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Oxbow Park, OR - nearby park for picnicing and camping

Posted by Jane (2006-09-09)
Oxbow Park is a great destination if you get a wild hair and want to get out of the city (as I did this past Wednseday) but not drive far - it's about 25-30 miles from downtown Portland. Only $4 for park day-fee, but they are spendy as far as campsite fees ($15) , no pets allowed, and no alcohol allowed, have to bring your own firewood or buy there, no firearms or fireworks (groan, sounds like a drag already huh!? ;) But they have automatic-flushing toilets!! Really, it's a wonderful little getaway, especially for families. The description Metro-Region Parks give:
 
"Located within the wild and scenic Sandy River Gorge, Metroís Oxbow Regional Park offers rare access to many of the regionís natural wonders while providing a variety of unique recreational opportunities. The river draws swimmers, rafters, kayakers and drift boats carrying anglers. Fifteen miles of trails invite you to explore an ancient forest with centuries-old trees and ridges and ravines carved by volcanic and glacial flows
 
The park also offers a wooded campground (open year round), reservable picnic shelters, playgrounds, equestrian trails, and a number of environmental education opportunities. Oxbow also is home to the annual Salmon Festival, celebrating the return of the Chinook salmon." 
 
Location:
From I-84, take the Troutdale exit (17). Go past the truck stop to the light. Turn right on 257th, go 3 miles to Division Street. Turn left onto Division. Follow the signs 6.5 miles and turn left. Follow the road to the park.
Access:
Open from 6:30 a.m. to legal sunset. Get in free with your annual pass or pay $4 per car or $7 per bus. Many of the park facilities are wheelchair accessible, including the restroom/shower buildings, picnic areas and some campsites.
 
( For more info: 503) 797-1850
 
my little camp spot
Oxbow Pk. my camp spot 9-6-06.jpg
 
important task for the evening
Oxbow Pk. fire 9-6-06.jpg
 
my Thurday morning visitor, must have smelled my wafting oatmeal aroma...
Oxbow Pk. visiting deer 9-6-06.jpg
 
The Sandy River
Oxbow Pk. Sandy Riv. 9-6-06.jpg
 
 
many lovely trails all through the park, which I had all to myself...
 
well, except for these two that apparently were following me for a bit -  "No. I have no chocolate for you!"
Oxbow Pk. deer on trail 9-6-06.jpg
 
theres several large picnic areas, as well as many nice, secluded ones such as this
Oxbow Pk. picnic spot 9-6-06.jpg
 
a woodsy ampitheater for summer evening family events
 
Oxbow Pk. ampitheater
 
I had the opportunity to talk at length with a nice Park Ranger, Bill (who of course I gave a Portlandhiker sticker to and told him about ;) He told me about a cool study a USGS guy is doing on the history and dating of many of the ancient trees and stumps that have been exhumed naturally by the rising and lowering of the river over the years. This cedar stump was carbon-dated to be from 400 A.D.!
 
a closer zoom of ancient stump
Oxbow Park Sandy Riv. Cedar stump dated 400 A.D.
 
some parting gifts of my morning hike...
Oxbow Pk. blackberries

Re: Oxbow Park, OR - nearby park for picnicing and camping

Posted by Grannyhiker (2006-09-09)
Oxbow is a beautiful place, but I refuse to go to any place that won't allow my beloved dog!

Re: Oxbow Park, OR - nearby park for picnicing and camping

Posted by jeffstatt (2006-09-11)

Thanks for adding this trip report, Jane!  I think too often Portlanders take for granted the great close-in opportunities they've got.  In most other cities in the country (think! LA, Dallas, Miami, DC, Boston, Chicago, NY, Cleveland....) you'd have to drive 4-5 hours to get to an area as nice as this sport a mere 45 minutes from downtown!

Great you spotted deer!  I wouldn't have expected it!

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