Thursday, May 18, 2023

Hike: Sandy River Delta, Troutdale, OR

Bird Blind by Maya Lin (Confluence Project)

Getting There

The parking lot is accessible from Hwy 84 just east of Troutdale. It was warm day. The lot was about 3/4 full. Made sure to pay the $5 day fee. 

"The Sandy River Delta is just north of I-84 off Exit 18. Driving east, exit the freeway and turn right at the T, go under the overpass and enter the park at the sign. If you’re driving west on I-84, take Exit 18 and take an immediate right. At the parking lot, look for the gravel path marked “Confluence.” Follow the path for 1.2 miles to reach the Bird Blind."

The Hike

Length: 3.96 mi
Elev. gain: 75 ft
Moving time: 1:11:31
Avg pace: 18:04
Calories: 720
Total time: 1:12:14

I was wearing my sandals and just out of a light spin. I had my favorite straw hat as well. There were lots of dogs and their people. I basically did a figure-8, taking the most direct route to the bird blind.

The Sandy River Delta is one of six River Sites as part of the Confluence Project.

I remember doing trail maintenance three times when I was with TechTracker. They were weekend, work sponsored outings. I feel a certain affinity to place because of my involvement.

I was a bit surprised to find the river level was so high. Last time I was there on Dec 3, 2022, you could walk out beyond the bird blind. Now, it was well submerged.

East Channel
Bird Blind

Columbia River
Boundary Trail

Sandy River

Meadow Road

Confluence Trail

This is one my go-to spot when I don't have a lot of time and just want some low key exercise and fresh air. Unfortunately, it also a reputation for encounters with off-leash dogs and careless dog owners. 

I hate to focus on the negatives but it must be said. I passed several dog+owners and mostly had no issue. However, when I was on the Boundary Trail, I passed a guy and a dog who took interest in me but trotted by. When the man also passed, the dog turned and nipped at my heels. I didn't look back but he seemed surprised and reprimanded the dog. I wasn't bitten but put my on edge a little. I love dogs!

Then, on the Ranch Dike Trail, two walkers with three off-leash dogs approached. I was apprehensive and even said to myself "please don't maul me". As we got closer to each other, one dog ran ahead, barking aggressively. Immediately, one of the owners called to the dog and started to apologize. I stopped in my tracks and raised my hands to protect them. That person had the other put on a leash. While they were distracted, the other two dogs began barking but quickly retreated when the owners reprimanded them. I tried to be cheerful but was annoyed. Talking to the 1st dog: "What's the matter? why did you do that?". The classic "my dog never does that. He's fine and won't bite." I was prepared to defend myself. Sigh.


In hindsight I've had many odd dog encounters out there over the years. A Rottweiler ran up to me and go uncomfortably close. I didn't see the owner was out of sight for several seconds, then said nothing to me as the dog returned to their side. Another time, a dog with muddy paws actually jumped up on me. I was were rain gear so not a huge deal but still annoying.