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About 30 minutes from downtown Portland, Sandy River Delta Park is a popular destination for dog owners and is open to horseback riding.

This 1400 acre delta was purchased in 1991 by the USFS and changed from a cattle ranch to its current condition with ongoing efforts to restore the native habitat. For the most part, other than the native tree cover of cottonwood, ash, willow and red osier dogwood, the ground forbs and shrubbery here are a dense display of exotic species.

Our trail loop begins at the parking lot, near the accessible bathrooms and picnic area. The picnic area has a steep lip that may prohibit access for some wheeled devices. There is a map here where you can plan your hike. There are also trail markers at each trail junction in the park.

We began on the Confluence Trail. This wide, hard-packed, natural surface trail cuts through a field of reed canary grass from the trailhead to a channel of the Columbia River and the Maya Lin Bird Blind. Close by the Blind is a steep access route to the river, more like a beaver slide than a trail. 

When water levels are low, a trail currently called the User Trail winds through the willow/red osier dogwood forest, along the river. Walking along the shoreline, you'll get views across the channel of the Columbia River to Gary Island. Due to the challenging access to these routes, the AR team stayed on the upper trails.

From the Confluence Trail, turn right onto the Meadow Trail. The trail bends and weaves through meadow, tall mullein stalks and black cottonwood and Oregon ash trees. At times the trail narrows to 2 feet in width with short steep grades and loose sand. We determined the easiest and most diverse loop would be to turn right (northwest) at Sandy River Delta Trail/Meadow Trail, then continue to the original trailhead. This route is approximately 3 miles.

Dogs are required to be leashed within 100 feet of the Confluence Trail on either side. There is a $100 fine for dogs off leash in this area as well as in the parking lot.

Gates to the park close at night and open at 6 am. Evening closure hours vary from 6 pm to 10 pm depending on the season. Check the US Forest Service website for seasonal hours.

Sandy River Delta Park

US Forest Service


Name: Sandy River Delta Park

Parks agency: US Forest Service

Contact: Edan Lira: (541) 308-1727

Location: Crown Point Highway at Route 84, exit 18, near Troutdale

Hours: 6 am—between 6 pm and 10 pm, depending on the season

Public transit: none

Length: AR suggested loop = 3.0 miles

How difficult do we consider it: the designated accessible trail is relatively easy for most users; cross trails are hard sand that may be loose and muddy with short steep sections, shared with dogs, off-leash and horses

Date of last visit: July 22, 2015


The Maya Lin Bird Blind was constructed for the Lewis and Clark Bicentennial Confluence Project in 2008. The slats of black locust wood each carry the name of one of the 134 species of plants and animals that the two explorers recorded on their journey.

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