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Spring Valley Loop Hike

From Oregon Hikers Field Guide

On the TCC Trail, Spring Valley State Park (bobcat)
Coast toothwort (Cardamine californica), Spring Valley State Park (bobcat)
Sessile trillium (Trillium parviflorum), Spring Valley State Park (bobcat)
The three loops at Spring Valley State Park (not a GPS track) (bobcat) Courtesy: Google Maps
  • Start point: Spring Valley TrailheadRoad.JPG
  • End Point: Spring Valley Park Entrance
  • Trail Log:
  • Hike Type: Three loops
  • Distance: 3.9 miles
  • Elevation gain: 135 feet
  • High Point: 170 feet
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Seasons: All year
  • Family Friendly: Yes
  • Backpackable: No
  • Crowded: No
Nettles
Poison Oak

Contents

Description

This new state park, part of the Willamette River Greenway, offers three short loops that serve both mountain bikers and hikers. The trails have been constructed by the Salem Area Trail Alliance and wander through a remnant area of riverside and bluff woodland with both deciduous and coniferous species, including black cottonwood, red alder, Oregon ash, big-leaf maple, Oregon white oak, Douglas-fir, grand fir, and even a few Pacific madrones. The park fronts on the Windsor Island Reach, which became the main channel of the Willamette in these parts in the 1940s after the Army Corps of Engineers began dredging operations. The shoreline access here is popular with salmon and steelhead fishermen.

From the parking area, get a view down on meandering Spring Valley Creek. You can also walk to the shore of the Windsor Island Reach of the Willamette River. For the first loop, take the Perimeter Trail, which begins behind a set of cabled bollards at the parking area. The trail heads along the edge of a field of ryegrass lined with blackberries and tall cottonwoods. Reach the junction with the TCC Trail and go right. This little trail takes you into the native woodland next to the river, and trail spurs allow for shore access. A carpet of waterleaf and nettle flourishes under big-leaf maple and grand fir. Look for the mottled leaves of the rarely seen sessile trillium (Trillium parviflorum). The path almost reaches the ryegass field, but bends right on a hummocky tread to arrive above Spring Valley Creek. Reach the field and walk right along the edge of the ryegrass planting between the rows. This will take you back to the parking area.

The second loop, the Upper Spring Valley Trail, takes you to the left of the restrooms across a grassy expanse where visitors like to run their dogs. Enter a woodland dense with Indian plum and hazel and rise up a slope. There’s a view to the northern point of Windsor Island in the Willamette. Descend under mossy arches of hazel in a mixed forest with more grand firs. Fringe-cup, violet, toothwort, and sessile trillium bloom trailside in the spring. Hike above an ash swale, and take a spur that leads left to a blufftop viewpoint over Spring Valley Creek. Pass through a watery sedge expanse with the creek running to your left. Reach the field and the restrooms and go left on the entrance road to begin the third loop.

Cross the road bridge over Spring Valley Creek and pass the terminus of the one-way Generator Trail on the right. Up the hill, find the beginning of the Rook Trail at a row of bollards. Wind up a sword fern hillside paralleling the road until the trail begins a long traverse to the left. You’ll get views down on winding Spring Valley Creek. Looking carefully, you might spot a couple of scraggly madrones in the woods; also look for the tenacious vines of poison oak climbing high up the trunks of the grand firs. Cross a footbridge and reach the edge of the park at a field. The trail then runs parallel to Wallace Road through a copse of oak before coming to the Spring Valley Park Entrance gate. Go right on the park road as it turns through an ash/cottonwood/hazel thicket and find the beginning of the Generator Trail on the left. This one-way trail switchbacks to offer a view of King Creek before a short, steep drop and switchback to the entrance road. Cross Spring Valley Creek on the road bridge to reach your vehicle.


Fees, Regulations, etc.

  • No park fees
  • $2.00 toll for the Wheatland Ferry (runs every day 5:30 a.m. – 9:45 p.m. except Thanksgiving and Christmas)
  • Dogs on leash
  • Share trails with mountain bikes
  • Restrooms

Maps

Trip Reports

Related Discussions / Q&A

Guidebooks that cover this hike

  • none

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Page Contributors

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.