There's An Underrated Trail Hiding Inside This Portland-Area Park And You'll Want To Hike It
Most Portlanders have visited Oxbow Regional Park at one time or another, but not everyone ventures off the beaten path to the North Oxbow Hike. This 3.6-mile loop follow the Sandy River, giving you a mix of shore and bluff views that are stunning anytime of the year. Because it is quiet and rarely trafficked, this is a wonderful place to spot wildlife and have a peaceful time in nature.
Start your hike at the Oxbow Bluff Trailhead. Get there from S.E. Gordon Creek Road outside of Gresham. An unmarked dead-end road at the sharp curve by the park leads you to a parking lot at the trailhead.
From there, follow the main trail. The only deviations are paths that lead to the river. You should definitely wander down a few of these to get some great views of the Sandy River.
Ferns, snowberries, salmonberries, and Indian plums fill in the vast understory of the forest here, and cedars, maples and Douglas firs loom overhead.
At one point on the trail, you will have a great bluff view of the river and the main area of Oxbow Regional Park.
You will head upriver to a beach before looping back into the woods and heading back on the main trail.
No matter the season, the North Oxbow Hike has some beautiful foliage waiting for you to enjoy. Spring and fall are two of the best times to visit for blooms and stunning color change of the trees.
You will come out of the woods at Gordon Creek Road, where you can walk along the left side of the road to the Dead End Road where you started your journey.
This trail climbs only 350 feet in elevation, making it a moderate hike only for its length. Because of wildlife in the park, dogs are not permitted.
Next time you want to enjoy a quiet hike without traveling to more far flung Gorge and Mt. Hood locations, consider this close to the city hike that is sure to dazzle you with its lovely scenery.
Have you been on the North Oxbow Hike? Let us know your experience in the comments below.
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