Vanport Wetlands

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Heron Lakes Golf Course - Force Lake

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Smith-Bybee Lakes Wildlife Area

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Kelly Point Park

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Harbor View Park

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Vedanta Retreat

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Whitaker Ponds Natural Area

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Sauvie Island

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Columbia Point/Hayden Island

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Joy Creek Nursery

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Broughton Beach

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Seasons

Winter
Spring
Summer
Fall

Location

From I-5 take exit 306B and go west on N Victory Blvd, then right onto N Expo Rd and then the first left onto Broadacre Rd where a parking area is present.  This is by a large grassy area that is an offleash dog park.  Walk NW from the parking area to the fence that surrounds Vanport where there is an interpretive sign.  From there one can view the lake, or one can continue west along the edge to bird the woods that surround the lake.  There is no entry to the public inside the fence.

Note that as of 2022 vegetation growth has mostly obscured the lake and currently the Port of Portland, who manages the property, has no plans to cut this back.  In winter when leaves drop the visibility improves.

Directions

Habitat and Birds

The main attraction is the lake itself which is affected by water levels, being full in winter and spring, gradually lowering during summer and often becoming mostly dry by fall.  In winter there is a large variety of ducks and geese, and numerous passerines nest in summer in the surrounding woods (Yellow Warbler, Bullock’s Oriole, Hutton’s Vireo, House Wren, Willow Flycatcher, Western Wood-Pewee, Warbling vireo).  In spring and summer the lake attracts many swallows and Purple Martins have nested in the gourds placed there.  Virginia Rail and Sora can be found as well.  In fall it can be very good for shorebirds and various rare ones have been found there including Stilt Sandpiper, Ruff, and Sharp-tailed Sandpiper.

Yellow-headed Blackbirds nested here for many years but as of 2021 the colony appears to have died out.

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