Marquam Trail Mini

Trail Review #4 – Marquam Trail Mini Time: 30 mins to 1 hour Difficulty: Mild Wilderness: Medium As with the best of plans, life sometimes happens and throws a stick in your spokes. You’re all getting this post a few days late due to the fact I poured boiling water on my right hand while in the editing phase. Thankfully it only put me a little behind, and with minimal lingering injury. That said, let’s hit the trail! We’re mixing it up a bit with a trail divided by a fair distance of roads and greenbelts, and I’ll be reviewing Marquam Trail in two parts. The ‘mini’ version will be first, and covers the smaller self-contained stretch to the south of SW Capitol Highway and the ‘full’ section of trail that leads up to Council Crest Park. The smaller trail is accessible along SW Terwilliger Blvd just off of SW Barbur Blvd near I-5, nestled along the edge of Burlingame and some of its homes. The trail doesn’t seem like much, and is ultimately quite short and rarely out of view of glimpses of the road above, but due to it’s steep nature, it makes for a pleasant, if simple,Continue readingMarquam Trail MiniContinue readingMarquam Trail Mini

Pittock Bird Sanctuary

Trail Review #2 – Pittock Bird Sanctuary Time: 30 mins to 3 hours Difficulty: Mild Wilderness: Medium Along NW Cornell Road, and not much further than the top of the Lower Macleay Trail you will find the Audubon Society of Portland. A small area consisting primarily of a gift shop and their wildlife care center, it is also the entrance to the Pittock Bird Sanctuary, a hilly but gentle loop of multiple trails winding through a wide range of bird habitats and along the upper portion of Balch Creek. After parking along the road or in the small lot, your make your way to a path by the care center (Which, I should add, is a great place to call should you find an injured bird. I’ve brought them several over the years. If you choose to stop in, they have smaller educational birds indoors, all with short bios about their personality and history and often details about their species.). As you pass the buildings there are enclosures housing larger birds of prey, also equipped with bios and species information. On this particular trip we met Ambrosious, a common raven. We paused and watched him for a while, which wasContinue readingPittock Bird SanctuaryContinue readingPittock Bird Sanctuary

Lower Macleay Park Trailhead

Trail Review #2 – Lower Macleay Park Trailhead + Upper Macleay Park loop 1 Time: 2 hours Difficulty: Medium Wilderness: Medium The Lower Macleay Park Trailhead starts a short way from 23rd Ave in the middle of an urban neighborhood, but don’t let that fool you! This trail is a beautiful walk along Balch Creek, home to a population of cutthroat trout, with little signs of human interaction save a few tasteful wooden fences, stone walls shoring up the trail, and the Stone House. The moss is thick, the water flowing, and the pine trees towering, so much so it easily deserves to be called a miniature slice of Oregon. With how pleasant and easily accessible the trail was, it was little surprise it was bustling, even on a Wednesday afternoon. Despite this fact, we found it easy to pass runners, dog walkers, and fellow hikers due to the wide and relatively flat nature of the trail itself. Starting in a wide-open expanse of grass under the NW Thurman Street bridge, the park is open and inviting with picnic tables, restrooms, and well maintained lawns leading up towards the beginning of the ravine. The trail doesn’t take long to disappearContinue readingLower Macleay Park TrailheadContinue readingLower Macleay Park Trailhead

Hoyt Arboretum

Trail Review #1 – Hoyt Arboretum Time: 2 hours Difficulty: Mild Wilderness: Mild On Tuesday we took our inaugural hike through a stretch of the Hoyt Arboretum. An easily accessed series of 12 miles of trails, the Hoyt Arboretum was founded in 1922 and covers 187 acres while showcasing over 1,100 species of trees and shrubs from all over the world, many of which bear signs with their common and scientific names. Each trail has a bit of a “theme” to it, indicated by their name (for example the Wildwood Trail cut through the natural Oregon foliage while the Beech trail was primarily surrounded by various species of, well, Beeches). Two miles of the trail are paved and provide stable access to those in wheelchairs or with strollers, making the Arboretum a great nearby choice for those who want a little more variety to their walk than an urban hike would provide. We began our walk on the Wildwood Trail near the witch hazel area, which is marked on the official Hoyt Arboretum map and located next to the small parking lot just north of the Oregon Zoo lots and MAX stop. In front of one of the witch hazelsContinue readingHoyt ArboretumContinue readingHoyt Arboretum