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 Post subject: Oxbow - Sandy River 12/10/2015 - Don't Overlook this Jewel!
 Post Posted: December 10th, 2015, 6:16 pm 
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Joined: December 6th, 2015, 9:54 pm
Posts: 14
Location: Gresham, OR
Hello Hikers!

Well, with tornadoes, flooding and road closures (Lions, Tigers and Bears...) occurring all over the place - I didn't want to drive on Hwy 26, I-84 (or really anywhere else for that matter) - but did want to go for a walk in the woods!! And then I remembered one of my favorite childhood areas - Oxbow Park!! Even though there had been a minor slide on Oxbow Parkway a few days ago - that had been cleared up, and the road was open without standing water or debris this morning!

I also wanted to see the Sandy River in the midst of all the excess water finding it's way to the Columbia!

Oxbow is a Regional Park (Oxbow Regional Park is it's full title) - managed by the Metro Council - along with other Metro facilities as varied as Glendoveer Golf Course and Fitness Trail to the Oregon Zoo.

You can find Oxbow at: Oxbow Regional Park, 3010 SE Oxbow Parkway, Gresham

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Oxbow has an advertised 12 miles of hiking trails - I wasn't that ambitious, though, I just followed the Sandy River-side trail:

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With a recreational area so close into residential areas - one might think it would be nothing more than a school playground - absolutely not the case!! I thought my little walk along the Sandy was as fulfilling as practically any other hike I've been on in the past few years - it was beautiful there this morning - and even managed to find a non-rain two hour period to boot!

Started my jaunt alongside a canyon waterfall:
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If you didn't know any differently, you could easily believe you were deep in some unpopulated river valley!

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There were multiple side streams making their way down to the Sandy - but none of them flowed across the road, or the trail!
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And, yes, the Sandy is flowing HIGH!
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The river-side trail is in great shape! Although, on the trail headed up to Elk Meadow - I did see a closure sign, I'm sure there is some concern about slide potential on that particular trail - though if we get a few dry days the trail should re-open!
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As always - remember to look up and around:
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Water level is high - and you can clearly see the effects of erosion occurring in real-time:
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Oxbow is well signed - but not to the degree it detracts from the river/forest experience.
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So, if you, and the family, are looking for a nice hike - great river views and just an opportunity to feel a little secluded - even if current road and weather conditions don't allow you to safely get really secluded - Oxbow Regional Park may be just the place for you!

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Happy hiking!!

Scott


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 Post subject: Re: Oxbow - Sandy River 12/10/2015 - Don't Overlook this Jew
 Post Posted: December 10th, 2015, 6:39 pm 
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Joined: May 10th, 2009, 4:42 pm
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Location: The Foothills of Mt Hood
We live within walking distance of Oxbow's "Back Door Entrance" and normally reserve this for weekends when the weather is too bad to drive anywhere. (The back door is always open :) )

I must confess that I hadn't realized that it was run by Metro thought it was Multnomah County. Surprised because (Thankfully) we are still 2 miles East of Metro's Eastern Frontier ;)

As a point of interest:

Image

These trees being exposed by the rivers erosion here a truly ancient, they are forest trees that were buried in long past Mt. Hood eruptions.

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 Post subject: Re: Oxbow - Sandy River 12/10/2015 - Don't Overlook this Jew
 Post Posted: December 10th, 2015, 6:58 pm 
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Joined: December 6th, 2015, 9:54 pm
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Location: Gresham, OR
Thank you, Guy - that is interesting! And got me to thinking about Mt Hood and the Zigzag Canyon hike I took this summer - Zigzag Glacier is the head water for the Zigzag River - a tributary of the Sandy River (the main Sandy River head water off of Reid Glacier)!

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Thank you for the comments!

Scott


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 Post subject: Re: Oxbow - Sandy River 12/10/2015 - Don't Overlook this Jew
 Post Posted: December 11th, 2015, 12:34 am 
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I surprisingly got 9 miles there last spring. I just looked at the map and realized that we basically did the whole park, but had I known at the time there was just a short spur up to the top, I'd have done that bit on the same trip and called it done. Now I might have to go back and see if I can't get all of the trails in one shot, including all the short connectors in the middle.

GPX track here

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 Post subject: Re: Oxbow - Sandy River 12/10/2015 - Don't Overlook this Jew
 Post Posted: December 11th, 2015, 12:43 am 
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Another thing to note here is that there is some very nice old growth in the park. You can follow their map to an area where they say there's old growth (I'm still not sure what they are trying to feature there), but instead just take that trail just south of the south edge of the campground and head east. I believe it's completely handicap accessible and it's the real deal. Good place to take the out of town relatives for a quick old growth experience.

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 Post subject: Re: Oxbow - Sandy River 12/10/2015 - Don't Overlook this Jew
 Post Posted: December 11th, 2015, 5:39 am 
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Joined: May 10th, 2009, 4:42 pm
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Location: The Foothills of Mt Hood
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I surprisingly got 9 miles there last spring. I just looked at the map and realized that we basically did the whole park, but had I known at the time there was just a short spur up to the top,


Here is a loop from the Equestrian Trailhead at the top, you can park on the side of the road but don't park on the wrong sides of the no parking signs in the turn around or the locals will have you towed!

The blue blue trail section is not on their maps anymore but it's still in great condition and allows you to do a bigger loop from the top.

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