Ferns and Forest
Back in the land of grey and rain, I found a bright spot in the weather and headed out to the massive Forest Park. To put the scale into perspective, the Wildwood Trail, which traverses the whole length of the park, and a bit more, is over 30 miles long. Exactly.
I began this jaunt with my pup at the end of Leif Ericson Drive, where I hadn’t walked in years. I turned up the Wild Cherry Trail at the first junction to get away from joggers and cyclists (not that there’s anything wrong with that). Going north on the Wildwood trail, I saw few people. One speedwalking gent wearing ear buds passed me. I compared notes with a couple other dog owners, then headed uphill on the Dogwood Trail. The forest was very stark in places with smaller trees and minimal groundcover.
The path ended up on top of a broad ridge, and opened up a bit, where I got a couple peek-a-boo views of downtown Portland. The photos aren’t great, but I could see a skyscraper or two.
Once the trail skirted a parking area on N.W. 53rd, then plunged downhill to a junction with the Wildwood Trail. I headed south this time. I saw people every few minutes, but it was a quiet day on the muddy trails. At one point, I found a great tree seemingly backlit with angel wings of ferns.
The Aspen trail directed me back towards the car. All told, this was a decent four-plus mile loop that took about an hour and a half. I got a bit muddy, but it felt good, and I reminded myself that no, I haven’t hiked all of Forest Park. It’s not Joshua Tree or the high Cascades, but it’s a worthy destination for an afternoon adventure.
Posted on February 27, 2014, in Flora and Fauna, General Hiking, Hiking with dogs, Outdoors, Uncategorized and tagged Easy Portland hikes, Forest Park, Hikes near Portland, Northwest Oregon hikes, Portland walking, Wildwood Trail. Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.