One of the best places to take your dog in the Portland, OR area is the Sandy River Delta (1000 Acres Park). Take your dog to enjoy miles and miles of off-leash terrain in the Columbia River Gorge on your next day off work. It will be a fun day for you and your dog! Read here to find out more about the trails in the Delta area:
Trails in the Delta
The trail system at the Delta has been designed in collaboration with the Forest Service to accommodate both legacy users of the area and new users visiting the Confluence Project installation. The Friends of the Sandy River Delta successfully negotiated changes to the trail system to better manage the many dog and equestrian users, and to give Confluence trail users direct access to the Bird Blind structure. The current trail system consists of a network of off-leash accessible trails for dog walkers, and a separate trail leading directly to the Bird Blind with the intent of providing separation, and the minimization of user conflicts.
Confluence Trail 1 ¼ miles: (leashes required within 100 feet of trail)
This trail accesses the Confluence Project installation at the Sandy River Delta. It is an ADA* compliant trail designed for public access to the Bird Blind. It is the only trail in the network designated as leash required. (The preferred alternate for off-leash dogs is the Boundary Trail.)
The Confluence trailhead is at the east side of the parking lot near the vault toilets. The trail follows the route of an old access road and travels NorthEast skirting the Western edge of an open meadow with views of Mt Hood. After crossing underneath the powerlines, the trail enters a recently restored area full of dogwood, cottonwood, and other native species as it loops around to bring the visitor to the site of the Bird Blind.
*ADA = Americans with Disabilities Act
Boundary Trail 1 ½ miles: (off leash for dogs)
This trail was added to the trail network in negotiating a better trail system for managing the diversity of users at the Delta. It is intended to provide the backbone of a network of trails independent of the Confluence Trail. Users can access the Bird Blind using the Boundary trail, and connect with the Meadow, Old Channel, Ranch Dike trails, and the Meadow road to make full loop hikes within the Delta. To the East of the trail, and bounded by a cross-post fence is designated wetlands, and nesting habitat closed to Delta visitors.
The Boundary trail begins at the old corral, and can also be accessed adjacent to the Confluence Trail. It follows the wetlands along the cross-post fence and provides the same open views of Mt Hood. Crossing underneath the powerlines, it rises over a small berm, and continues just outside and east of the Confluence Project termination through the restored and replanted area around the Bird Blind.. Off leash dogs should stay on this trail within this area. The trail intersects the Meadow trail for a return loop option.
Meadow Trail 2 miles: (off leash for dogs)
The Meadow trail is another trail added through negotiation with the Forest Service. The trails North-Easternmost section meanders through the most recently restored and replanted area of the Delta. The trail connects the Northern terminus of the Boundary Trail to the Parking Lot.
The Meadow Trailhead begins at the North end of the parking lot and takes a path through a forested area out to an East-West aligned meadow, (likely an old channel of the Delta). The trail then turns East, and crosses the Confluence trail and continues past a small seasonal pond. Past the pond, the trail turns North and East, where it meets the newest section of trail connecting to the Boundary Trail termination.
(Off-leash dogs are allowed to cross the Confluence Trail while on the Meadow trail as long as other users are not being disturbed.)
Meadow Road ½ mile: (off leash for dogs)
Meadow Road is a section of previous access road that continues to serve as a trail through the East-West meadow at the heart of the trail system. The road intersects the 1000 Acres Road in the West, connects to the Boundary Trail to the East under the powerlines.
Ranch Dike Trail 1 ¼ mile: (off leash for dogs)
The ranch Dike trail is one of the first trail restorations the Friends did at the Delta. The trail leaves the parking lot to the West, connects to the 1000 Acre Road, and follows an old flood control dike back to the East. The trail had been completely overgrown, and strung with barbed wire, but is now a beautiful ridgetop walk through trees.
The Ranch Dike Trailhead is on the West side of the parking lot across from the vault toilets. The trail heads North and West to a small rocky clearing where it intersects the old 1000 Acre Road. Users can take the road, or continue across to the continuation of the Ranch Dike Trail heading North. The trail then turns East, staying on top of the berm and in the trees for a nice quiet tree shaded hike. On reaching the powerlines, the trail continues across the Confluence Trail to join the Boundary Trail.
(Off-leash dogs are allowed to cross the Confluence Trail while on the Ranch Dike trail as long as other users are not being disturbed.)
Old Channel Trail ¾ mile: (off leash for dogs)
The old Channel Trail follows along the south side of the historic main stem channel of the Sandy River. The trail connects the 1000 Acre Road and the Boundary Trail providing an additional and parallel loop alternative to the Ranch Dike, and Meadow Road routes.
The Old Channel Trail is a connector that runs along mixed open, and treed habitat without accessing the Parking Lot. It provides yet another experience of mixed forest and meadow different than what is found on other trails in the Delta. The trail merges with the Ranch Dike trail on the Eastern end before intersecting the Confluence Trail.
A short spur of the Old Channel Trail takes off of the 1000 Acre Road to the West and to a nice sandy beach along the main stem of the Sandy River. This beach is a great place to swim your dogs in the summer, but can be submerged, or unreachable when the Sandy River is high. This spur trail can also be accessed from the 1000 Acre Road.
1000 Acre Road: (off leash for dogs)
Accessing 1000 Acres Road from the parking lot can be done via the paths along the entrance road. The road travels due North, and will intersect first with the Ranch Dike trail at a small rocky clearing. The road than intersects the West end of Meadow Road before slightly rising up the berm to the Ranch Dike Trail crossing. A bit beyond this, the Old Channel trail intersects going East as the road curves to the West. The road than intersects straight into the Old Channel Spur that goes to the banks of the Sandy River. Following the road to the Right brings you over the old earth dam which you will notice as the road becomes rocky. This dam is scheduled for removal in the summer of 2013 resulting in the loss of foot traffic access to Sundial Island beyond the dam.
SRC: Find more information about the Sandy River Delta dog park here: fsrd.org/?page_id=2277