Audubon Society of Portland
The 4.5 miles of maintained trails at the Audubon Society of Portland, a 143-acre wildlife nature sanctuary, take visitors through a mixed coniferous forest, streams, ponds and native vegetation, all within minutes of downtown Portland. The Audubon House features an interpretive center, nature store with products for wildlife and nature viewing as well as products from local artists.
Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge
Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge is a 140-acre (56.7-hectare) wetland just east of the Willamette River in Sellwood and is a birdwatchers’ paradise. Many species are attracted to the marshes of Portland’s first wildlife refuge, including the city’s official bird, the great blue heron.
Jackson Bottom Wetland Preserve
This 650-acre wildlife preserve west of Portland in Hillsboro, Ore., features expansive wetlands and an abundance of wildlife viewing opportunities. Jackson Bottom Wetland Preserve amenities include a community center with interpretive displays and restrooms, a wheelchair-accessible wildlife-viewing platform and additional trails. Free and open from dawn to dusk.
On the outskirts of Portland in the Columbia River, Sauvie Island is a rural oasis, where visitors can pick seasonal fruits and vegetables or sample local treats from field stands and farmers’ markets. Parks, beaches and wetlands attract wildlife and nature lovers alike. Fall brings bright colors, pumpkin patches — even a corn maze to weave through.
Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge
Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge is a place to discover an ever-changing panorama of wildlife. As the seasons change, so do the wildlife viewing opportunities. Located on the Pacific Flyway, the Refuge is an important stopover where migrating waterfowl, songbirds, and shorebirds stop to rest, refuel, and raise their young.
Smith and Bybee Wetlands Natural Area
The largest protected wetlands within a U.S. city, Smith and Bybee Wetlands Natural Area is a 205-acre waterway and haven for many animal species, and heaven for nature-seeking hikers, bikers and kayakers. Composed of two lakes (the Smith and the Bybee), this public parkland is home to beavers, black-tailed deer and even bald eagles, which can be seen from two wildlife-viewing platforms.