Skamokawa's jewels see improvements during pandemic
June 11, 2020
One of the "jewels" of Skamokawa, WA is located on SR 4 just west of MP 29, where you'll turn to the south onto Vista Park Road and find a true gem along the mighty Columbia River, which is "Skamokawa Vista Park." The park's closure at the beginning of the COVID-19 scare was heartbreaking for those that were used to having it accessible to them for camping and holding reunions and just enjoying a walk on the beach, so now that many restrictions are being lifted, its opening has been met with a lot of joy, as campers are eagerly awaiting spaces to open up! For those who just loved to come and walk the beaches, its peace and beauty brought a much needed stress reliever, so needless to say, they too are thrilled to be able to have the area accessible once again.
However, according to the the Wahkiakum Co. Port District #2 Manager, Jeff Smith, the closure wasn't without a few perks, as without the crowds, it gave him and his staff, (Terina, Brianna, Matt, Christeena & KC) a lot of time to work on projects that needed to be done without interruption, so I guess you could say that every cloud has a silver lining!
One of the projects that was done was the rebuilding and painting of the central covered area in the park. This area is used for many occasions so to have newly refurbished walls and enforcement, and a coat of fresh paint, is great. On the river side of the area is a windbreak and a huge fire pit, which has been enjoyed by hundreds or maybe even thousands since its installation. In case you didn't know it, this large "bowl" actually came from one of the fountains that had been featured at the Seattle World's Fair in the 60's and was donated by local, John Gustafson, so it's a neat addition to the park.
Another expanded addition to the park is the building of more horseshoe pits right across from the office, as that's always a popular activity and I'm sure those that like to play will enjoy having more places to toss those ringers!
A couple of other projects are in the works as a grant has been applied for in order that a foot-bridge can be installed in an area that is currently hard to get through on the westerly trail going out of the park. Another thing being looked into is the possibility of some irrigation being installed so that the large grassy area will not be just a dry, dead grass area in the summer, and be much more inviting.
A couple of events that were scheduled at the park will not take place this year, and that's the Kite Festival and the Skamokawa "all school" reunion. Other events have yet to be either confirmed or canceled. Hopefully things will be back to normal next year.
Currently, the park is open to day and night camping, but spaces are limited. New spaces have been added and others have been eliminated in order to keep with the current rules and regulations so they can't operate at full capacity just yet. At the moment, the yurts are not open for use, but they will be available July 1, so if you'd like to camp in one of those, you'll need to make a reservation ASAP as they are very popular. For your convenience, there is now an online reservations system in place, so that may be ideal for many of you.
You can also contact the SVP office at 360-795-8605 or check out all the latest info online at: http://www.vista-park.org or info@SkamokawaVistaPark.org.
NEARBY BUSINESSES: Just across from the park, Don's Small Engine repair is open for business as is Twin Gables B & B, and one can easily walk from the park to the Duck Inn Restaurant and Lounge, the Skamokawa Resort, which includes a store, rooms and condos to rent and the Skamokawa Post Office. The Skamokawa Gardens Nursery isn't too far away as you can travel down Steamboat Slough Road and find it. If you head west out of the park, you will find the Skamokawa Farmstead Creamery, which sells their own cheeses and sauces and lets the kids play with the "kids!"