Oak Island is a grassy field graced by tall stands of oak trees at its edges and hemmed in by water on three sides; thereby, technically making it a peninsula.
THE DRIVE: Once on the island, follow Sauvie Island Road north two miles to Reeder Road. Turn east (right) and drive Reeder Road 1.3 miles to a Y junction. Take the left fork and drive 4.2 miles on Oak Island Road to a small parking lot at road’s end. The final 1.1 miles is gravel.
- THE TRAIL: The clockwise loop hike is on a mowed road that is used to patrol the state’s Sauvie Island Wildlife Area. The only two junctions along the way are marked by yellow signs with hiker symbols. Head north from the parking lot and pass the signed return trail after five minutes. Continue straight through the grassy field, passing Steelman Lake to the left. At the top of the peninsula, the trail swings east and then south, passing Sturgeon Lake. Turn west at the hiker symbols to complete the loop, and then head south back to the start. The tall grass and brush at the edge of the mowed path keep hikers headed in the right direction.
- DISTANCE: The 2.5-mile loop takes about one hour to walk. Elevation is consistent – about 100 feet above sea level.
- RATING: The trail is good for beginners and families but isn’t wheelchair-accessible.
- CAUTION: Bicycles, which are restricted to roads open to motor vehicles on state-owned land on Sauvie Island, are not allowed on Oak Island. Dogs are allowed on leash.
- GET YOUR PERMIT: Vehicles must display a Sauvie Island Wildlife Area parking permit, which costs $10 per day or $30.00 per year, available from island stores and other vendors. ODFW permit website.
- HUNTING: Public access is restricted to licensed hunters after Oct. 1 on most wildlife management lands. Summer and early fall are the only times non-hunters can visit.
- FOR INFORMATION: Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, Sauvie Island Wildlife Area, 18330 N.W. Sauvie Island Road, Portland, Ore., 97231; 621-3488.
Oak Island Trail – Located near the island’s heart is a 2.5-mile loop hiking trail that is tucked between Sturgeon and Steelman lakes. Oak Island presents an airy, open feeling where the sky can be as scenic as the water, fields and trees.