the prettiest towns in America. That’s what Forbes magazine said, ranking it 11th in a recent list of attractive communities. Forbes also noted that sprawling Lake Sacajawea Park, in the center of the city, is one of the most beautiful parks in the country.” (http://www.katu.com/news/local/Longview-Wash-lands-of-Forbes-prettiest-towns-list-145933715.html)
Port Of Longview
Port Of Longview
10 Port Way, Longview, WA 98632 * 360-425-3305
on the web at www.portoflongview.com
Our Tour Guide will take you dockside to show you the real action at a major
Pacific Rim Port. Now you can see it all for yourself when touring the Port of Longview.
You do need a reservation so be sure to call the Port at 360-425-3305 to sign up for your free tour. Summer tour hours are 10:30 a.m. & 1:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. Off season tours and larger groups can also be accommodated by special appointment.
Kalama is a small town with a rich history, located in Cowlitz County on the Columbia River in Southwest Washington. Originally settled over 175 years ago, the town of Kalama maintains its historical appeal and tribute to the past through showcasing antiques and collectibles at a number of stores located in downtown area. The Kalama Antique District has been a main attraction to antique lovers and unique gift shoppers for several decades. http://www.kalamachamber.com
Hulda Klager Lilac Gardens
Hulda Klager Lilac Gardens are really an arboretum with many flowers, shrubs, and exotic trees in addition to the lilacs, so there is much to see during any time of year. In 1905 she began hybridizing lilacs and by 1910 she had created 14 new varieties. By 1920 she had developed so many new varieties that she decided to hold an open house each spring when the lilacs were in full bloom to share her efforts with other lilac enthusiasts. This practice caused her to become known as “The Lilac Lady.”
Holland Bulb Farm
Benno and Klazina Dobbe, founders of Holland America Bulb Farms, Inc., immigrated to the United States in 1980 with their three young children. They discovered beautiful Woodland,
Washington was the perfect location to establish their bulb farm. They started growing and importing tulips, daffodils, irises, and lilies. www.hollandbulbfarms.com/
The Cedar Creek Grist Mill
The Cedar Creek Grist Mill is open all year, Saturdays 1:00 to 4:00 and Sundays 2:00 to 4:00. For more information or to request a Group Tour of the Mill, send e-mail to: Grist-Mill-Tour-Director@cedarcreekgristmill.com or phone 360-225-5832 for the official Cedar Creek Grist Mill Web site click http://www.cedarcreekgristmill.com/
Taking a day road trip from Longview North/Mt St Helens KOA on SR-503, visitors can see “the other side of the Mt. St. Helens volcano”. This scenic and informative excursion would surly give you another perspective of the volcanic blast. Sites to see are: stops at the Woodland Visitor Center, Lelooska, Pine Creek Information Center, Ape Cave, Trail of Two Forests, Bear Meadow, Cascade Peaks and Windy Ridge. http://www.lewisriver.com/falls.html
Ape Cave lava tube, which formed in one of the volcano eruptions basalt flows … (Cave Basalt flows about 2,000 years ago) … is the longest lava tube (12,810 feet or 3.9 kilometers) in the conterminous United States (similar tubes are found in Oregon, California, and Idaho) and one of the longest in the world. http://lewisriver.com/apecave.html
Mt St Helens Climbing Permits
Mount St. Helens Institute
42218 NE Yale Bridge Road
Amboy, WA 98601
Mt. St. Helens climbing permits will be available for the 2012 climbing season beginning at 9 a.m. Wednesday on the Mount St Helens Institute's website at mshinstitute.org. Details about climbing Mount St. Helens are available online at: http://www.fs.usda.gov/main/mountsthelens/home.
Chelatchie Prairie Railroad
Established in 1888, this vintage train rambles through one of the most scenic areas in the Pacific Northwest Forest Land. The railroad even runs through a 330 foot long tunnel carved out of solid rock. Excursions are typically scheduled for one or two weekends a month, they also have unique events planned. Click on link to view the dates of operation and special events. http://www.bycx.com
Vintage Motorcycle Museum
Vintage Motorcycle Museum is a two story unique collection of original and fully restored pre-1916 Indians, Harley-Davidsons, Excelsior, Pierces, Emblem, Thor, Henderson, Sears, Yale, Reading Standard, plus a Neracar, Imp Car, and an assortment of bicycles, including an example of the first American made bicycle from the 1800's. Located in Chehalis, Washington, which is a short drive from Longview North/Mt St Helens KOA, take I-5 north to exit 77. http://www.antiquemotorcycles.net/map.htm
Veterans Memorial Museum
For the new year of 2012, the Veterans Memorial Museum will continue its Sesquicentennial Celebration of the American Civil War.The Washington Civil War Associaiton with participation by the Northwest Civil War Council will be having on July 21st and 22nd the first ever "Battle of Chehalis." This is going to be a massive event held not far from the Museum. Over 500 living historians from Oregon and Washington will be taking to the field in battle. In addition there will be a civilian encampment to learn about what life was like in the 1860's.From Castle Rock, travel north on Interstate 5 and take exit 77, turn left on Highway 6 and cross over the Interstate. Turn left on Riverside Drive. The museum is on the left hand side approximately 1/4 mile from Highway 6. http://www.veteransmuseum.org
The World Kite Museum & Hall of Fame
A Washington State vacation is incomplete without a visit to the Long Beach Peninsula, home of the Washington State International Kite Festival, and the World Kite Museum and Hall of Fame. Located at 303 Sid Snyder Drive SW, Long Beach, Washington, WKM is the only Kite Museum in North and South America. http://www.kitefestival.com
Lucky Eagle Casino
“The Lucky Eagle Casino” VIEW MAP ›
The Chehalis Tribe “People of the Sand” For many centuries, two large groups of Salish-speaking people lived along the Chehalis River. They lived in cedar longhouses with one end open to the water from which they received a bounty of salmon and other river-based sustenance. Despite many almost overwhelming challenges, the Chehalis people have endured through self-reliance and determination. http://www.luckyeagle.com
Geocaching is a real-world outdoor treasure hunting game. Players try to locate hidden containers, called geocaches, using GPS-enabled devices and then share their experiences online. You can engage this adventure and use Longview North/Mt St Helens KOA as your base camp while exploring the surrounding area. http://www.geocaching.com