Oxbow Regional Park, Oregon


Taking advantage of unseasonably warm and dry weather, I drove out to the eastern fringe of the city to Oxbow Regional Park.

Oxbow Regional Park is located along a meander of the Sandy River, about 12 miles upstream from where it empties into the Columbia River near Troutdale, Oregon.  Operated by Metro (the regional government of the Portland metropolitan area) the park covers 1,000 acres and offers river recreation, camping, and about twelve miles of trails.  The entrance fee is $5 per vehicle.

The Sandy begins at Reid Glacier on Mount Hood, and winds generally northwest about fifty-six miles.  In 2007 and 2008 two dams from the early 1900’s were removed, opening the river for salmon runs.

All the northwest rivers are low this time of year, before the winter rains and spring snowmelt come, but I was surprised how quickly the water moved.

Panoramic view of Sandy River at Oxbow Regonal Park

I hiked some of the forest trails.  Even though it hasn’t rained in at least a week, the ground was often wet and there were many little brooks gurgling down to the river.

Maple leaves littered the ground, and every time the wind blew, there was a gentle “rain” of leaves, needles, and twigs.  There were giant trees and tiny mushrooms.

Panoramic view of Sandy River at Oxbow Regonal Park