Horseshoe LakeWoodland, Washington
Stand Up Paddle Boarding Horseshoe Lake, Woodland Washington
Horseshoe Lake located in the town of Woodland Washington is a perfect small lake for catching a quick stand up paddle boarding session. Along with the main boat launch, the beach in front of the skatepark bordering the lake is one of two launch locations used for accessing Horseshoe Lake by paddlers and can be seen from I-5 while driving by. Nice sandy beaches make for a gradual easy launch site suitable for paddlers of all skill levels. The end of the horseshoe shaped lake near the skatepark is somewhat protected from the high winds coming off The Columbia River and is a great place for beginner paddlers to practice their skills. If you venture further around the “U” of Horseshoe Lake, there’s a very good chance you’ll find yourself struggling against surprisingly high winds coming off the Columbia River. Although the area of water near the launch locations is great for beginners, the “U” section of Horseshoe Lake really shouldn’t be attempted by kids or unexperienced paddlers. As always, check the local weather & wind reports before hitting the water.
The 6.5 acre Park on the north shores of Horseshoe Lake includes a covered picnic area which can be rented, open lawn space for field games or picnics, playgrounds, and clean restrooms. The 85 acre Lake has a maximum depth of only 16 ft and averages depths of only six feet. Horseshoe Lake is a no-wake lake and is open for swimming, fishing, and all types of paddling. No-wake lake means no wakeboarding, skiing, jet skis, or any type of power boats are allowed, although small electric motors on fishing boats are still allowed.
Horseshoe Lake was originally part of the Lewis River until it was cut off from the river back in 1940 during the construction of Highway 99. Currently, water is pumped into the lake from a large culvert from the Lewis River. The lake is stocked annually with catchable size Rainbow Trout and excess adult Hatchery Steelhead are planted when available. The lake also supports Largemouth Bass and a few other species of warm water fish, including White Sturgeon. The variety of fish and the easily accessed shoreline plus the public boat launch make this a great local fishing hole. Perfect spot to try fishing off your paddle board for the first time?
Horseshoe Lake is a great sup destination for those looking to hone their skills in a small safe body of water. If you do bring the kiddos, don’t be surprised if they get distracted by the skate park activities. If you happen to skateboard or bike, bring the boards and the wheels and make it a dual sport day for the whole family! We’ve never had a problem finding a parking space at Horseshoe Lake, although during large events such as the annual Planters Day Festival in Woodland, we have had to park out on the street and pack our boards across the park to reach the lake.
Northwest SUP says: If you like to people watch, hit up the lake during the annual Planters Day Festival or any of the other summer events and you’ve got the perfect view of the summertime activities
Heads up from NW SUP:
Life vests & safety whistles are very strictly enforced on Lake Merwin! And no, your paddle board does not legally count as a flotation device.
SUP Site Rating
- Parking (Availability/Distance To Launch) 85% 85%
- Launch Conditions 90% 90%
- Difficulty Level 15% 15%
Note: Difficulty level is based on the North end of the U-shaped lake. If you venture out into the “U” of Horseshoe Lake, expect the difficulty level to be much higher!