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.


Trails and parking lot: open daily from dawn to dusk

Visitor Center: open Tuesday - Sunday, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m, weekly

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. Please view our trail map for trail and facility locations.

The River Trail takes visitors through a diversity of habitats, where they can see a variety of plant species and catch a glimpse of wildlife. Stop along the trail to see the Tualatin River at the River Overlook, and walk through a riparian riparian
Definition of riparian habitat or riparian areas.

Learn more about riparian

The main access to this trail is from the parking lot, and ends at the Wetland Overlook.

Trail name: River Trail (Year-Round)

  • Open season: Open year-round
  • Access: From the parking lot
  • Uses: Pedestrian only. No biking, jogging, or dogs allowed. Great for wildlife observation and photography
  • Length: 1 mile each way
  • Difficulty: This trail is generally flat, except for descending short switchbacks at beginning of trail, near parking lot. Past the observation deck, please note that the optional side trail to the Ridgetop Overlook has steeper grade (20-25%)
  • Route type: Point to point (out and back). When Wetland Seasonal trail is open (see below), connects to larger trail network
  • Surface: Compact gravel with some sections of natural material. Please note that during the rainy season, trail may be muddy, and in some cases may flood.
  • Average width: 6.5 feet
  • Max slope: 5% - optional side trail (Ridgetop Overlook) is 25%
  • Bench locations: 1 bench at first switchback, multiple benches at study sites and wetland overlook

Things to consider:

  • Please call our administrative office at 503-625-5944 with any general or accessibility questions
  • During the summer, conditions can be very hot, but there are a few shaded spots on the trail, or rest at any of the multiple benches
  • In the winter and spring, with increased rain, portions of the trail may become flooded - any alerts on trail closures will be posted to this site
  • Visitors can also take advantage of a photography blind (open by reservation only). Please see the photography activity page for further information

The Wetland 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 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 talk the full trail to complete the loop.

The main access points to this trail are next to the parking lot (on one side of the parking lot, visitors can access the trail going north, and on the other side, they can access the trail going south).

Trail name: Wetland Trail (Seasonal)

  • Open season: May 1 - September 30 only
  • Access: from the parking lot
  • Uses: Pedestrian only. No biking, jogging, or dogs allowed. Great for wildlife observation and photography
  • Length: 3 miles
  • Difficulty: This trail is generally flat, except for one descending long switchback on the south side of the parking lot.
  • Route type: Point to point, as part of a larger network of trails; option to complete a loop
  • Surface: Most of the trail is a service road that is a combination of loose gravel and natural material
  • Average width: 10 feet
  • Max slope: 5%
  • Bench locations: 1 bench located at the switchbacks

Things to consider:

  • Please call our administrative office at 503-625-5944 with any general or accessibility questions
  • 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 will 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)
  • During the summer, conditions can be very hot, with limited shade opportunities
  • There may be some spots of uneven or loose gravel

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 HighwaySherwood,OR97140-9292
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