Near the village of Welches, on the west side of Mount Hood, pull off U.S. 26 to visit the Cascade Streamwatch at the Wildwood Recreation site (between mileposts 39 and 40). This 0.75-mile gently rolling and accessible wetlands trail goes through a beautiful second-growth mixed conifer forest along the Salmon River to several viewing windows built into the shoreline embankment, giving visitors a great opportunity to view fish in a natural river.
Trailside fish carvings and sculptures along with information placards on forest ecology and salmon spawning enhance the experience, and you may see such species as the giant Pacific salamander, red-legged frog, and coho salmon. While spring and fall spawning seasons are optimal times to see the coho, it’s possible to see fish at most times of the year.
The trail is located 39 miles east of Portland on the south side of the highway in the Bureau of Land Management’s Wildwood Recreation corridor (503/375-5646) near the town of Zigzag. A nearby pullout shares info about the Barlow Road, the final leg of the Oregon Trail, which went through these woods.
by Judy Jewell and W. C. McRae from Moon Oregon, 8th Edition, © Elizabeth & Mark Morris and Avalon Travel