All You Need To Know Before Visiting Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge

Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge situated in Sellwood neighborhood is the ideal place to visit for a trail run or quick hike. Oaks Bottom features a big pond/wetland area along with a hilly and twisty trail along the east-side of this pond. The trail is only a mile in length, but you can choose to loop back to achieve a 3-mile run. This wildlife refuge offers the opportunity to see many birds and animals.

Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge is described as a floodplain wetland, with a portion of the park built on top of a sanitation landfill which was acquired in 1969 by the City of Portland in the efforts to stop the area from turning into an unwanted industrial park. While you enjoy this refuge keep in mind that the city of Portland takes their green spaces extremely seriously and they make the necessary sacrifices to create as well as maintain them.

Oaks Bottom offers an abundance of wildlife that includes the water birds, especially in the fall and spring onto nutria and beavers. Waterbird numbers are numerous here and are inclusive of blue herons, wigeons, pintails, buffleheads, and mallards. Along the famous trail, you will also discover views of the stunning downtown area while you are surrounded by magnificent wildflowers in the month of spring.

When you start out at Sellwood Park Trailhead, this trail leads you down close to informational signs. From the South Meadow Trail, turn right which provides a way to cut through Wapato Marsh and the meadow. In the months of winter, you can view the Portland Memorial Mausoleum mural, which is to date the largest mural in the U.S. From here you pass the junction that leads to a cut-off trail but passes this onto the junction that features the bike trail which runs down form Milwaukie Avenue. This will take you to Tadpole Pond that contains frogs and salamanders. Here you can carry onto under a railroad onto Springwater Corridor. When you have passed the three-mile marker, you reach the junction that diverts away from the corridor. From here you need to turn left to get back onto the South Meadow Trail that passes underneath the railroad. You will then reach the next junction, where you need to keep right, heading uphill on the stone-steps that will take you back to Sellwood Park.

This mild grade trail is only 2.3 miles in length, which is great for trail runners that have limited time onto families with children in search of a leisure activity. The wildlife refuge is what makes this park so appealing with the opportunity to see a variety of water birds and wildlife. To get to this venue from downtown you need to take Highway 43 South to Sellwood Bridge, then turn left, now drive for 5 miles till you reach SE 7th Ave. Now drive for another 3 miles before turning to the left into the designated parking area.

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