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Visiting the Sanctuary

150-acre Nature Sanctuary open dawn-dusk daily.

Wildlife Care Center - tm

The Audubon Society of Portland's 172-acre Nature Sanctuary is nestled against Forest Park just five minutes from downtown Portland. The free-to-the-public sanctuary has more than four miles of forested hiking trails and is a showcase for native flora and fauna. You can visit and enjoy the trails year 'round, from dawn to dusk every day.

No dogs are allowed on Portland Audubon's sanctuaries trails, please. Birds and other animals have keen senses of sight, smell and hearing; they think of dogs – even the friendliest ones – as predators. We also know that people see more wildlife in natural areas where dogs are not allowed.

Nature Store | Trail Map | Directions
Wildlife and Habitat | Interpretive Displays

Sanctuary Highlights

Salmonberry bloom 200 - tammi miller
Salmonberry bloom - tammi miller
  • Our on-site facilities: The Wildlife Care Center, where you can meet Audubon's educational birds of prey; an interpretive center, which features exhibits, a natural history library and places to watch birds; and the Nature Store.
  • The mixed conifer forest along Balch Creek has a lush understory of Vanilla Leaf, Fendler's Waterleaf, Swordfern, Western Trillium, Maidenhair Fern, Oregon Grape, Indian Plum, Salmonberry, and Stinging Nettle. Native plant guide.
  • A small stand of old-growth Douglas Firs stands as testimony to the giants that once graced the temperate rainforests of the Pacific Northwest.
  • Balch Creek is home to a small population of native Cutthroat Trout. An anadromous species, this population is landlocked due to several culverts along the length of the creek.
  • Look for Steller's Jay, Chestnut-backed Chickadee, Pacific Wren, Pileated Woodpecker, Coastal Giant Salamander, and Douglas Squirrel, as well as Roughskin Newt, Red-legged Frog and Western Painted Turtle in the pond.
  • Our small pond and pavilion structure provide a peaceful place to have lunch and let wildlife come to you. The pond provides sanctuary for a diverse group of amphibians.
  • The Wildwood trail and greater Forest Park is accessible from our sanctuary if you would like to lengthen your hike. Pittock Mansion is a short 25 minute hike up the hill from Audubon.
To see a video that gives a tour and shows accessibility at our sanctuary, click here. 

Please note!
No smoking, pets, or bikes | Stay on trails and respect wildlife

Consult our Sanctuary Interpretive Guide for more information

Nature Sanctuary trail signs - Anna Campbell
Nature Sanctuary trail signs - Anna Campbell
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