The only state park within city limits, Tryon Creek State Park has 8 miles of incredibly well maintained, inter-connected hiking trails. It also has 3.5 miles of horse trails and a 3-mile paved bicycle trail that connects to the 40-Mile Loop. The individual trails aren't very long (the longest is a little more than a mile), but they are well connected and marked, making it really easy to hike or run for as long as you want. If you want to incorporate some hills into your run or hike, make sure and head down to the Middle Creek trail.
What Makes It Great
Tryon Creek State Park is an exceptional area to observe wildlife and catch a glimpse of the beautiful trillium flowers that bloom there in the spring. There are educational signs close to all the bridges in the park, which adds some intrigue for those who want to know more about the area. One of the bridges you will cross, called the Terry Riley Bridge, is a suspension bridge, which has the potential to be a highlight for the kids (or the child in you).
Starting from the main visitors center, head left on the Old Main Trail. Turn left on the Red Fox Trail and cross over the Red Fox Bridge. After you cross the bridge, stay to the right and cross another bridge to get to the Cedar Trail. At a large intersection of trails, head toward the creek, turn left toward High Bridge and follow the creek. If you are tired at High Bridge, you can take the Middle Creek Trail to get back to the visitor center. If you would like to continue, head to the left on the Lewis and Clark Trail over the Terry Riley Bridge. Continue on the Lewis and Clark Trail and it connects to the North Horse Loop where you will head left to get back to where you started.
Who is Going to Love It
The route described above is fairly easy, so it is accessible for hikers of all of experience levels. This area may be muddy, so make sure you wear shoes you do not mind getting dirty. Because of the short trails and the way this park is laid out, you can personalize your route through the intersection of trails and pick how long you want to be out based on your experience level or how much time you have. This beautiful and local area allows you the feeling of being lost in the woods without really leaving town. It is great for a short daytrip on the weekend or an after work trip.
Directions, Parking, & Regulations
To get to the Tryon Creek State Park Trailhead from downtown, take I-5S toward Salem to exit 297 toward Terwilliger Boulevard. Merge onto SE Barbur Boulevard, and turn right on SE Terwilliger Boulevard. Take the second exit at the traffic circle to stay on SW Terwilliger Boulevard. The entrance to park will be on the right.
The park is open from 7AM until dusk. There are no fees required for this park.