Hoof it: cool little walks in our cool little town

OK, the snow’s melted and we are back to our rainy Portland weather. It’s time to buy some rain gear, get back outside and get active. Maybe you shudder at the idea of exercise and would much rather do anything else. If so, this guide of cool places that also double as impromptu cardio opportunities will help keep you mentally stimulated while benefiting from the walk. All of these walks are in the Portland metro area, can be reached by bus, and offer unique payoffs.

For those who think exercise is “fun”

TriMet bus route 70 will drop you off right in front of Columbia River Correctional Facility off of 33rd and Marine Drive in Northeast Portland. Don’t worry, this walk isn’t into the prison. Head north toward Marine Drive and you will come to a somewhat creepy underpass that is the base of a bike trail. Along the trail you can watch planes and often military jets take off overhead. Walk, jog, skate or Rollerblade about a mile east and you will be greeted by a scenic view of the Washington shoreline and the Columbia River. This is a perfect walk to get a little cardio blast, kill some time, and have a cool visual reward by the end of it.

Walk and drink at McMenamins

If exercise itself is not at all appealing, but you are just looking for a change of scenery and you also enjoy IPAs and eerie settings, Google search your neighborhood McMenamins and head over during happy hour. McMenamins locations are awesome because most of their sites have plenty of space to walk around the grounds with your beer in hand. Most of them are converted from old properties, and you will have to stray away from the campus one to get the full walking experience. The Kennedy School on 33rd, Edgefield, and the Rock Creek Tavern locations all have cool stomping grounds where you can work off your calories as you drink them.

Kelly Point

This is the best option for those who really want to feel like they are leaving the city. Kelly Point has a trail that follows along the Columbia River, and then curves where the Willamette splits off and runs south. It is the venue for major festivals every year, and people always barbecue on the beach in groups during the summer. You can walk for a while, then lie out and tan on the beach, watching barges and yachts go by. This is a great place to walk around and people-watch, enjoy the beautiful view of the riverbanks and get that nature feel right in North Portland at the end of Marine Drive.