Columbia Slough Natural Area

Natural Area
View of Columbia Slough with clear, flat water, and trees hanging over the banks. The sky is reflected in the water.
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About Columbia Slough Natural Area

The Columbia Slough is approximately 19 miles long and stretches from its origin at Fairview Lake westward to its confluence with the Willamette River. In spite of its urbanized character, the Columbia Slough contains surprising biodiversity. Mammals such as deer, beaver, and river otter are common along the slough, and about 175 bird species have been documented in the watershed (including a number of neotropical migratory birds). Western painted turtles (one of only two turtle species in Oregon) and several salmonid species inhabit portions of the slough. The slough provides a valuable wildlife corridor that runs from the Sandy River Delta to the Willamette River. Acquisition opportunities include remnant vegetated patches along the slough channels, wetlands, and adding to the few large upland protected sites.

Regional goal:

Protect and enhance habitat and linkages along the Columbia Slough.

Special Status Habitats*

  • Bottomland hardwood forest
  • Oak woodlands
  • Wetlands
  • Grassland
  • Interior forest

Important habitat features:

  • Buttes
  • Headwaters and springs
  • Beaches

*Special Status Habitats include habitat types that have been recognized by state and federal agencies or organizations as being ecologically important. Portland's Special Status Habitats include "Strategy Habitats" identified in the Oregon Conservation Strategy that are found in Portland: herbaceous wetlands, upland prairie and native grasslands, oak woodlands, interior forests (especially late successional conifer forests), bottomland hardwood forest, and riparian habitat.

Columbia Slough Trail

A photo of a bicycle on the Columbia Slough Trail.

Develop a paved biking and walking path along the Columbia Slough in North Portland. The new path is 10-feet wide with gravel shoulders and hugs the Columbia Slough for about 1.2 miles. It offers access to wildlife and views of Mt St Helens, Mt Adams, and Mt Hood. In addition to entry points at Vancouver and Denver Avenues, there is a spur out to N. Schmeer at Whitaker Rd.

The project cost an estimated $610,000; about $460,000 was paid for by ODOT as part of the Community Enhancement Fund from the I-5/Delta Park freeway widening project that began in 2002. The remainder was funded by PP&R.

Project Partners: Portland Parks & Recreation, Oregon Department of Transportation

Year acquired
3 kayaks paddling on the Columbia River Slough

Park Location or Entrance

11140 NE Simpson Street
Portland, OR 97220

Park policy

  • All dogs must be leashed in this park.


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