Tryon Creek Natural State Area is a stunning natural park in Portland, Oregon. It is a large park, covering 645 acres, and it has a lot to offer visitors. There are hiking trails, bike paths, and some accessible horse trails too. The horse trails and cycle paths are often used by walkers, so it is important that riders are mindful of the potential that there may be other, slower trail users in the area.
The park’s nature center features a play area as well as a small museum and a gift shop. The Glenn Jackson Shelter is located not far from here and is often used to host outdoor events.
The park was set up on some land that was owned by Socrates Hotchkiss Tryon Sr, one of the pioneer settlers. He held a donation land claim from 1850, and he passed the land on to his wife when he died. From there, it was passed on through the generations until it was sold to the Oregon Iron company in 1874. The county government bought 45 acres of land in 1969, to open up a regional park, and then over the next few years the state, acquiring federal matching funds to help, purchased a further 600 acres. A group of more than 300 volunteers came together to build the trails and the nature center, and the park officially opened on July 1st, 1975.
The park is home to more than 50 different species of birds, and there are beavers and other small mammals. You will find salmon and trout in the creek, and there are many other animals to be found as well. There are more than 90 different types of flower, and there are some stunning Douglas-firs, red alder and other trees. The variety of wildlife is truly impressive. This is the only state park that is located within a major metropolitan area in Oregon, and this makes it a true treasure.
The park is partly maintained by the Friends of Tryon Creek, a community that works collaboratively to take care of the creek and to educate people on the subjects of ecology and the environment. The Friends of Tryon Creek run regular school visits, and also open days where visitors can come to park and get a tour of it, learning about the animals, the wildlife, and the history. They collectively contribute 20,000 volunteer hours to the park.
If you are thinking of visiting the park, it’s a good idea to check the calendar to see what is going on in the area and to look out for one of those tours or bird watching days. If you’re going on a day when there isn’t much happening, be sure to pick up a map from the visitor’s center before going hiking. The routes are accessible, in general, but the trails can be a little confusing to navigate without a map or someone to help you find your way around.
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