Location: 15 miles South of Portland, in Sherwood
Trails: 1 mile trail for all seasons, 3 mile trail for Spring-Summer
Terrain: Gravel paths for walking only (no pets)
Difficulty: Easy (no steep climbs)
Highlights: Wetland observation deck, birds
The Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge is a 30 minute drive South of Portland and is a fairly nice short hike. The paths are gravel, and generally very flat, so this is an easy hike and is particularly popular among families. It also very popular among birders, and you will likely see plenty of them out on the trail with scopes, binoculars, and cameras, especially during the winter nesting time,
During the winter, there is a one mile trail that will take you through an oak savanna in progress, through fields, and onto the wetland. There a several small bridges to cross and the path ends at a large wetland observation deck. There you can see tons of different birds swimming, flying and nesting.
The Refuge also has a brand new wildlife center with a quality museum type area with interesting exhibits, a gift shop, and a spotting scope that is positioned at a window looking over the wetland, for all to use.
During the winter, there is only 1 mile of trails open, so it won’t taken more than hour, however it is a great time to see birds. During the summer, there will be even more areas to explore. I would recommend this place if you live somewhat near by, or if you or anyone in your group is an avid birder or photographer.