On April 2, Metro will welcome neighbors from Oregon City and across the region to the grand opening of Newell Creek Canyon Nature Park. The park opened in late 2021, and its hiking trails and dedicated off-road biking paths have quickly become a popular draw for visitors looking for a connection to nature just a few minutes from home.
The grand opening will celebrate the park, the conservation done to strengthen its habitats and the efforts going back 30 years by the people of Oregon City to protect this special place. The celebration is free, family-friendly and open to all. Festivities begin at 11:30.
Join the fun!
Celebrate one of Metro's newest parks with food, music and activities. Ribbon cutting at 11:30 a.m.
- Enjoy delicious food from a local vendor
- Learn youth mountain biking basics with Northwest Trail Alliance (youth 8 years+)
- Explore the park during guided nature walks
- Arts and crafts, and hands-on activities
- The event is free, family-friendly, and open to all
- No registration is required
325 Beavercreek Road, Oregon City
Parking is in front of Regal Cinemas at Hilltop Mall, across Molalla Avenue. It is about a six-minute walk to the park. The parking lot at the park will be reserved primarily for guests with mobility concerns and elderly visitors. It is expected to be full.
485 Warner Milne Road, Oregon City
Parking for the event is at Hilltop Mall, on Molalla Avenue. The park’s parking lot is open for accessible parking.
Metro Council President Lynn Peterson, Metro Councilor Christine Lewis, Metro Parks and Nature director Jon Blasher, and others will welcome the gathering and share the partnerships and teamwork it took to create the park.
During the celebration, Metro nature educators will lead hikes through the park, and Portland State University geologist Scott Burns will share about the long history of the canyon. Nature activities for all ages will showcase what makes the park special.
The Northwest Trail Alliance will teach mountain biking basics to young people ages 8 and older. Metropolis Cycles is offering free, small-scale bike repairs.
Newell Creek Canyon curves along the east side of Oregon City, separating Molalla Avenue from Highway 213. The 236-acre park stretches along nearly the entire canyon, and 2.5 miles of hiking trails and nearly 2 miles of dedicated mountain biking trails offer provide access to most of it.
The park was created thanks to voters choosing to invest in nature, and from the dedicated efforts of community members who saw the value of the natural area and the importance of introducing it to their neighbors.
The nature park’s story goes back to 1995 when neighbors living by the canyon began advocating for the Metro bond measure that would create the regional government’s conservation program. The neighbors wanted to see the canyon protected, and Metro began purchasing parcels that year. The latest purchases were in 2015, which include the site of the parking lot and picnicking areas.
Conservation work began soon after the first purchases. Like many undeveloped natural areas, Newell Creek Canyon had still been affected by the dramatic changes to the landscape since white settlers colonized the area in the mid-1800s. Metro scientists removed weeks like ivy, clematis, holly and laurel, which compete against and even smother native plants.
At least 20,550 native shrubs and trees, like tall Oregon grape, oceanspray, Pacific ninebark, red osier dogwood, Oregon white oak and Douglas fir have been planted in the canyon.
Newell Creek begins on the Clackamas Community College campus, then crosses Highway 213 into the canyon, where dozens of springs and seeps add water to the creek. The creek crosses 213 again, before joining Abernathy Creek where Redland Road and the highway meet.