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PDX Runs: Sandy River Delta

Sandy River Delta Meadow Hiking Running Trails Troutdale OregonPhoto ©Friends of the Sandy River Delta

Located only 20 minutes from Portland, the Sandy River Delta is a great place to relax with the kids, exercise the dogs, have a picnic…or, if you must, lace up the running shoes for an easy jog on the many trails that crisscross the area.

This flat, 1,400-acre expanse at the confluence of the Sandy and Columbia rivers features dense groves of cottonwoods, open meadows and quiet backwater sloughs.

Despite its popularity with dog walkers, hikers, birders, and the occasional horseback rider, the delta is one of those places that offers plenty of solitude once you get away from the parking lot and the freeway noise recedes.

The longest single trail is only a couple of miles in length, so multiple out-and-backs are required to get in any significant mileage. Be prepared to ditch the stopwatch and just meander, though, because here time slows down, and the journey is much more meaningful than the destination.

Directions: Take I-84 east to the Lewis and Clark State Park exit, just past the bridge over the Sandy River. Turn right at the stop sign and pass back under the freeway, and proceed down the road a short distance to the park entrance and the large parking area.

Restrooms are available on-site. The park is open all year, but trails can turn muddy during the rainy season. Get more info and maps from the Forest Service right here.

-Phil Orlowski