Location: East bank of Willamette river, just south of Portland
Trails: Over a mile
Terrain: Dirt and gravel paths
Highlights: River, wetlands, birds
The Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge is Portland’s first wildlife refuge and is a great place to view wetlands and birds while staying close in Portland. It is located along the southeast side of the river, in the Sellwood area. It is easily accessible by car from the eastside or to anyone biking or walking along the Springwater Corrider, the multi-use path slightly south of the Eastbank Esplanade.
Oaks Bottom was once destined to be an industrial park but the city of Portland saved it as one of the only remaining wetlands in the city. The Refuge contains a large shallow lake with a mile loop trail around it, which is the perfect spot for wildlife viewing. There are also trails that connect to nearby parks in Sellwood. There are many migratory birds that can be seen at Oaks Bottom, especially great herons, as there is a heron rookery on nearby Ross Island. Oaks Bottom is a great place to check out on its own, or as the end of longer journey (McCall Riverfront Park to Eastbank Esplanade to Springwater Corridor to Oaks Bottom).
Great Blue Heron