Update for paddlers: As of February 7, Bybee Lake was approximately 8.9 feet. Paddling is usually best when the water level is at least 10 feet. Metro is working on improvements to the water control structure and is not managing water levels from fall 2016 to spring 2017. Water in the wetlands will rise and fall with levels in the Columbia and Willamette rivers. Paddling conditions will vary with river levels, and visitors are encouraged to check the NOAA gauge at Vancouver. Although the water control structure is temporarily open, paddlers should avoid traveling through the structure and should instead portage around for safety.
Take the Interlakes Trail or go by boat to explore one of America’s largest urban wetlands. Either way, you might find beavers, river otters, black-tailed deer, osprey, bald eagles and Western painted turtles. You’ll also find a water control structure that is restoring this network of sloughs, wetlands and forests.
See and do
- Walk the Interlakes Trail.
- From mid-April through late June, see the lakes up-close by paddling a kayak or canoe.
- Bring binoculars to look for the many birds that live here or pass through the area.
- Share your time and make a difference at Metro parks by volunteering.
Know when you go
- Open from legal sunrise to legal sunset.
- Parking, restrooms, paths and the Interlakes Trail are wheelchair accessible.
- Typically, dogs and other pets are not allowed at Metro parks and natural areas to protect sensitive habitats. Metro is making an exception by allowing pets on the Marine Drive Trail at Smith and Bybee Wetlands Natural Area because it is a designated regional trail. Dogs must be on-leash at all times, and are not allowed anywhere else at Smith and Bybee.
- Hunting is not allowed.
- Drones, model planes, model boats and other remote-controlled vehicles are not allowed.
- Geocaching is allowed with guidelines.
If you go by bicycle, use bike lanes on Marine Drive from the east or west. Bicycles are not allowed inside the natural area, but a bike rack is available.