The Wildwood Recreation Area is easy to miss, but impossible to forget. It’s somewhat hidden off of Highway 26, and you may have whipped passed it on your way to or from Mt. Hood. There is a sign at the entrance of this unusual park, but travelers often don’t stop to explore. You should, or you’ll be missing out!
The recreation area includes 580 acres of wilderness that’s maintained by the Bureau of Land Management. It’s completely surrounded by the Mount Hood National Forest, and a beautiful corner of the woods, thick with Douglas fir and bigleaf maple.
There are three distinct spots to enjoy:
- A reserveable recreation and picnic area, perfect for family events, company retreats, or a fun day in the park. This spot is maintained, and includes a sand volleyball court, two basketball courts, a sports field, playground, and several picnic tables. Two shelters - the Pioneer Shelter and Mountain View Shelter, are built to handle up to 200 people. Amenities such as electricity, water, electric stove tops and barbecue grills are included.
- The Cascade Streamwatch Area, which offers great wilderness views and picnic areas. It’s an extraordinary spot to observe the river, thanks in part to the underground Cascade Streamwatch viewing pavilion. Through the windows of this semi-submersed viewing chamber, visitors can get an intimate view of the river and its inhabitants. During spawning season, it’s a great place to catch sight of salmon on their upstream sojourn.
- The Wildwood Wetlands Area, which features an under-one-mile loop trail along a boardwalk. It slides into the wilderness, but the maintained path makes it an easy stroll. The trail connects to the wilder and more challenging Boulder Ridge Trail. This path leads up 1,400 feet in about two miles, and tops off at a spectacular Mt. Hood viewpoint. Trek on just a bit further (okay, about 3.5 miles, but it’s worth it) and you’ll reach the 4,300-foot summit of Huckleberry Mountain.
The Wildwood Recreation Site is located 39 miles east of Portland on Highway 26, near Welches, Oregon. It is $5 for a car to park and the shelters and picnic areas cost between $45- $125 to rent. Group facilities can be reserved from mid-March through Thanksgiving weekend. Click the Learn More button above for addition details. A beautiful brochure about Wildwood can be found here: https://www.blm.gov/or/resources/recreation/files/brochures/Wildwood_brochure07.pdf
Address: 65670 US-26, Welches, OR 97067, USA