• Henry Hagg Lake holds two state records for smallmouth bass
• In 1967 scientists found shark fossils near the lake
Henry Hagg Lake (or Hagg Lake) is an artificial reservoir in Northern Oregon 5 miles southwest of Forest Grove. It sits among the beautiful forested foothills of the Cascade Range, surrounded by serene pacific northwest nature.
Henry Hagg Lake is located near the Portland metro area and is a perfect outdoor getaway from a big city. It is a fantastic boating, fishing, swimming, and other water sports destination. The nearby parks are inviting for picnicking, hiking, nature viewing, or simply spending time with loved ones.
United States Bureau of Reclamation built Scoggins Dam in 1975, impounding Scoggins Creek. This created a 1,153 acres lake to supply 4 cities with water and supplement the Tualatin River during summer to improve water quality and reduce river temperature.
Interestingly, in 1967 scientists found shark fossils near the lake.
Things To Do
Swimming and Other Water Activities
Henry Hagg Lake is an excellent place for various water activities, including swimming. The water temperature during hot summer days can reach up to 80°F. Be careful, the bottom drops off abruptly - wear a life jacket.
Parks and recreation areas give plenty of space to swim and launch kayaks, canoes, and paddle boards.
There is plenty of space for everyone at the lake, with 1,100 surface acres and 12 miles of shoreline. However, there is a 10 mph speed limit.
You can launch the boat from recreation area C on the west side of the lake near the accessible fishing pier and from recreation area A on the east side at Henry Hagg County Park.
Henry Hagg Lake is a popular fishing spot outside of the Portland area. It has an average depth of 51 feet, with the deepest point of 110 feet near the dam.
It is open for fishing from March 5th till November 20th.
You can catch rainbow trout, smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, crappie, perch, catfish, and bluegill.
If you prefer to fish from the vessel, there are two boat ramps at the east and west shores. Because of the lake's depth, you would have much better luck fishing from the boat.
However, if you prefer bank fishing, there are plenty of good places for it. You can angle near the boat ramps, at the dam, at the two wheelchair-accessible piers, and multiple recreational zones around the lake.
Trout is the most popular here because ODFW stocks 70,000 legal-sized fish annually. You can also catch holdovers ranging from 4 to 7 pounds. In spring and fall, you can catch smaller trout near the shoreline and larger trout in the deeper areas near the lake's center.
You can find perch, bluegill, and catfish near docks, shallower coves, and various structures. Additionally, you can find brown bullhead catfish, smallmouth and largemouth bass, and crappie.
There is also the largemouth bass at the lake but in small numbers.
Interestingly, Henry Hagg Lake holds two state records for smallmouth bass. The latest one is 8 lbs 1.76 ounces, caught in 2000.
Hiking, Biking, and Horseback Riding
The lake area has over 15 miles of hiking trails, long and short. Hagg Lake Loop Hike combines multiple trails into one long path taking you around the entire lake.
This is a 13.5-mile moderate hike with a total elevation gain of 520 feet. You can pick separate sections of the entire loop for shorter, more leisurely walks.
Camping and Lodging
There is no camping at the lake. The closest accommodations are at Forest Grove and Hillsboro.
Sain Creek Recreational Area has beach access, picnic tables, and restrooms.
Henry Hagg Lake Parking Land at recreation area C has ample parking, a boat ramp, beach access, restrooms, and picnic tables.
The Accessible Fishing Pier on the west side of the lake is built for anglers with disabilities to enjoy their hobby easier.
Scoggins Creek Recreation Area is a day-use spot with restrooms, picnic tables, and grills. It is a bit farther inland from the lake, but you will have access to Scoggins Creek.
Henry Hagg County Park at recreation area A is a well-developed place on the east side of the lake with restrooms, picnic tables, beach access, and a boat ramp.
Eagle Point Recreation Area sits on the edge of Henry Hagg County Park.
Scoggins Valley Park is a smaller spot near the Scoggins Dam.
Elks Recreation Area is near the Scoggins Dam and has restrooms, picnic tables, and beach access.
Hagg Lake Disc Golf Course is an 18-hole course on the east side of the lake.
Henry Hagg Lake | Facts
Managed by: Washington County
Amenities: Restrooms, picnic sites, drinking water, & boat ramps
Activities: Boating, fishing, swimming, kayaking, paddle boarding, horseback riding, hiking, & nature viewing
Distance from the parking: Short
Road access: Any passenger vehicle
Day-use fees: Yes
Elevation: 303,5 ft (92,5 m)
Henry Hagg Lake is located:
- 9 miles southwest of Forest Grove
- 36 miles west of Portland
- 46 miles northwest of Salem.
Directions to Henry Hagg Lake
From Forest Grove to Henry Hagg County Park,
- Take OR-47 South
- Turn right onto SW Scoggins Valley Road and follow it for 4.3 miles
- Turn left onto SW Herr Road to your destination.