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Sunday Stroll on the Springwater Corridor


Mallards having a good time on muddy Johnson Creek

I’ve written about the Springwater Corridor Trail before for a good reason.  It’s convenient, it boasts some nice scenery, and it’s an easy outdoor fix.  Today Jackie Chan and I walked a stretch just beyond our normal haunts.  To be sure, it’s not as pretty an environment, with industrial buildings nearby, but I was entranced early by ducks below a bridge over Johnson Creek, and then by an electrical tower getting taken over by vines.


The sign warns of high voltage. Plant life does not care.

There were not too many bikers or joggers today.  It was cool but not cold.  Perhaps they were gearing up for parties for the MLS Cup (Go Timbers!) or NFL games (the Eagles leading the Patriots?).   Perhaps it was the location in the open, near businesses and houses.  Still, there were pretty spots.  Jack sniffed like a madman as we walked.


This is strictly an out and back walk, unless you want to have a shuttle 15 or 20 miles away in Boring, where the trail ends.  We opted to turn around at a side street crossing the path. Two pups were coming in on the side street, and a bigger dog was headed toward us.  U turn.  It was far enough.  We took one last stop at a trailside bench.  Jack might have wondered why I didn’t sit there myself.  Perhaps when the place dries out a bit. Happy Sunday.



The Springwater Corridor after the Rain

The Springwater Corridor trail is a popular trail for cyclists, runners, walkers, and dogs.  It’s paved, but that doesn’t mean it’s not without its beauty.  Since I moved recently, access to the trail is even closer.   It’s just a few minutes away from my digs, so it was an easy choice when there was break in the weather.  Last Saturday, rains last weekend pounded the Portland area, and there was minor flooding that lasted for a day.  On Sunday, Johnson Creek, which runs parallel to the trail for miles of its length, was swollen and brown.

I’d walked and ridden my bike on the trail many times before. This time, as I avoided the many cyclists, I noticed how muddy Johnson Creek was.  No surprise given the rains of the day before.

Compare this to another ph

Compare the water in this last shot to a post from early in 2014.  Nature is always going through cycles, but sometimes it is more impressive than others.

Powell Butte-ification

It was a good day for a hybrid hike. That meant part paved bike trail, part pretty woods walk, part glorious meadow, part trail detour along a road.  Confused?  That’s okay.  The main trail head at Powell Butte remains closed due to construction of a new underground reservoir.  Yes, you read that right.  After all, the city of Portland recently drained a reservoir because a man urinated in it, although scientists admitted that even if the guy had peed toxins, the parts per million would be so low as to pose no danger to the public.

I started my walkabout on an open grassy part of the paved Springwater Corridor trail, about seven miles east from where I walked a week ago.  I climbed the Hawthorn Trail’s looping curves meant for descending mountain bikes.  I saw no mountain bikes until I emerged on top, once the trail emerged from the forest to a spectacular meadow.  There I had to decide how to return.  I could head via trails I’d already hikes, but I wanted to try something new.  To the east, there were detours due to the construction, but I thought there might be a way to loop back to the Springwater Corridor.  I found lots of fencing instead.  I followed the mouse maze detour all the way down to Powell Boulevard and walked by apartment complexes and mini malls for some real urban hiking.

Springwater Spring Walking

The Springwater Corridor is a long paved trail that begins on Portland’s inner east side and soon heads east, winding through the Johnson Creek watershed and out to Gresham, and eventually the small town of Boring. It’s hard to believe you are near a major city for much of the way considering the greenery and quiet.  Cyclists love it, but it’s great for joggers and walkers too.

Crossing Johnson Creek

Crossing Johnson Creek

I hadn’t set foot on the trail in years, but now I live nearby, so it was natural choice for a quick stroll.  So it was that a few days ago, I ventured to a trail access point with Jackie Chan, the hiking pup.  I soon discovered an offshoot nature trail along Johnson Creek, and twenty minutes later, I ended up mid-span on a bridge over the railroad tracks.  I had no desire to cross over them and head into the neighborhoods beyond, so I just retraced my steps through the greenspace.  The rain started pelting us on the way back.  Jackie didn’t care for it, so we walked fast, and it was all good.