Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge (Winter)

Directions: From SE 17th and Holgate: Go South on SE 17th Avenue. Just past the signal at McLaughlin Blvd turn right onto SE Mitchell. Go uphill and veer left, you can see the parking lot across the street when you stop at Milwaukie Ave. Turn right and take an immediate left into the parking lot.

From the parking area take the paved path downhill for a short distance until you come to a fork in the trail. Go left where the trail turns to dirt and you’ll soon cross a footbridge. From here you wind through the thick trees with the Portland Memorial Mausoleum on your left and pond/marsh areas to your right. The trail is mostly flat with just a few small hills.

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After about a half mile the trail will turn to boardwalk as you pass through an area where the pond reaches the trail. There is a viewing platform built into the boardwalk that looks out at an opening where you will see just how big the ponds are. You will also be able to see the train tracks and Oaks Park in the distance.

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As you start to make your way out of the woods the trail returns to packed dirt. You will soon come to an open area as you follow the trail under the train tracks and get onto the Springwater Trail. Take a right on the Springwater Trail and pass along the ponds and marsh area. You will get a great view of the mural that’s painted on the Portland Memorial Mausoleum.

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The trail starts to head downhill after a while and you’ll come to an intersection. Take a right here and again head under the tracks. The trail stays paved as you wind your way back to the intersection from the beginning of the hike. Go left here and head back uphill to the parking area.

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This whole hike is great for viewing wildlife. You can see a lot of different birds, especially water birds. You also have a chance to see beavers and nutria. While you’re on the Springwater Trail make sure you keep an eye out for bald eagles, we’ve seen a few in the past.

Distance: 2.5 miles

Elevation: 115 feet

Difficulty: Easy

Pet Friendly: Yes

Good For: All ages

Bathrooms: Porta-potty at parking area.

Parking Fee: None

Seasons: All

Popular: Yes on nice weekends. Springwater Trail is busy year round.

Overall: Nice option if you want to get outdoors in the city.

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