Sauvie Island is one of the biggest river islands in the United States, and proud home to the Sauvie Island Wildlife Area. This state-owned habitat encompasses 11,543 acres of rolling grasslands, beaches, and forests, that can all be explored with your trail dog. It's located only about 10 miles northwest of downtown Portland, on the Colombia River. The wildlife area is only available for day use, and access is restricted during hunting season and spring.
Before starting your adventure, you'll need to acquire a parking permit from the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. A daily permit is $10, and an annual permit is $30. They can be purchased online or at an ODFW office that sells licenses. There are limited amenities here, so you'll need to bring your own supplies, like drinking water, snacks, and doggy waste bags. There are primitive restrooms available.
One of the most pawpular trails in this wildlife area is the Wapato State Greenway. This 2.3 mile loop is located about 2.8 miles from the Sauvie Island bridge. The trail loops around the lovely Virginia Lake. It provides great bird watching opportunities, and is open year-round. Some of the birds you may see include swans, herons, sandhill cranes, bald eagles and over 250 other species. Some other trails include the 2.5 mile Oak Island Nature Trail, which is actually a mowed path through the tall grass that loops around the Oak Island peninsula. The Warrior Rock Lighthouse Trail is 3 miles, and starts at the north end of Reeder Road.
On your travels, you'll come across opportunities for fishing, kayaking, picnicking, and exploring the beaches. Doggos are welcome through all these areas, as long as they stay leashed and picked up after. Since this is a wildlife area, it's vital that your curious canine doesn't disturb the other creatures, and that you follow Leave No Trace principles.
The trails in the Sauvie Island Wildlife Area are sure to get your pup's tail wagging!