If there is magic on this planet it is contained in water. ~Loren Eisley
The Wildwood Recreation Site is a day use area near Mt. Hood with some lovely trails for hiking and viewing the Wild and Scenic Salmon River. The two main trails are neither challenging nor particularly long, so if you’re looking for a nice hike that’s suitable for young children, this is a great choice. A longer, more difficult hike on the Boulder Ridge Trail leads from the end of the Wetlands Trail for those looking for more of a challenge.
The site is open year-round, and when we were there on a misty March morning, there were few other people around. It was really peaceful. It gets very busy in the summer, however, since it’s only 40 miles east of Portland, and in addition to the trails, there are picnic shelters with fire rings, athletic fields, and volleyball and basketball courts (and flush toilets!). You can also swim and fish in the river.
The Wetlands Trail is a 3/4 mile loop that has boardwalks out into a marsh where we watched birds and soaked in the solitude.
The Cascade Streamwatch Trail meanders along the river for a quarter-mile. This trail has a spot where visitors can enter a building below the water’s surface that houses a fish viewing window. Through this window, you can see native fish species traveling along. It’s a pretty unique experience!
The Mt. Hood National Forest and surrounding areas are filled with beautiful scenery, great hiking, and fresh, fresh air. If you haven’t stopped at this little gem on your way to or from the mountain, we recommend it. Wherever you spend it, enjoy your week or your weekend!