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Oak Island Loop Hike

From Oregon Hikers Field Guide

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Coyote pup, Oak Island (bobcat)
Trail through the oaks, Oak Island (bobcat)
Clustered wild rose (Rosa pisocarpa), Oak Island (bobcat)
Glimpse of Sturgeon Lake, Oak Island (bobcat)
Loop trail around Oak Island (bobcat)
  • Start point: Oak Island TrailheadRoad.JPG
  • End point: Sturgeon Lake Narrows
  • Hike Type: Loop
  • Distance: 2.8 miles
  • Elevation gain: 10 feet
  • High Point: 25 feet
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Seasons: April 16th - September 30th
  • Family Friendly: Yes
  • Backpackable: No
  • Crowded: No


Hike Description

Surrounded by Sturgeon Lake on Sauvie Island, Oak Island is part of the Sauvie Island Wildlife Area and is open to hikers only seasonally, from mid-April to the end of September. The best times to visit are right after and just before the closure, when migrants such as sandhill cranes may still be present. Look for raptors in the grasslands and woodpeckers and passerines in the woodlands. Vegetation includes typical shoreline trees such as Oregon ash and willow but also extensive meadows and copses of Oregon white oak.

Pick up a nature trail brochure if there are some in the dispenser. From the trailhead, walk past the gate on a vehicle track. At a junction, go left through snowberry thickets under oak, willow and ash trees. At a junction with two trail signs, the beginning of the loop, keep left on the vehicle track. Cross an open field and get a view of the West Arm of Sturgeon Lake to your left, with the Tualatin Hills behind. There are oak woods are to your right. The trail heads into an ash forest, passing a couple of gnarly old trees. Spurs left leads to the waters of Sturgeon Lake. Where the trail turns south, you can head left through the thick grass to the water's edge at The Narrows, a channel which connects Sturgeon Lake with its western arm. The trail turns south, with several spurs leading to the willow-lined shore of Sturgeon Lake. (Since the island was extensively diked, there have been no more sturgeon in Sturgeon Lake.) From here, you can get good views of Mount Saint Helens looming rather large. The road bed is a carpet of white clover. Blackberries ripen in profusion here in late summer, so come prepared with containers! Pass through a grassy expanse sprinkled with young ash and cottonwood trees. The green oak forest is to the right. The trail turns right again (left is to a stony beach) and passes a bench and a memorial plaque to Keith Bolles Lobdell. Enter oak forest and reach the loop junction, where you turn left back to parking.

From the port-a-potty at the parking area, a short trail leads to a little cove called Wagonwheel Hole on West Sturgeon Lake.

Fees, Regulations, etc.

  • Open April 16th - September 30th
  • $10 day-use fee
  • Dogs on leash
  • Open dawn to dusk
  • Nature trail (brochures might be available)
  • Port-a-potty at trailhead


Trip Reports

Related Discussions / Q&A

Guidebooks that cover this hike

  • Urban Trails: Portland by Eli Boschetto
  • Best Hikes With Kids: Oregon by Bonnie Henderson & Zach Urness
  • Best Hikes with Children: Western & Central Oregon by Bonnie Henderson
  • 100 Hikes in Northwest Oregon & Southwest Washington by William L. Sullivan
  • Day Hiking: Columbia River Gorge by Craig Romano
  • Afoot & Afield: Portland/Vancouver by Douglas Lorain
  • 60 Hikes Within 60 Miles: Portland by Paul Gerald
  • Take a Walk: Portland by Brian Barker
  • Best Short Hikes in Northwest Oregon by Rhonda & George Ostertag
  • Nature Walks In and Around Portland by Karen & Terry Whitehill
  • Wild in the City: Exploring the Intertwine by Michael C. Houck and M.J. Cody (editors)
  • Best Easy Day Hikes: Portland, Oregon by Lizann Dunegan
  • Canine Oregon by Lizann Dunegan
  • Peaceful Places: Portland by Paul Gerald
  • Oregon Hiking by Sean Patrick Hill

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.