Maple Trail, Saltzman Road, and a golden light

Looking back toward home and the University of Portland

Looking back toward home and the University of Portland

With more daylight lately and strangely nice weather for Oregon , it almost seems a crime not to head out for a hike or a bike ride after work.  Unfortunately, I am generally gone for about eleven hours daily during the week, and I often feel wiped out when I return home.

The other day, with a dash of motivation caused by perfect weather, I drove across the Willamette River toward Forest Park.  The bottom end of Saltzman Road is an odd mix of lovely homes, tight curves, a water bureau site, and a gate at a closed off forest road.

I saw no other cars at the pseudo trailhead, but I soon encountered a couple descending cyclists moving at a good clip.   The road turned path would be perfect for that. Eventually I arrived at a junction where the curving road neared the edge of a forested canyon.  The Maple Trail split off on either side, descending one way and climbing the other.

Maple trail turnoff

Works for me right now

I felt a touch lazy, so I opted for downhill.  Besides, the canyon on that side looked spectacular.  Really.

Looking up, trying to spy the sun line

Looking up, trying to spy the sun line

I wandered for a while with my pup through some phenomenal forest until the trail crossed a creek near the head of a lovely drainage.

Jackie searching for trolls.

Jackie searching for trolls.

The setting was serene, and I wish I’d had more time, but light was fading, so I turned back.

Deck the hills with firs and ferns

Deck the hills with firs and ferns

The temperature had cooled off considerably in the shade, so I kept moving.  Interestingly, some of the best views of the day were  yet to come.  The Maple Trail definitely merits more exploration.   I shall return.

Looking at the railroad bridge from the trailhead.

Looking at the railroad bridge from the trailhead.

About Josh Baker

"The world is big and I want to have a good look at it before it gets dark.” ― John Muir

Posted on May 10, 2013, in Flora and Fauna, General Hiking, Hiking with dogs, Memories, Outdoors, Solo Hiking, Urban Hiking and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. Gorgeous! I assume that Jackie did not find any trolls? 11 hour days…wow that does make it hard to hike during the week. I know because I put in 3 of those week before last and I didn’t do any of my regular after work “stuff.” Good for you for getting out anyway!

    • No trolls! I was slightly disappointed. A longer commute definitely makes the day feel dramatically longer. Now I have real traffic to contend with, so those after work jaunts are even more special. Cheers.

  2. That forest is beautiful, looks like some “old growth” in there.

  3. The hill with ferns and first looks like it’s straight out of “Where the Wild Things Are.”
    I don’t miss the long work days; they really do make it hard to get out even when you *really* want to. Glad you took your chance with this one 🙂

  4. This is making me want to go to the Pacific Northwest even more!!!

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