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Native Flora & Fauna in the Columbia River Gorge

Nature Walk & Native Plant Restorations

The 50+ acres surrounding the Columbia Gorge Discovery Center and the banks of the Columbia River provide a supportive habitat for area wildlife and flora.

A handicap accessible paved interpretive trail winds through the museum grounds, around a pond, along wetlands, and overlooking stunning vistas of the Columbia River Gorge and the Klickitat Hills.

The trail is free and open to the public.

The native plant restoration project features over 90 species of blooming indigenous plants, many that are unique to the Columbia River Gorge region. Golden hills and grasslands offer a rich backdrop to the setting of cottonwoods, willows, cattails and sedges which give shelter and food to turtles, ducks, geese, eagles, raccoons, and songbirds.

Interpretive markers are keyed to a free brochure available at the museum admissions counter to enhance your experience, and a wildflower guide offers assistance with identification.


The trail around the museum is the trailhead for the seven-mile long paved Riverfront Trail, which continues to Taylor Lake and the Columbia River, to Klindt’s Pocket Park, past Rock Fort Camp and The Dalles Commercial Riverdock at the foot of Union Street leading to the Historic Commercial District of Downtown The Dalles. Continue on the Riverfront Trail east to Riverfront Park near the Marina.  The paved Riverfront trail is perfect for bicycling, jogging, strolling and dog-walking (with convenient poo disposal stations at park locations).

If you get thirsty hiking out on the trail, stop in and purchase a cooling beverage at Columbia Gorge Discovery Center and Museum.

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