A day for the dogs

Locals share their favorite hot spots for pets

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With his parents visiting Washington state for the first time from Indiana, Mike Newhouse and his wife, Sarah, treated them to a day in the Columbia River Gorge.

They drove up the Oregon side, stopping at Latourell Falls, Wahkeena Falls, Multnomah Falls and Horsetail Falls. Gillian, the Newhouse’s 2-year-old Australian cattle dog/fox terrier mix, was with them every step of the way, taking in all the sights, smells and sounds.

“We like to say she’s 25 months because it makes her sound like a baby,” Mike said. “She’s a champion. You can’t slow her down. She keeps us moving, and makes sure we stay vigorous with her training.”

After crossing the Bridge of the Gods, and heading west back home to Vancouver, the Newhouse’s completed the loop with a stop in Camas.

“We planned to stop here because of all the little restaurants and shops, and then you have a farmer’s market,” Mike said.

“It’s been a 100 percent dog friendly day,” Sarah added. “Every single stop we made, pets are welcome.”

Their favorite stop on the tour was Horsetail Falls. Gillian got a kick out of following Mike while he jumped from rock to rock.

After taking in all the waterfalls, the Camas Farmer’s Market was a nice change of pace. Gillian also enjoyed being the center of attention.

“All these distractions, people and other dogs, it’s perfect training for her,” Sarah said.

Moving to Washington from Indiana themselves in December, Mike and Sara said Gillian and their other two dogs have helped with the transition. They are still searching for the best places to take their pets.

For the adventurous hikers and dogs, the Cape Horn Trail provides a unique and challenging 7.7-mile loop along the gorge. Although some of the sections are tricky to navigate, the incredible views are worth it. The trail head is located across Salmon Falls Road from the Skamania County Park and Ride bus lot off South Route 14.

There are a few parks in Camas with hiking trails for dogs on leashes. Heritage Park and Lacamas Park offer wide open spaces for walkers, runners, bike riders and pets along Lacamas Lake and Round Lake. Fallen Leaf Lake Park is another gem accessed from Everett Street.

Noah, a 2-year-old Golden Doodle, has Washougal covered. Owners Kim Peterson and Joe Bruzda said he has walked the Dike Trail along the river, explored Capt. William Clark Park and discovered Cottonwood Beach. He also enjoys the Stevenson Off Leash Dog Area in Washougal, which remains open until November.

On Wednesday, Noah made his first trip to the Camas Farmer’s Market.

“A lot of people want to pet him,” Peterson said. “We thought we’d set up a booth. $1 for a pet, $2 for a lick.”

Until a new dog park opens in the Camas-Washougal area, the “Dakota” Dog Park in east Vancouver remains an attractive option. This site, located on the north side of Pacific Community Park on 192nd Ave., was named after Dakota, a Vancouver Police K9 killed in the line of duty. It features 8 acres of open fields with a gravel trail, benches, an agility area, dog drinking fountains and a rinse-off station.

For more information about these parks, visit