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The Lewis and Clark Columbia River Water Trail: A Guide for Paddlers, Hikers, and Other Explorers

By Keith G. Hay

[A] detailed, user-friendly handbook.

Bloomsbury Review

The Lewis and Clark expedition traveled the final 450 miles of their journey to the Pacific Ocean entirely by water, the last segment along the Columbia River. Beginning near the Bonneville Dam, the lower Columbia has been designated the Lewis and Clark Columbia River Water Trail in recognition of its rich historical significance. With this authoritative guide, today's water-traveling explorer — or motorist, bicyclist, or hiker — can discover the unique landscapes and history of the lower Columbia and imagine what this awesome, untamed terrain may have looked like during the time of Lewis and Clark.

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Media reviews

"[Hay's] descriptions are clear and informative, highlighting both the beautiful–spectacular waterfalls in the gorge–and the treacherous–areas of strong currents and constant wind chop. Hay's deep respect and affection for the river are evident throughout his writing ... [A] detailed, user-friendly handbook for exploring the lower Columbia river."

—Susan Lacer, Bloomsbury Review

"Those who live near the lower Columbia can learn a lot from this book."

—Keith G. Hay, Oregonian

"The core of the book is a detailed guide to the river route today."

—Mark A. Wilson, American Reference Books Annual

"Water travelers visiting the lower Columbia for the first time will find this book an indispensable resource."

Outrider Books

"Blends useful logistical information with the historical, cultural, and environmental assets."

Sea Kayaker

"If you want a reliable guide to the 146-mile stretch of the Lower Columbia River from the Bonneville Dam to the Pacific Ocean, this is it."

National Park Service Newsletter

"Excellent maps ... A good incentive for getting out and exploring."

—Tom Paulu, Longview Daily News

"With this guide, today's explorers can discover the unique landscapes and history of the lower Columbia."

Outdoors Unlimited

"Thorough and easy to follow, this book from Portland's Timber Press encourages people to get out and see for themselves some of the natural splendors once witnessed by America's most famous explorers."

—Barbara Lloyd McMichael, Sequim Gazette

"Thorough and easy to follow, this book from Portland's Timber Press encourages people to get out and see for themselves some of the natural splendors once witnessed by America's most famous explorers."

—Barbara Lloyd McMichael, Olympia Olympian

"Hay's ... introduces not only water-traveling explorers, but also motorists, bicyclists and hikers, to the landscapes and history of the lower Columbia."

San Francisco Chronicle

"The Lewis and Clark Columbia River Water Trail ... is packed with stories about Southwest Washington geography and history ... [and] filled with obscure historical tidbits ... Hays offers the expert view of a paddler who has explored every ripple of the river."

—Dean Baker, Oregonian

"The Lewis and Clark Columbia River Water Trail revists the landscapes and history of the last 450 miles of the historic journey, traveled entirely by water."

Publishers Weekly

"Surely this book is the best and most reliable guide to the Lower Columbia that any paddler or hiker could acquire."

—JoAnn Roe, Oregon Historical Quarterly

"Vivid descriptions ... remarkably accurate ... a very useful reference."

Outdoor News Bulletin

"Definitely a critically important piece of gear for new water travelers on the Lower Columbia ... I recommend it highly."

—Doug Kruger, Atlantic Coastal Kayaker

"The Columbia River Water Trail was recently dedicated, and this book is a good incentive for getting out and exploring it."

—Tom Paulu, Longview Daily News

"Combines historical and ecological details of the Lewis and Clark expedition's campsites and routes, as well as information on boat launches, flora and fauna, and a variety of trail connections."

Common Waters

"Filled with obscure historical tidbits ... should reward anyone who cares to look closely at the [Columbia] River."

—Dean Baker, Clark County Columbian

About the author

Keith G. Hay

Keith G. Hay has been an avid outdoorsman and kayaker throughout his long career in wildlife ecology and conservation. His interest in the Lewis and Clark expedition began in 1963 when he joined the U.S. Bureau of Outdoor Recreation and worked with the first national Lewis and Clark Trail Commission. Keith is a founder and past president of the Oregon Chapter of the National Lewis and Clark Trail Heritage Foundation, vice-president of the Lewis and Clark Bicentennial Oregon, and a founder and national advocate for the American Greenways Program.

Read more about Keith G. Hay

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