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.

Going up the drive.

Going up the drive.

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.

Hazy shade of winter view

Hazy shade of winter view

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.

Love the ferns on the twin tree trunks.

Love the wing ferns on the twin tree trunks.

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.

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 February 27, 2014, in Flora and Fauna, General Hiking, Hiking with dogs, Outdoors, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. Must be tough coming back to the rain after Joshua Tree. Actually, it’s probably not tough at all going back to Oregon! You still have the forests and the waterfalls and all those hikes.

  2. You might have returned to more mud, but that’s still better than this never-ending freezing winter we continue to face 😉 I would *love* for it to be warm enough for mud!

  3. Love this place and all the meandering trails!

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