Tryon Creek State Natural Area

Tryon Creek State Natural Area

Infobox park
park=Tryon Creek State Natural Area

image size=180px
caption=High Bridge at the park.
type=Public, state
location=Portland, Oregon, United States
coordinates= coor dms|45|26|39|N|122|40|28|W|type:mountain_region:US
size= convert|645|acre|km2
operator=Oregon State Parks and Recreation Department
annual visitors=
The Tryon Creek State Natural Area is a state park located in Portland, Oregon, United States. The park is the only Oregon state park within a major metropolitan area. The convert|645|acre|km2|sing=on park is located between Boones Ferry Road and Terwilliger Boulevard in southwest Portland, and is bisected from north to south by Tryon Creek.


There are eight miles (13 km) of hiking trails, a three-mile (5 km) paved bicycle trail, and convert|3.5|mi|km of horse trails in the park. [ Oregon State Parks: Tryon Creek State Natural Area] ]

There is a Nature Center located at the base of the entrance into the park next to the main parking area. Inside is a small play area for toddlers, a gift shop, a large classroom and a separate area for educational exhibits. [ [ Tryon Creek trails welcome hooves, wheels ] ]

For 2008-2009 the exhibit highlights the history of the Tryon Creek canyon, which was logged in the late 19th century by the Oregon Iron Co.

Located to the north of the nature center is the Glenn Jackson Shelter. The covered fixture offers space for outdoor events and features built-in seating on three sides. It also provides a quiet place to sit and absorb the backdrop of surrounding Douglas fir trees, big-leaf maples and western red cedars in the middle of the big city.


In 1850, Socrates Hotchkiss Tryon, pioneer settler, established a donation land claim at the south end of the canyon. Five years later, Tryon died at the age of 39 of sciatic rheumatism leaving the park to his wife, Frances Tryon, who in 1869 distributed her 645 acres to Socrates Jr., his sister, Sallie, and Sallie's husband, A.A. Cleveland.

Socrates Tryon, Jr. sold the land in 1874 to Oregon Iron Company for $7,000, or $10.85/acre. For nearly 25 years, Oregon Iron Company utilized the land for logging virgin cedar and fir, timber used for foundry in Lake Oswego, creating a major logging road along what is now Old Iron Mountain Trail.

In 1900 there was a major forest fire in the upper canyon, whose charred snags still visible along the Center and Big Fir trails. This fire and the advent of coal led the Oregon Iron company to pursue other fuel sources.

Logging resumed in 1912, in the north part of the canyon, highlighted by The Boone's Ferry Wood and Tie Company, who had a site located in the area which is now Alfred Street. A sawmill and steam donkey engine were located near what is now Beaver Bridge. The lumber was used chiefly for railroad ties, cordwood and flagpoles, and resulted in huge cedar stumps still visible throughout the park.

Intermittent logging continued through the 1940s and 50's as public desire to establish a park on the forested area increased.

Citizen and local official attempts at establishing park in the 50's fail due to lack of funds and difficulty in coordination between multiple city and county jurisdictions. In 1969 Multnomah County purchased 45 acres as the beginning of a large Regional Park and requests citizen help. A Public meeting in June results in formation of Friends of Tryon Creek Park with the goals of coordinating governmental efforts and assisting with private funds. They also secured approval from City of Lake Oswego for a park.

Much of 1970 found the newly formed Friends of Tryon Creek Park increasing public awareness, and raising the funds necessary to establish a park. These efforts culminate in the fall of 1970 with the approval of the local cities and county, and the announcement on October 26, 1970 by Governor Tom McCall announces the formation of Tryon Creek State Park.

Over the next few years, Oregon State purchased 600+ acres of land for nearly three million dollars, including federal matching funds. The Friends and State collaborate in planning Tryon Creek State Park, agreeing that development should be limited to trails and a nature center, which were completed from 1973 to 1975. Tryon Creek State Park was officially dedicated on July 1, 1975. [ [ Friends of Tryon Creek History ] ]

Tryon Creek's forest has now naturally re-forested and consists of over 50 types of birds and native wildlife.

ee also

*List of Oregon state parks


External links

* [ Official site]
* [ Friends of Tryon Creek State Park website]

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