(Updated 01/21/24) -Trails are closed indefinitely due to storm damage and debris cleanup.
The Riverbank Trail
The Riverbank Trail passes through the Patricia Baker Wildflower Garden and travels along the Coast Fork of the Willamette River, providing occasional views of the river and of the adjacent oak savanna. The trail is largely shaded and stays cooler in the summer, making it one of our most popular trails.
The Riverbank Trail begins near the lower entrance to the Arboretum, adjacent to the public restrooms. The steepest slope on this trail is at the beginning as it descends into the Patricia Baker Wildflower Garden. Once entering the garden, the trail is level with a packed gravel surface. The trail gently drops again as it nears the river, and here the surface is mainly fine mulch. The remainder of the trail is largely flat, with some occasional rolling dips. The trailbed is 36” or wider throughout with minimal cross-slope. There are four benches along the path. Portions of this trail can become muddy following heavy rains.
The Meadow Road is a main route through the lowlands of the Arboretum, passing through a large oak savanna before curving along the Coast Fork of the Willamette River after passing a historic barn. The road continues outside of the Arboretum boundary and into the South Bottomlands zone of the Howard Buford Recreation Area. There is little shade along this route, and it can be hot during the summer. This route is utilized by service vehicles.
The Meadow Road (part of Trail 5 until it forks at the barn) begins at the lower entrance to the Arboretum, adjacent to the public restrooms and the White Oak Pavilion. There is a steady, gradual slope from the White Oak Pavilion until the road passes the barn, where it becomes mostly level. This is a road-width trail with negligible cross-slope. There is one bench, though the width of the trail allows one to easily move to the side for a break. The trail surface is gravel, with looser gravel present in some portions. Puddles can form after heavy rains, and small potholes are occasional.
The Wetland Trails meander through a moist forest filled with wildflowers in the spring and offer views of the wetland from the Wetlands Exhibit and the Adkison Bridge. The majority of these trails are shaded.
The Wetland Trails begin from the Meadow Road, not long after passing the barn. The Wetland Trails are largely flat, with some rolling dips. These trails are 36” or wider with negligible cross-slope, and are surfaced with bark mulch. There are two benches, with additional benches in the Wetlands Exhibit. Entrance to the Wetlands Exhibit is on a trail with some slope at the beginning, and a narrow portion. These trails can briefly become overgrown in late May and June before the vegetation is managed, and occasionally flood during periods of very heavy rain.
Pond Lily Trail
The Pond Lily Trail follows the north-eastern portion of the wetland, providing some views into the water. The trailsides are full of wildflowers in the spring, and the route is largely shaded.
The Pond Lily Trail begins next to the junction of the Meadow Road and the Quarry Road (Trail 5), just past the barn. The other end of the Pond Lily Trail reconnects to the Quarry Road after passing by the Adkison Bridge. Most people connect to the Pond Lily Trail after crossing the Adkison Bridge from the Wetlands Trails. From this point, turning right on the Pond Lily Trail provides access to the Quarry Road (Trail 5) via a relatively steep section with uneven cross-slope. Turning left on the Pond Lily Trail from the Adkison Bridge provides a flat section of trail with some rolling dips and minimal cross-slope. This trail is at least 36” wide in most sections, and surfaced with fine bark mulch or packed gravel. There are not any benches, but there is a pullout. Portions of the trail occasionally flood during periods of heavy rain.
The Creek Trails travel along the Arboretum’s main seasonal creek, which usually runs from mid-November through early June. These are excellent trails for viewing wildflowers in the spring or observing birds. The route is a mix of sun and dappled shade.
The Creek Trails begin next to and behind the White Oak Pavilion, and adjacent to the picnic area, and travel along either side of the main creek, with options for bridge crossings that connect to each side. These trails are 36” wide or wider, and largely flat with a consistent, gradual slope and no cross-slope. Aside from the picnic tables, there are two benches available along these trails. The trail surface is mostly bark mulch. Portions of this trail can become muddy following heavy rains. The Creek Trails allow access to the Service Road (the lower portion of Trail 35) and to the Zig-Zag Trail.
The Buford Trail ascends the hillside at the Arboretum, skirting the large oak savanna before entering into the conifer forest. At the start of the trail, one can access the Tree Round Exhibit and the Oak Savanna Exhibit. At the top of the trail is the Oak Woodlands Exhibit.
The Buford Trail begins on the far side of the White Oak Pavilion. The trail is 36” wide or wider. The lower portion of the trail is road-width, with a fairly consistent slope of about 8% and minimal cross-slope. The surface is coarse gravel. At the junction with the Incense-cedar Trail, the surface of the Buford Trail changes to bark mulch and the slope increases considerably. There is one bench along the lower portion of this route, prior to the junction with the Incense-cedar Trail, and three benches at the top of the Buford Trail in the Oak Woodlands Exhibit. The top of the Buford Trail connects with the Plateau Trails and the Jette Trail.
The Incense-cedar Trail traverses the hillside and passes through a grove of old incense-cedars. The trail is shaded, and offers nice views of spring wildflowers, including calypso orchids. The Incense-cedar Exhibit is accessed via this trail.
The Incense-cedar Trail forks off from the Buford Trail after a distance of about 625 ft. The trail is 36” wide or wider for the majority of its length, narrowing slightly after passing through the Incense-cedar Exhibit. The surface is predominantly bark mulch. The trail is largely flat, with minimal cross-slope until after the Incense-cedar Exhibit when the trail gains elevation and also exhibits some cross-slope. The far end of the Incense-cedar Trail connects with the lower portion of the Jette Trail. There are four benches along the trail.
The Jette Trail provides views of wildflower meadows and mixed forests along the lower portion of its length. The trail passes through conifer forest along its upper heights before connecting with the plateau. Most of the trail is at least partly shaded.
The Jette Trail switchbacks from the Quarry Road (Trail 5), connecting with the Plateau Trails at the top of the hill. The Jette Trail connects with the Incense-cedar trail along the lower portion of its length. From the junction of the Incense-cedar Trail to the junction with the Quarry Road, the Jette Trail is 36” or wider with an even, moderate slope. The trail is mostly surfaced in gravel and exhibits minimal cross-slope. There is one bench along the lower portion of the trail, and one bench along the upper portion. Where the Jette Trail connects with the Quarry Road, access to the Pond Lily Trail is immediately adjacent.