Need a quick getaway?
Battle Ground Lake State Park is a forested camping park in the Cascade Mountain foothills; its proximity to Vancouver and Portland and its cool green lake make it a great escape from the bustle of city and suburbs.
Children frolic in the shallow swim area under the watchful eyes of their picnicking parents, anglers float on the lake, hikers and campers take quiet strolls in the woods. On sunny weekends, laughter fills the playground, lakefront and kitchen areas. Whether you’ve come for a rest or a family play day, time spent at Battle Ground Lake will leave you refreshed and ready to tackle your life once again.
Discover Pass: A Discover Pass is required for vehicle access to state parks for day use. For more information about the Discover Pass and exemptions, please visit the Discover Pass web page.
The 280-acre park offers hiking, biking, horse trails and a primitive equestrian camping area. The spring-fed lake is attractive to swimmers and paddlers and is stocked with trout, making it a favorite of anglers.
Battle Ground Lake is set in the caldera of a volcano that erupted as part of a geologic event known as the Boring Lava Volcanics, approximately 100,000 years ago. Basalt boulders and volcanic ash from the eruption are still visible in the park, although much evidence of its volcanic past is now covered by vegetation.
The area that now comprises Battle Ground Lake State Park lies within the traditional territory of several Native American tribes. The name Battle Ground originates from an event that occurred near the lake when Washington was still a territory.
In 1855, a band of Native Americans (thought to be a mixture of Cowlitz and Klickitat) were ordered by the U.S. Army to move encampments next to Fort Vancouver. It was a precautionary measure, as tensions had been growing between Euro-American settlers and tribes throughout the Pacific Northwest. The Native Americans initially complied but later fled towards the Cascade Mountains due to rumors of an uprising.
The Army caught up to the Native American group and confronted its members in the vicinity of Battle Ground Lake. No battle actually occurred, but Chief Umtux was shot in the middle of the night and was found dead the next morning. The exact circumstances of his death are unknown. After Chief Umtux was buried, the Native Americans returned to Fort Vancouver.
In the 1860s, the town of Battle Ground was settled near Battle Ground Lake. A post office opened in 1871 near what is now the park’s entrance. Henry Blystone began developing a resort on the lake in the 1910s and it became a popular picnic spot. The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission acquired most of the land that is now Battle Ground Lake State Park over a four-year period from 1966 to 1970.