The city of Portland and surrounding area are full of trails and paths for the urban hikers and walkers. From the dense forests of Washington and Forest Parks to the open terrain of the Columbia River Gorge, people can get out and enjoy what Oregon has to offer.
Forest Park includes a 40-mile loop that is accessible to bikers, walkers and runners. The longest of these trails is the 23-mile Wildwood trail that starts just north of the St. Johns Bridge and runs all the way south to the Sunset Highway.
For those who are not up for the 23-mile jaunt, the Wildwood trail also connects with a number of fire lanes that branch off to a paved road. Some of these fire lanes are accessible to bikers, but several have posted signs for runners and walkers only.
For those who would like some company on a walk, Portland Parks and Recreation has walking groups that go up to Forest Park every Saturday.
Other Portland area trails include Marquam Nature Park, Kelly Point Park and Powell Butte Park. These trails provide many other options for the hiker and jogger. The lengthy trail that runs through Marquam Park also connects with Forest Park, Council Crest Park and Terwilliger Boulevard Park.
Kelly Point Park’s main trail is a scenic jog around the merging point of the Columbia and Willamette rivers. It runs along the Columbia Slough just off of Lombard Street, follows the Willamette and wraps around the point to follow the Columbia River.
Powell Butte Park is a 570-acre park that is accessible to bikes, joggers, walkers and horseback riders. The park has more than nine miles of trails to explore. The Mountain View Trail is wheelchair accessible, with a paved trail at a five percent grade and rest stops every 200 feet.
Just a short drive east of Portland is the majestic Columbia River Gorge. The Friends of the Columbia Gorge has organized numerous activities for hikers and runners. In mid-June, the organization sponsors a Gorge Hiking Weekend that takes people to over 40 different areas, from the Sandy River Delta near Portland to the Memaloose Plateau above the Deschutes River.
Also just about 20 minutes outside of Portland is Multnomah Falls. The Falls has a few different trails to choose from. The main trail ascends one mile to the top of the Falls. Once at the top of the Falls you can continue on and finish the entire 6.8 mile trail.
For more information on Portland parks, visit www.parks.ci.portland.or.us.