Home  •   Field Guide  •   Forums  •    Unread Posts  •   Maps  •   Find a Hike!
| Page | Discussion | View source | History | Print Friendly and PDF

Whitaker Ponds Loop Hike

From Oregon Hikers Field Guide

The East Pond at Whitaker Ponds Nature Park (bobcat)
The "Ribbon of Agua," Whitaker Ponds Nature Park (bobcat)
The West Pond at Whitaker Ponds Nature Park (bobcat)
Nodding beggar ticks (Bidens cernua), Whitaker Ponds Nature Park (bobcat)
The loop around the West Pond (not a GPS track) (bobcat) Courtesy: Google Maps
  • Start point: Whitaker Ponds TrailheadRoad.JPG
  • End point: East Pond
  • Trail Log:
  • Hike Type: Loop
  • Distance: 0.5 miles
  • Elevation gain: 10 feet
  • High Point: 15 feet
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Seasons: All
  • Family Friendly: Yes
  • Backpackable: No
  • Crowded: No


Hike Description

Whitaker Ponds Nature Park, which borders a branch of the Columbia Slough, is a relatively recent addition to Portland Parks’ register of refuges. The 25-acre site was purchased in the 1990s. It was a junkyard that required years of volunteer effort to clean up; the task included removing hundreds of old tires. Now it is a peaceful haven in industrial Northeast Portland.

Some weeping willows greet the visitor at the entrance. Walk straight ahead to a junction. Go left under towering locust trees and a black walnut for the clockwise excursion. To your right, you will see the West Pond. There’s a view of Whitaker Slough, with its canoe launch site, and some steps down to a platform on the lake. The trail crosses a bridge and passes the remains of an old building now beautified by a 2012 painting project. Under cottonwoods, cedars, and Douglas-firs, the path skirts the West Pond and arrives at a baseball field. You head along a gravel road between the East and West Ponds and see Whitaker Middle School up on the rise. The path veers right along a fenceline and passes through a dense thicket of snowberry, willow, big-leaf maple, cottonwood, ash, cedar, and Douglas-fir. Back at the West Pond, there’s a gazebo with picnic tables and a boardwalk down to the water. Interpretive signs in this area tell about Lewis and Clark and the formation of the park.

For birdwatching, the park is best visited in the early morning or evening. Best seasons are mid-fall through spring.

Fees, Regulations, etc.

  • Dogs not permitted in the park
  • Open dawn to dusk


Trip Reports

Related Discussions / Q&A

Guidebooks that cover this hike

  • Wild in the City: Exploring the Intertwine by Michael C. Houck and M.J. Cody (editors)
  • Peaceful Places: Portland by Paul Gerald

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.