Oxbow Regional Park

Oxbow Regional Park is a beautiful, well-maintained, quite sizable regional park located near the Portland metro area. It is set along a magnificent stretch of the Sandy River Gorge. The park is open year-round. There are old-growth Douglas firs, an extensive trail network along the river and in the forest, and good spots for picnicking and camping. There are opportunities for fishing, canoeing, kayaking and rafting. Terrestrial and aquatic wildlife abound: deer, elk, maybe black bear, bobcat or even cougars, bald eagles and osprey, salmon and steelhead, possibly river otter. If you swim here, it’s best to do it in protected eddies, pools and swimming holes during relatively low water.

Oxbow Park hosts an annual Salmon Festival. There are few festivals that do a better job of capturing the region and its unique ecology, natural history and cultural history. The emphasis is on the lifecycle of the salmon that return each year to spawn in this section of the Sandy River. The Columbia River tribes partner with Metro Regional Government to sponsor a living culture tribal village, with activities, cultural exhibits and traditional salmon bake demonstrations. Naturalists lead tours to view the spawning salmon, and there is a performance stage for a variety of music, storytelling and dance presentations, including tribal dancers. There is a snack bar, and salmon dinners and fry bread available for purchase. There is also a special children’s educational and play tent, and a large tent with many displays about the natural history and ecology of the area.

  • Event held annually in October
  • ADA accessible
  • Fee required
  • Interpretive signage
  • Visitor center on site

Get more information on this area from TravelOregon.com

National Geographic