Portland: Smith and Bybee Wetlands

Your choice: Hike or paddle through a giant wetland refuge with two lakes, more than 100 bird species, and a host of native trees, including century-old Oregon ashes.

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Mapped by Joe Kurmaskie

Trail Facts

  • Distance: 11.5



Location: 45.6167678833008, -122.717834472656

From bus stop, walk S into parking lot past park signs and public rest rooms


Location: 45.6164817810059, -122.718299865723

Trailhead: Turn R onto paved Peninsula Trail. Cattails line lake on L


Location: 45.6168327331543, -122.719703674316

Swing L onto side loop, featuring an interpretive station with Native American dugout canoes. From here, it?s time to choose your own adventure.

Hikers: Continue on side loop back to main trail. Head NW to WPT 4 for a 8.8-mile dayhike (colored red on map).
Paddlers: Canoes available on weekends (Alder Creek Kayak and Canoe; 503-285-0464 or park programs, metro-region.org). Launch into Smith Lake toward WPT 12 for a 5.4-mile paddle (blue on map)


Location: 45.618350982666, -122.72354888916

(Hike continued from WPT 3) Turn L onto Interlakes Trail shaded by hardwoods, passing bird blinds, to marshlands


Location: 45.6172180175781, -122.725830078125

Veer R for side trip to see Western painted turtles, frogs, and waterfowl in the back slough of Bybee Lake


Location: 45.6169013977051, -122.727317810059

Side trail returns to Interlakes Trail. Continue W along the small peninsula; more bird blinds (stay to watch herons and egrets)


Location: 45.6169815063477, -122.731330871582

Boardwalk leads to wildlife blind. Look through wooded slots and over rails to see wildlife in Bybee Lake. Take photos then backtrack to WPT 4 and turn L, hiking NW for 2.3 mi.


Location: 45.6387672424316, -122.760932922363

Swing L onto Interlakes Trail again. Wind through an open field, then turn L @ Y


Location: 45.6349334716797, -122.759948730469

Trail dips under bridge. Columbia Slough on R


Location: 45.6266822814941, -122.760353088379

Low spot on trail (sometimes waterlogged in wet season). Spy on deer and countless birds


Location: 45.621166229248, -122.758148193359

Hikers: Trail ends here. More wildlife and nesting waterfowl. Backtrack to bus. Paddlers: Dock boat and explore wildlife-rich trail along the Columbia Slough, or continue paddling up slough. Return to boat launch


Location: 45.6130180358887, -122.731185913086

(Paddle continued from WPT 3) Gently stroke through Smith Lake, tracing R shoreline around bogs, beaver dams, and logs with sunbathing turtles


Location: 45.6161308288574, -122.73876953125

Navigate the murky waters between islands. Listen to chorus of frogs, grasshoppers, and birds


Location: 45.6153144836426, -122.743186950684

Swing into the water alleyway of Columbia Slough. Head NW to WPT 11