Hike #25: Tryon Creek Loop

No trip to  SW Portland is complete without exploring Tryon Creek State Park.  This loop covers much of the beloved park, and gives suggestions for more exploration.  We are going to cut back publishing our self-led-hikes to once per month throughout the winter months. Read on for more details:

Name:  Tryon Creek Loop
Neighborhood: Unincorporated
Distance: 4.71 miles
Difficulty: Medium
Elevation Change: 244 ft
Start/End Location: Tryon Creek Nature Center
Map Links:  Mobile* Browser

No hiking series in SW Portland would be complete with out a trip to the iconic Tryon Creek State Park.  At 658 acres, it is the second largest natural area in the tri-county area.  Imagine stepping into a lush forest, where woodpeckers forage, squirrels leap from limb to limb, owlets wait quietly for their next meal, beavers work busily by the creek, bats bury deep within the creviced bark of a Douglas-fir tree, and wildflowers paint the understory as the seasons change.  Discover all this and more on this self-led hike.

Start your walk at Tryon Creek Nature Center at 11321 SW Terwilliger Blvd. As you approach the Nature Center from the parking lot, several trails converge near the entrance to the Center.  Find the Old Main Trail that runs north/south and go north (turn right as you face the Center).  The Old Main Trail will run into the Maple Ridge Trail; turn right for a short while until the trail intersects with the North Horse Loop where you will turn left (watch out for the horse poo!).  Wind your way north until North Horse loop splits; take the right fork (the one that continues heading north).  Eventually the Loop turns south.  Be careful you do not take the Lewis and Clark Trail turn-off as the Riley Bridge on the Trail is closed.  Continue on the North Horse Loop until you reach the High Bridge; cross the bridge and stay on the horse/hiking trail (dirt/gravel trail) until you reach the West Horse Loop; turn right.  Follow the West Horse Loop until it meets Cedar Trail, where you will turn right.  Follow Cedar Trail for about 1 mi. to the intersection of Red Fox Trail; turn left.  After about 0.1 mi turn right onto the South Creek Trail and head south.  After about 0.4 mi use the Iron Mountain Bridge to turn left onto the Iron Mountain Trail. As you walk along this trail look for the site of the old charcoal burner.  You will arrive at the asphalted bike trail that parallels Terwilliger at the park’s edge.  Turn left (north) and walk until you reach the main park entrance, where you began your walk.  If time allows, you may want to take the Ruth Pennington Trillium short loop trail where you will find a display of marked native plants.

Note:  The Park and its facilities are supported by a partnership between Oregon State Parks and the Friends of Tryon Creek. This park offers something for everyone. Want to learn more about the Friends of Tryon Creek? Be sure to check out their website: Friends of Tryon Creek.

*To follow this route, use the Explorer for ArcGIS App to follow along. Simply Download the Explorer for ArcGIS app and touch here on any mobile device. The route is highlighted on an interactive map.

Don’t forget to use the hashtag #swtrails to share your very best pictures.

Happy Trails,


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