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Wildwood Recreation Site is nestled in the forested foothills of the Cascades, along the spectacular “wild and scenic” Salmon River. It is located 39 miles east of Portland, off the Mt Hood Highway [US Route 26], just past the 39 mile marker.

This 550-acre forest park features the Cascade Streamwatch and Wetland Boardwalk interpretive trails. Wildwood also provides group and family picnic sites, a playground, and athletic fields. 

The AR field team reviewed two trail loops, below. Both worth exploring for their diverse natural beauty.

Wildwood Wetland Trail

From the trailhead parking lot, go to the covered kiosk with a map of the entire park. Walk around the front of the accessible restrooms and follow the paved path toward the river.

The Wildwood Wetland Trail is a half mile trail loop of boardwalk and gravel/natural surface along the Cattail Marsh and Sixes Creek. Here you can experience the sights, sounds and smells of a wetland up close. Watch for waterfowl on the pond, rough-skinned newts in the water, red–winged blackbirds in the cattails, and herons feeding in the rushes.

The Wetland Boardwalk Trail has grades of less than 8%. The boardwalk leads to the Boulder Creek Trail, a gravel/natural surface trail that may have grades steeper than 8%. There may be a steep lip (greater than 2”) from the boardwalk to the gravel trail. Turn right (north) to return to the parking lot along the Salmon River.

Cascade Streamwatch Trail

This trail also begins at the information kiosk at the trailhead parking lot. This 3/4 mile paved trail will acquaint you with some of the plants, animals and fish that live in the Salmon River watershed through signs and models along the trail. A fish viewing window allows you to see the underwater action of a mountain stream.

You can enjoy a quiet picnic in a secluded spot along the paved loop trails. Picnic sites are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Barbecues, fire pits, and tables are available at each site.

Wildwood Recreation Site may close due to extreme weather. Check during weather events by calling (503) 622-3696.

The park is open from 8:00 am to sunset from mid-March to mid-November. However, during the off-season, you may park at the gate and access Wildwood and Cascade Streamwatch by foot, walking the entrance road to the trailhead or other facilities.

Wildwood Recreation Site

Bureau of Land Management


Name: Wildwood Recreation Site

Parks agency: Bureau of Land Management

Contact: (503) 622-3696 for latest conditions and reservations.

Location: 65670 Mt Hood Highway [US Route 26] milepost 39 Welches OR

Hours: 8 am to 1/2 hour before sunset, year-round, seven days a week

Public transit: none

Length: Wetland Trail Loop .5 mile; Cascade Streamwatch Trail .75 mile; Family Picnic Area and along Salmon River 2.5 miles of paved paths

How difficult do we consider it: Easy with areas of moderately steep grades on gravel and natural surface trails

Parking fee: $5/day for passenger cars; click here for larger vehicles

Date of last visit: September 25, 2021


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