Even human-made lakes can be beautiful once nature reclaims the land. And this is true for Henry Hagg Lake, a reservoir in Washington County that sits at the base of the Cascade Range. It was formed in the mid-1970s by the construction of the Scoggins Dam.
Today the lake welcomes visitors with all kinds of summer recreation opportunities. The surrounding land of Scoggins Valley Park holds picnic areas, parks, golf courses, hiking trails, bike paths, and a golf course. But the biggest attraction remains the reservoir itself, which in the summer pulls in visitors from the county and beyond.
Why the big appeal? Well, this lake offers up a little bit of something for everyone. It’s divided roughly in half, with a portion allocated to those who prefer their water as a no-wake zone. (This means the powerboats and powered personal watercraft must observe a 5 mph speed limit). The other side of the lake is open to those who like to drive their watercrafts with more gusto. It’s a compromise that makes everyone happy.
Standup paddle boarding, water skiing, and fishing are also popular activities. The lake is stocked seasonally with rainbow trout, largemouth and smallmouth bass, brown bullhead, and yellow perch. The fishing facilities open in late April on the first day of fishing season, and close in late October.
If you’d prefer to stick to the solid earth, there are opportunities on the shore for fun, too. There’s a mix of grassy fields, mixed forests, clear stretches of lake banks, and an 18-hole disc golf course. Over 15 miles of trails also wind through the area, including the Hagg Lake Loop Hike which winds around the reservoir as a fun 13-mile trek.
Henry Hagg Lake is located 25 miles southwest of Portland, near the City of Forest Grove.
Daily parking fees are $6, with a $2 discount available for veterans and those 55 years and older. Regular hours at 8 a.m. – 6 p.m. For park information or to make reservations, call 503.846.8715.