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Woods Park Loop Hike

From Oregon Hikers Field Guide

Boardwalk along Woods Creek, Woods Memorial Natural Area (bobcat)
Red horsechestnut (Aesculus x carnea), Woods Memorial Natural Area (bobcat)
Footbridge on the Cedar Trail, Woods Memorial Natural Area (bobcat)
Oval-leaved viburnum (Viburnum ellipticum), Woods Memorial Natural Area (bobcat)
Trails (red) and road sections (gray) described in this loop (not a GPS track) (bobcat) Courtesy: Google Maps


Hike Description

Part of the Fanno Creek watershed, Woods Creek runs through the center of Woods Memorial Natural Area, a 36-acre pocket of native forest in Southwest Portland. Much effort has been made in recent years to control trail erosion and subdue non-native invasives such as English laurel, holy, ivy, and Armenian blackberry. This loop uses trails in the park and a few blocks of neighborhood streets to maximize the walking opportunities.

Walk down the road from the trailhead to a grassy area. The Stairway Trail leads down from here past a garbage can. This is a Douglas-fir, big-leaf maple, western red-cedar, and Indian plum forest. There are even a few oaks; deer often pass through. Ivy and Armenian blackberry are the major invasives. At a trail junction, head down some steps. At the next junction, keep straight and drop steeply to a cedar grove at the confluence of Woods Creek and a tributary. The Low Bridge crosses the creek here. Go right on the opposite bank and then take a trail heading uphill to the left. At the next junctions, keep right (Keeping left at the first junction takes you out to 45th Drive; this spur takes you across 45th and then switchbacks up to Marigold Street). Keep straight and head down over a footbridge on the Marigold Trail. The trail heads along a fence line and drops to Woods Creek, where you go left on the Woods Creek Trail (Don’t cross the footbridge here). The trail heads up the salmonberry-lined stream. Keep straight at a trail junction and recross the creek on the Woods Creek High Bridge. The trail heads up steps and then winds up. At a junction, go right on the Alice Trail. The trail heads above a bowl through woods blooming with trilliums in the spring. Then a huge open swath appears below on the slope - an area recently cleared of blackberries. The trail reaches gravel S.W. 43rd Avenue.

Follow this track one block to Taylors Ferry and cross the street to a sidewalk and then go right. The sidewalk drops to cross the freeway exit and then crosses Woods Creek. Head uphill and recross Taylors Ferry at S.W. 46th. Walk one block on S.W. 46th and turn right onto S.W. Woods Parkway. The road drops to curve left. Here, at the Woods Park South Trailhead, the South Trail drops into the woods. Switchback and traverse down. In the spring trilliums and violets bloom in profusion among a carpet of waterleaf. Douglas-fir, cedar, and maple form the canopy. There’s a spur left and then a spur right leading down to a split-rail bordered viewpoint over the creek. The main trail heads down steps to Woods Creek. Go left at the Woods Creek High Bridge and head down the creek. Pass the Middle Bridge and then reach a junction. This is the Zigzag Trail. Head up this trail to the left and switchback twice to the park road. From here, go right to the parking area.

Fees, Regulations, etc.

  • Dogs on leash


Trip Reports

Related Discussions / Q&A

Guidebooks that cover this hike

  • Take a Walk: Portland by Brian Barker
  • Nature Walks In and Around Portland by Karen & Terry Whitehill

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.