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Maricara Loop Hike

From Oregon Hikers Field Guide

Fairy house, Maricara Natural Area (bobcat)
Maple-sedge bottomland, Maricara Natural Area (bobcat)
Trilliums, Maricara Natural Area (bobcat)
Loop trail around Maricara Natural Area in yellow; extended loop via Jackson Middle School in red (trails) and along streets (orange) (not a GPS track) (bobcat) Courtesy: Caltopo
  • Start point: Maricara TrailheadRoad.JPG
  • End point: Maricara Trailhead
  • Trail Log:
  • Hike Type: Loop
  • Distance: 0.6 miles
  • Elevation gain: 110 feet
  • High Point: 565 feet
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Seasons: All
  • Family Friendly: Yes
  • Backpackable: No
  • Crowded: No


Hike Description

The 17-acre Maricara Natural Area has been recently refurbished by local volunteers, with invasive Armenian blackberry, Irish ivy and English holly being plucked from the understory of this Douglas-fir/big-leaf maple woodland. Springs feed a small creek that descends the slope to Arnold Creek. In spring, there's a forest understory of blooming Indian plum as well as an assortment of forest floor plants (trillium, violet, fringe-cup, etc.) in flower. You may notice a few little fairy houses tucked just off the trail as well! There are also walks through the neighborhood via Jackson Middle School that can extend your outing (See the map).

From the trailhead, head downhill from the entrance kiosk in an understory of Indian plum, Oregon grape, and sword fern. Go left at the first junction and keep right at a spur to 29th Avenue. Cross a small wetland just below a spring and walk gently up to a junction, where you keep left. Keep right at two spurs leading out to 25th Avenue and enter a hazel thicket. The trail turns a corner at a rooty alder. Head uphill and keep left at a junction with a cutoff trail. Drop to a footbridge over a small creek and then rise again in a carpet of waterleaf and fringe-cup. At the next junction, close the loop and turn left to exit to 30th Avenue.

Fees, Regulations, etc.

  • Dogs on leash
  • Park hours 5 a.m. - 12 a.m.


Trip Reports

Related Discussions / Q&A

Guidebooks that cover this hike

  • Take a Walk: Portland by Brian Barker

More Links


Oregon Hikers Field Guide is built as a collaborative effort by its user community. While we make every effort to fact-check, information found here should be considered anecdotal. You should cross-check against other references before planning a hike. Trail routing and conditions are subject to change. Please contact us if you notice errors on this page.

Hiking is a potentially risky activity, and the entire risk for users of this field guide is assumed by the user, and in no event shall Trailkeepers of Oregon be liable for any injury or damages suffered as a result of relying on content in this field guide. All content posted on the field guide becomes the property of Trailkeepers of Oregon, and may not be used without permission.