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Tryon Creek Natural Area is regionally recognized for its abundance of blooming trilliums in late March and early April. It also has a number of other native lilies recognized for their beauty and significance. It is a great place to watch the seasons change year-round!

Our suggested hike is easy to moderate beginning at the nature center. Here you'll find knowledgeable staff, interpretive exhibits, and an accessible restroom and store. Go south from the nature center to the start of the paved Ruth Pennington Trillium Trail. They consider this their "all abilities" trail. There is the occasional bump caused by roots that affects the surface of the trail.

This trail is divided into an upper and lower trail loop with two viewing decks that overlook the dense underbrush of the forest floor. There are benches here as well as along the trail. Interpretive displays and plant identification markers provide information on the flora and fauna of the park as you walk the trail.

To add more length and nature to your hike, backtrack to the Old Main Trail and turn in the opposite direction of the Nature Center. Turn at the first trail junction onto the Big Fir Trail. This is marked with directional signage, a trash can, a bench and a pet waste bag box. This natural surface route has minimal grades overall with the exception of a short section near the end, on the Maple Ridge Trail. This section has a 17% grade. Numerous tree roots cross these trails, some higher than 2 inches.

This second-generation forest has naturally regrown into a lush stand of evergreen and deciduous trees. Signs of logging that began in the late 1800s are displayed in the few decaying stumps you pass along the way. You can still see the notches where springboards were inserted for loggers to cut higher on the tree. Old snags can be seen with holes left by woodpeckers in search of food, nesting and drumming, a springtime mating ritual.

You can follow the trail signs to the Center Trail to reconnect to the Nature Center, or continue our suggested loop to the Maple Ridge Trail. Here you will pass extraordinary sculptures left by fallen trees — beautiful examples of nature's artwork. As this loop ends, you will pass the Glen Jackson shelter. This is a large covered area with long benches along the railings. A great place to regroup or enjoy a picnic. The nature center and parking lot are a short distance from here. This entire route including the Trillium Trail is 1.3 miles.

Tryon Creek State Natural Area

Oregon State Parks


Name: Tryon Creek State Natural Area

Parks agency: Oregon State Parks

Contact: (503) 636-9886 Daily 9 am 4 pm; (800) 551-6949 for Info

Location: 11321 SW Terwilliger Boulevard Portland, OR 97219

Public transit: TriMet bus 39 provides weekday service from the Law Schools, about 1 mile to the north. Use the bike path to avoid Terwilliger Boulevard. See overall map.

Hours: vary from 7 am 5 pm, to 7 am 9 pm, depending on month

Length: 1.3 miles, including the Trillium Trail Loop

How difficult we consider it: Easy to moderate with a short section of 17% grade

Date of last visit: October 20, 2021

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