Dubbed “the city’s crown jewel,” Lake Sacajawea and Japanese Gardens is essentially a one-stop park for outdoor activities. Visitors can run, walk, jog or even bike on the 3.5 miles of trails. The lake is also open for kayaking, fishing and canoeing. If you love the outdoors, there’s something here for everyone.
When visiting, bring a picnic lunch to enjoy on the large gardens lawns while the children are playing on one of the two playgrounds.
Fishing At The Lake
With water from the Cowlitz River supplying the lake, this is a “warm waters fishery” with year-round fishing. Here you can hope to catch a large mouth bass, rainbow & brown trout, bluegill, and the occasional yellow perch. You might also see carp, warmouth, catfish, and sunfish. Don’t forget that if you’re over the age of fifteen it is required in the state of Washington to have a valid fishing license. Also, all of the rules and regulations for fishing here are set by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife and here is where you can find the online pamphlet.
Electric outboard motor boats with three or less horsepower are the only motorized boats allowed on the lake.
Not all of the varieties of fish reproduce naturally in the lake, and are therefore restocked a handful of times throughout the year. Using fish from “various hatcheries around the state,” some of them can be over regulation size and weight – so really double check the pamphlet!
Solar System Walk
This is a great activity for anyone curious about the “world above us.” Just over 1.5 miles long, guests can enjoy a self-guided tour with “polished flush-to the-ground granite markers which show the sizes of the planets relative to the Sun and are placed at scaled distances.”
Opened in September of 2001, this special model was created by the Friends of Galileo. Their goals with this project were to, “bring education enjoyment to the community,” “appeal to all ages,” “help teachers and students team together,” and to “excited present and future generations about the mystery and romance of the scientific enterprise.” As one can tell, this is truly a beloved community attraction.
Beginning at the Sun, visitors will enjoy a model version coming in at 24 inches and some great information about this giant star. Following the sun, you will encounter Mercury, Venus, the “Earth Moon system,” Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and finish off with Pluto.
Al George, a former Longview Park Superintendent had the idea for the Japanese Garden while stationed in Japan. Studying Japanese garden design, and consulting with Japanese gardeners, Al was able to create a beautiful and authentic garden area.
It’s open Monday- Thursday from 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., and during the summertime it’s open Memorial Day thru Labor Day, Friday through Sunday until dusk!