Climb to the top of a low peak at on the Washington side of the Columbia River, then visit an historic fort, complete with gun battery and old buildings available to rent.
From the upper parking area high above the historic buildings, head up the grassy trail, really an old road. It’s a bit steep, but you’ll enjoy views of Astoria and the roiling mouth of the Columbia as you chug your way up the switchbacks to a junction about half a mile from the trailhead.
Here you can take either the Scarborough Trail (left) or the old road (to the right). It’s a loop, so consider taking the steeper Scarborough Trail on the way up; you can enjoy the more forgiving road on the way down. Of course, if it’s been raining, the road will be more muddy and slippery, so you might want to hike up that, and enjoy the more rugged Scarborough Trail on the way down.
Whichever way you decide to go, you’ll enjoy both aspects of this little hill. The narrow trail weaves through wilder forest, dense with hemlocks and alders, while the old road provides a wider path to share with friends and better views.
At the summit, it’s possible to hike a further half mile on the “Summit Trail”, but it’s just an extension of the road, quite boggy, and there are lots of blowdowns to navigate. Simply doing the loop will give you all that Scarborough Hill has to offer.
Head back down, then take a casual tour of the historic buildings and gun batteries at this old fort – one of three that protected the mouth of the Columbia.