Oregon offers many beautiful places to explore. One of those places is L.L. “Stub” Stewart State Park, 34 miles west of Portland. There is over 25 miles of trails available for hiking, cycling and equestrian activities. The Hilltop Day-Use area provides a beautiful place for a picnic with restrooms and a covered shelter available for reservation. This is one park that we plan to visit often this summer!
Park Amenities: cabins, covered shelter areas, tent and RV camping, trails for cycling, hiking and equestrian, 18-hole disc golf course, restrooms, pet-friendly
Day-Use Hours: Open year-round. Hours vary depending upon the time of the year. In the summer (May 1st to Sept 1st) it’s open 7 AM til 9 PM.
Day-Use Fee: The day-use fee is $5 if you are not a current camper or have a yearly park pass. Payable at the Hilltop Area and Welcome Center
Directions to the park: Take Highway 26 West toward the coast. At the junction of Hwy 26 & Hwy 47 turn right onto Hwy 47. There is a LARGE sign advertising Vernonia, Oregon. Driver 4 miles to the entrance on the right. There you will see this park sign. Follow the road until you come to the Hilltop Day-Use area. You’ll pass the Welcome Center and RV campsites on the way.
Parking at the Hilltop Day-Use Area
Covered Picnic Shelter
View from the Day-Use Area
Just pass the Hilltop area is the Clayhill equestrian parking lot. Across from the large parking area is the horse camps, which my daughter says is AMAZING. She’s into horses, so camping with her horse near-by is heaven to her.
As we moved through the park we encountered the forest area. It was here that we searched for a geocache. And we found one!
This was the first time our group had actually tried geocaching. I think we are hooked! Only, if we’re going to do this properly we are getting a better GPS than my stupid smartphone.
We found plenty of wildflowers, grasses and trees to investigate while hiking through the forest trails.
Our troop leader showed us the large clover that covered the forest floor. She told us that it was edible if you needed something to help with thirst. I tried it. Lemony…kind of green. I just love the way it looks. But it sparked the girls interest. What ELSE could we eat in woods? (I sense a lesson plan coming soon!)
She showed us Trillium. This plant only blooms every 7 years. It’s also illegal to pick the flowers. It was fun to have an unexpected lesson in botany.
We finally made it to a view point, only to discover the trees are blocking the view. Frustrating, but it was a nice place to just relax and take a break.
As we made our way back to the parking lot we found the start of the 18-hole disc golf course. I have never played disc golf before, but apparently it’s fun enough that it has a professional association!
And because I just loved this little guy…