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Trail facts at a glance
Name: Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge
Parks agency: US Fish and Wildlife Service
Contact: Wildlife Center (503) 625-5945; Office (503) 625-5944
Location: 19255 SW Pacific Highway, Sherwood, OR 97140
Hours: Wildlife Center: Tuesday—Sunday 10 am—4pm (closed Mondays)
Refuge Gates: Open dawn to dusk, 365 days a year
Public transit: TriMet bus 94 (daily, every 30 minutes)—Stop ID 12743
Length: 2.1 miles round trip
How difficult do we consider it: Easy—moderate with short sections of steep grades
Date of last visit: August 19, 2021
Note: The visitor center, facility restrooms, photography blinds, and offices are closed due to Covid-19. There are porta potties in the parking lot, as well.
Note: Construction is occurring on the seasonal trail until May 2022.
Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge is about 15 miles southwest of Portland near Sherwood. TRNWR is located within the floodplain of the Tualatin River Basin along the Pacific Flyway for migratory birds. It is among a small handful of urban refuges across the nation.
This refuge can be reached by public transportation or car. There is an information kiosk with a park map at the bus stop and refuge parking lot. If you're driving, the first set of accessible parking spaces lead to the kiosk, a vertical live plant display and accessible restrooms. There are a large picnic shelter and drinking fountains here. Follow the compacted gravel path past the picnic shelter to reach the trailhead. From here you can connect to nearly five miles of interpretive trails.
There are two trail systems included in the AR trail loop. Starting at the picnic shelter trailhead, the Year-Round compacted gravel trail has a steep section near the beginning, that may have loose gravel. This trail leads to two paved observation decks with interpretive displays and fantastic views.
To make a loop, the AR team connected to the Seasonal Trail at two locations [see map]. It is open between May 1 and September 30, and closed from October 1 to April 30 to preserve the wildlife and habitat. It goes by woods and marshlands that are teeming with wildlife. There are reservable bird viewing huts along this stretch. The Seasonal Trail may be rutted with loose gravel due to vehicle use.
If you continue on the Seasonal Trail, to the parking lot, it cuts through a gravel parking lot with refuge vehicles. There are stairs from here to the visitor center. If you use a wheelchair, there is a locked gate that does not have wheelchair clearance. The Refuge Headquarters can open the gate for you at (503) 625-5944. It’s best to call ahead. Otherwise, you will need to backtrack, about a half-mile, to where the trail connects with the Year-Round Trail.
You can learn about wildlife through self-guided discovery or by participating in one of the many educational programs. The refuge staff can drive you to various locations at the refuge, if necessary.
Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge
US Fish and Wildlife Service
Click map image for larger map