Wapato Trail, Sauvie Island – Best Toddler Family Friendly Hike

Just outside of downtown Portland is Sauvie Island. You’ll find it filled with people from spring to fall. And when I say filled, I mean it. In the high times during the year, it can take hours to even get on and off the island. The U-pick farms, beach, biking, and wildlife viewing, makes this one of best places to visit. The Wapato Trail is a prefect add on to any trip to the island. It’s a 2.2 mile loop around a pond and through an oak savanna. The best part is, it’s a prefect hike for toddlers. Its mostly flat with no place for a little wanderer to fall off a trail.

We have been going a little stir crazy this winter and we needed some outdoor time.  Our default hiking use to be the Gorge with the kids but they are in this no man land – in between time. To heavy to carry in packs, they want to be free to walk it themselves but they don’t understand the dangers yet. So for this mama, we will be taking a break from hiking anything the kids can’t do themselves safely.

When you turn on to the Island you will see a convenience store on your left. This is the first place you need to stop to pick up a day pass. Parking on the farms is free but for other areas you’ll need a pass. You can also get a yearly pass and pick up some snacks. When you leave the parking lot turn left and continue straight for a mile and you’ll come to the Wapato Parking lot on your left. It seems like it is in a neighborhood.

We had a great time exploring the trail. Even as we got out of the car there was a group of deer with babies eating near the parking lot. The trail has info to read along the way, a covered picnic structure near the beginning and posts with the type of birds you’ll see. Winter is the best time to come bird watching.

Afterwards we drove around just to see if any of the farms were open but they weren’t. So we headed to the neighborhood of St. Johns. There is a great food cart pod just over the bridge and it has a small farm stand. We get out early and were so hungry after the hike. Its also nice because there is an indoor area you can eat in if the weather is wet at the St. Johns Beer Porch.

All in all it was a great adventure. The kids hiked almost the whole trail, we got to share a delicious meal and got home in time in for naps.


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