Whitaker Ponds Natural Area is an interesting site for children, with plenty of interpretive signage and educational activities. Two cottonwood and willow-edged ponds along the Columbia Slough host Hooded Merganser, Wood Duck, and Pied-billed Grebe. Belted Kingfisher, Red-tailed Hawk, and Great Blue Heron are commonly seen. Black-capped Chickadee, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Western Wood-Pewee, and Bewick’s Wren nest in the wooded areas. A canoe launch at the NW corner provides paddling access to Columbia Slough (Site P5). Boating is not allowed on Whitaker Ponds due to deep mud.
From I-5, take Exit 306A (Columbia Blvd) and drive E for 3 mi to 47th Ave. Turn L and drive 0.25 mi to the entrance on the R, 7040 NE 47th Ave. If the gate is closed, park outside the fence and walk into the park. Vehicle parking is limited to scheduled events. Transit: Take TriMet Bus 75 to NE 47th & Columbia Blvd., walk 0.3 miles North to entrance.