The first time I came to Elk Rock was in 2003, after reading an old article about it in the Oregonian online. I was looking through lists of parks in the metro area, trying to find some new places to explore and photograph.
For years, this was my only connection to Milwaukie, where I now live. There is now a lovely trail near downtown Milwaukie you can follow, passing behind the treatment plant and along the Willamette, until you pass through the riverfront neighborhood and reach a park with a small play structure. A sandy trail leads down through a grove of cottonwood trees to the rocky land bridge you can cross to reach the island. There are many ways to explore the island- informal trails lead around the rocky perimeter and up into a forested area at the center. My favorite part is a small sandy beach inside a tiny cove facing the western riverbank, near where I took this photo.