Directions: From the town of Estacada go straight through the town for 26 miles on Highway 224. You will pass the Ripplebrook Ranger Station and cross the Ripplebrook Bridge. Stay right onto Road 46 for about two miles to the Riverside Trailhead on the right.
The trail starts behind a wooden sign at the parking area. Follow the trail for a short distance and you’ll come to a split in the trail. Go right on the Riverside trail and head uphill to a small bluff. From here you will head downhill and cross Mag Creek. The trail continues downhill and you will soon come to a small beach with a good view of the Clackamas River.
Continue on the trail and cross Tag Creek before you begin to climb again. There are switchbacks and some viewpoints to the river below. Again, you will drop back down and reach another rocky beach with even better views of the Clackamas. In this section the river is a bit more swift, giving it a different look.
From here the trail is level for a while, moving away from the river where you will start to climb again. Right after you climb the trail it’s briefly flat before you switchback downhill to a cove-type area in the river. This is the end point for this hike. You can go another half mile or so to the Rainbow Campground, or another 2 miles to the Riverside Campground.
This trail is basically one long roller coaster. It’s very repetitive, you’ll be going up and downhill about three times. The trail is well maintained and you’ll never be out of earshot of the river. There are multiple beaches that are very pretty and worth the short side trip. All of the trees along the trail are impressively big as well!
Distance: 4 miles
Elevation: 400 feet
Pet Friendly: Yes
Good For: All ages
Parking Fee: $5 NW Forest Pass
Seasons: All. Check for snow in the winter.
Overall: Nice forest hike along a pretty river.