Visit Us

Just a short ride from Portland, Oregon, the Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge is a fantastic destination to see a wide variety of wildlife, including over 200 species of birds, and a variety of mammals, reptiles and amphibians, and plants and insects. Visitors can view many different habitats, including wetland views, oak woodland, forest, and riparian riparian
Definition of riparian habitat or riparian areas.

Learn more about riparian
habitats. Visitors can choose to see as much or as little as they want; take a quick stop to look over our wetlands, and catch a glimpse of the many waterfowl and shorebirds; spend some time in our visitor center, and explore an interpretive exhibit; or take a walk on our trails.

What is there to do at Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge?

Here are some staff suggestions for enjoying Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge.

If you have 15-minutes...

Walk up to our viewing platform (located between the Visitor Center and administrative building) that overlooks our permanent ponds (wetlands) to see a variety of waterfowl, wading birds, and other wildlife.

If you have one hour...

Stop into our Visitor Center – check out our interpretive exhibit, ask our volunteers about the wildlife we have at the refuge, or look through a scope to look out into the wetland. Walk around the bioswale in the parking to see native shrubs and wildflowers.

If you have half a day or more...

Take a walk on our year-round trail or seasonal trail (open May 1– September 30). Our year-round trail is two miles out-and-back trail, which takes visitors through oak and forested habitat, and ends in a wetland overlook platform. Our seasonal trail (closed during the winter to provide sanctuary for wintering waterfowl) gets closer to wetlands, and provides an additional two miles of looped trail.


Visitors can enjoy a variety of activities at our refuge, including hiking our trails, photography, wildlife viewing, birding, and ranger-led programs. We also offer environmental education and field trip opportunities for educators. 


Both our Year-Round River Trail and Seasonal Wetland Trail offer visitors opportunities to get up close in nature and experience a variety of habitats. Please note that our Seasonal Wetland Trail, open May 1 through September 30, is closed the rest of the year in order to protect important migratory waterfowl habitat. 

Trail Name: River Trail (Year-Round)

Open Season: Open year round. Not open to biking or running.

Length: 1 mile each way (out-and-back trail)

Location of trail: Trail starts next to parking lot, and ends at the Wetland Overlook.

Surface: Cemented ground in the parking lot and surrounding the restroom facilities; the path changes to compacted gravel, and occasionally switches to a natural material or loose gravel at points along the trail.

Difficulty: Easy - moderate (with short sections of steeper grades)

General Information: This path will take visitors through a diversity of habitats, where they can see a variety of plant species and catch a glimpse of wildlife. Visitors can also take advantage of a photography blind (open by reservation only). Please see the photography activity page for further information. This trail is generally flat, except for descending short switchbacks at beginning of trail, near the parking lot. Past the observation deck, please note that the optional side trail to Ridgetop Overlook has steeper grade (20-25%). During the summer, weather conditions can be very hot, but there are a few opportunities to walk in shade or rest on any of our multiple benches. In the wintertime, with increased rain, portions of our trail may become flooded - any alerts or trail closures will be posted to this site. Please call 503-625-5944 with any general or accessibility questions.


Trail Name: Wetland Trail (Seasonal)

Open Season: May 1 – September 30 only; not open to biking or running.

Length: 3 miles

Location of trail: Trail begins next to the main parking lot (main trailhead), or at trailhead next to Visitor Center

Surface: Most of the trail is a service road that is a combination of loose gravel and natural material

Difficulty: Easy - moderate (with short sections of steeper grades) 

Information:  This trail is open seasonally in order to protect wintering habitat for waterfowl. The seasonal trail takes visitors closer to the wetlands, and offers close-up views of wetland habitat and wildlife, including marsh birds, turtles, and a variety of mammals and other birds. This trail is a service road, and can connect with the river trail (open year-round), or as a separate trail (portion of trail loosely parallels the year-round trail). Visitors can choose to walk the full trail to complete the loop. During the summer, weather conditions can be very hot, and there are limited opportunities to walk in shade and no benches located on this trail. 

Other Accessibility Information: Please note that visitors will see a descending short staircase near the trailhead to access the seasonal trail; in order to access this trail by wheelchair via the trailhead, visitors need to utilize a short connector trail from the year-round trail (from trailhead, continue on year-round trail, descend the short switchbacks, and the connector trail is just after the two ponds). Please call 503-625-5944 with any accessibility questions.

Other Facilities in the Complex

A National Wildlife Refuge Complex is a grouping of two or more refuges, wildlife management areas or other refuge conservation areas that are generally managed by a central office location. Refuges are grouped in a complex because they occur in a similar ecological region (like a watershed or habitat type) and have a related purpose and management needs.

Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge, with Wapato Lake National Wildlife Refuge, is part of the Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge Complex. Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge currently serves as the Complex headquarters, and staff work to manage both refuges. Wapato Lake National Wildlife Refuge became an official refuge in 2013, but has been closed to the public until 2021.

Rules and Policies

In order for our refuge to remain a protected place, we ask visitors to please be mindful and respectful to the habitat and wildlife. Respect wildlife and admire from a distance, and do not collect anything from the refuge, including flowers or feathers. In order to protect wildlife, pets are prohibited at the refuge, so please leave pets at home. Running is also disruptive to wildlife, so we also ask visitors to refrain from running on the trails.


Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge
19255 SW Pacific Highway Sherwood, OR 97140-9292
Driving Directions

From Portland to the Visitor Center and Headquarters: Head to 1-5 S; remain on freeway and take exit 294 to merge onto Barbur Blvd/OR-99W/Pacific Hwy W toward Tigard/Newberg; continue on Pacific Hwy for 6.9 miles

Trails and Parking Lot
Open dawn - dusk for approved activities
Visitor Center Hours
10 am - 4 pm
Administrative Office (Headquarters) Contact Hours
8 am - 4 pm
9 am - 3:30 pm