Spicy scents of autumn trees, giant golden leaves on maples and the silvery chatter of American dippers in the river. These are the smells, sights and sounds of Oxbow Regional Park in the autumn. Witness the return of wild salmon to one of the Pacific Northwest’s premier rivers – the glacier-fed Sandy – just 45 minutes from downtown Portland. On the second and third weekends in October, enjoy viewing salmon on both Saturdays and Sundays.
On Saturdays, learn about fungus in a mushroom class in the ancient forest or take part in a rafting trip on the Sandy River to see the fish up close. Sunday will feature a guided tour of a salmon restoration project at Happy Creek. See schedule on this page for full details. Programs are free with a $5 parking fee per vehicle and registration is not required (except for the rafting trip). Leave pets at home. For more information, call 503-797-1650, option 2.
11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays
Naturalists are on hand at the river’s edge to help spot spawning salmon and interpret their behavior and life cycle. Special salmon-viewing glasses are available on loan. Salmon viewing proceeds rain or shine. The trail is unpaved and fairly level; wear good walking shoes. Inquire at the entry booth for starting location of the salmon viewing then follow the signs to the salmon! Suitable for all ages.
Happy Creek salmon restoration walk
2 to 4 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 14 only
How do endangered young salmon find food and refugia from floods and predators? Join Russ Plaeger from the Sandy River Basin Watershed Council to learn the science behind a side channel restoration project at Oxbow’s Happy Creek that will create deep pools, bubbling riffles and plenty of places to hide for juvenile Chinook, Coho and Steelhead. Learn about the characteristics of good habitat and get some tips on native plants and salmon-friendly practices that can be implemented where you live. Suitable for adults and children age 8 and older. Meet at Alder Shelter (group picnic area A) at 1:45 p.m.